Student Spotlight: Pablo Castro


Courtesy of PHS Spotlight

Pablo Castro is a PHS sophomore varsity golfer who qualifies for the state gold tournament and has the 2021 MSL Player of the Year title.

Bryan D Gomez, Reporter

Palatine High School sophomore and varsity golfer Pablo Castro is the first golfer to qualify for the state golf tournament in 17 years. To celebrate his achievement, PHS Cutlass sat down with Castro to discuss his success.

Cutlass: Why did you decide to switch from soccer to golf?

Castro: “I’ve been doing golf since I was six. And that was kind of always my main sport but then last year with COVID, soccer got moved to spring. And I’ve always done soccer for most of my life too. So I had the chance to do it. And I figured, you know, it’s probably my only year that I could do it. So I decided to do it. It was fun. I would recommend it for anyone that wants to join. But I think I always knew that golf was my main sport and Golf was always going to be the sport that I chose.”

Cutlass: Did you ever think that you could have such a good performance this season just like you just did?

Castro: “I think I knew it. At some point it could. I thought it’d be more like my junior or senior year. I didn’t think it would be my sophomore year, but you know, I’m not complaining. So you know, hopefully this next year, it will be even better. And that’s the goal.”

Cutlass: What’s the strongest part of your game?

Castro: “I think my short game so my wedges and my putting is always really good. I feel confident over a lot of chips and stuff and I just think I limit my mistakes to a good degree. You know, I’m not the farthest hitter and honestly, I’m probably not the straightest either, but I make sure that my course management is good. So I’m missing the right spots where I’m able to save a good score or hit nice shots and the good places where I can make an even better score and I yeah, I just think my short game and management of the course are really good things that I’ve practiced on a lot.”

Cutlass: What’s the mental process you do before you hit every shot?

Castro: “ I always like to find the target behind the hole where I want to aim because it would be a perfect world for me if my ball were to go straight every time but it doesn’t. So I have a little shot that starts right and goes left. So I find maybe like a tree behind the flag. That’s right of it. I like to start it on that line. I’ll set my feet up towards it. And then I’ll make sure that you know, I feel confident over the swing. And once I’m ready, you know I just put a good swing on it and hopefully watch it be good.”

Cutlass: What’s something that you have to work on in order to improve your game?

Castro: “I think I have to be more confident in the tournaments. I’m confident in my game when I practice and I know I’m good. But when I’m in tournaments, I feel like I compare myself to other people and I need to stop doing that and realize that you know, I deserve to be where I am and I just need to say hey, I know I’m confident, I know I’m one of the better players here and I need to make sure that that show so I’m able to put up even better scores.”

Cutlass: What’s the best memory that you have from playing golf this year?

Castro: “Probably the state tournament, that was a lot of fun. I feel like it was a really nice experience and really tough competition. And I felt I was able to play well and put my name out there for coaches and stuff. So I was proud of that. But I think there were a lot of moments and practices that were fun when we would play little games and come down to the last toll. You know, obviously that doesn’t mean as much but I think the competitive spirit was also there. And to do it with my teammates. That’s a lot of fun. So yeah, I would say the state tournament or practice was really fun.”

Cutlass: How would you describe your season’s performance?

Castro: “I would say making progress, because I did put in a lot of work over the winter and different parts of my game and I think that showed and it was a big reason why I took a huge step from last year to this year. And I plan on doing that again this winter and hopefully getting to the next level where I can start competing as one of the best players and start showing my skill.”

Cutlass: What are your goals and expectations for next year?

Castro: “I think next year I want to basically repeat what I did this year. I think this year was very successful, maybe plays higher in some of the 18 hole tournaments because I think I could have done better and some, but obviously you’re not going to play perfect in every single game or tournament that you have. But you know, this year I placed 40th in state. So next year, my goal is going to be all state which I believe is top 15 or 20. So that’s my goal for next year. And then the year after that in senior year, my goal is to win it, win for Palatine.”