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Andrea Ostos’ ‘fairway’ to international success

Senior golfer Andrea Ostos juggles being an athlete, a student and occasionally running her small home bakery. Photo courtesy of UTEP Athletics

Editor’s note: This is the final part of a three-part series featuring student-athletes from the Mexican State of Chihuahua. 

Between playing golf, attending classes at UTEP and occasionally running her own small home bakery, senior golfer Andrea Ostos has found her international experience to be fulfilling. 

In Ostos’ hometown of Chihuahua, Mexico, golf is not considered a popular sport. As Ostos explained, only three women have found professional success in the sport, including junior Alison Gastelum who played with Ostos while in high school. Gastelum currently plays for the New Mexico State women’s golf team. 

The road to UTEP has been a rowdy one for Ostos as she spent some time in the U.S. at a young age. Her father was offered a job in Michigan when she was in elementary school. While at Michigan, Ostos learned English, something that has paid off today. 

“It was hard for me to learn English back then,” Ostos said. “I used to cry about it with my mom. We don’t have any American girls on the team, so I forced myself to also be an example or to be someone able to hear and speak a lot of English.” 

Like most athletes, Ostos did not start off by playing golf. Starting with tennis, Ostos spent a lot of her time at the local country club in Chihuahua. Ostos finally began playing golf at the age of 10, but her introduction to the sport started much sooner, stemming from her time in Michigan. 

“My dad was surrounded by a lot of coworkers that liked to play golf,” Ostos said. “One day, they took him out to play golf. He thought it was a good idea to take us, my older sister and me. I was seven at the time and he bought some $50 golf clubs from Walmart. I came back to Chihuahua the year after, and I didn’t get to play golf until I was about 10. I actually started playing tennis and then I remembered golf.” 

When Ostos came to UTEP, she noticed there was a strain on the team’s chemistry. This is something that bothered her, pushing Ostos to help change the culture amongst the team and in the process, she became a leader. 

“It was hard for me my freshman year,” Ostos said. “I saw that there was a lot of division on the team. I made myself a promise that I would be more inclusive and have a good environment at all times for everybody, because it’s not easy doing what we do. I do try to lead by example, not so much by words. I’m not giving motivational speeches all the time and stuff but just leading by example.” 

Although Ostos is set to graduate this May, she intends to continue her education by completing a master’s in leadership studies. This, along with her bachelor’s in marketing, allows Ostos to start a business after hopefully becoming a professional in the upstart golf association LIV. 

“I went to a LIV tournament, which is the other professional golf league in the U.S., and I loved it,” Ostos said. “I would love to go pro, like it’s obviously one of my biggest dreams. I do have a lot of life plans for myself and goals that I’d love to accomplish. I do want to focus and maybe start some businesses here. I’m passionate about food, so I’d love to have many restaurants.” 

Despite her commitment to staying in the U.S., Ostos has not forgotten about her home country. 

“I would love to go back to Mexico at some point and live there again,” Ostos said. “It’s a beautiful country, but I also want to stay around golf if I do not go professional.” 

Reflecting on her choice to study in the U.S., Ostos provides advice for those athletes who may be considering the drastic and overwhelming change.  

“Hug your parents and your family as much as you can before you come,” Ostos said. “You never really understand the value of being with your family until you leave them. If it’s not your family, your friends, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, whatever it is like, just to love the people that you have at home. Be ready to create new memories, new friendships and to not be afraid of being who you are, because eventually, the right people will come to you.” 

The spring season is over for the women’s golf team as they competed in the 2023 Conference USA Golf Tournament April 13 through April 15 in Palm Beach, Florida. The team placed eighth overall out of nine teams. Ostos tied for nineteenth at-large and was the highest placed Miner with a plus 16 over par and an average score of just over 77 per round. 

Ostos has one more year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic and plans to keep playing for the Miners.

Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela Armendariz is the sports editor and may be reached at [email protected]: @rivasemmanuel2 on Instagram

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About the Contributor
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela, Contributor/Writer
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela is a contributor for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in multimedia journalism with minors in political science and Chicano studies. Emmanuel served as sports editor at The Prospector and as a writer with Minero Magazine. Now, Emmanuel is interning at El Paso Matters and is a contributor at The Prospector.
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Andrea Ostos’ ‘fairway’ to international success