Carlos Espinosa ‘drives’ his way to the RGV Sports Hall of Fame

McAllen, Texas (central valley) – Carlos Espinosa’s golf tour came to a successful conclusion with his induction into the RGV Sports Hall of Fame.

Espinosa is a member of the Class of 2023. He started his career in McAllen watching his older brother play golf.

Like most younger brothers, Carlos wanted to do what he was doing. Little did Espinosa know he would fall in love with the game.

In high school, Espinosa took her talent to the next level. McAllen head golf coach John Raiders saw potential in him. He planted a seed of confidence in Carlos, which became a dream.

Courtesy: Carlos Espinosa

“I owe everything to that man,” said Carlos Espinosa, a 2023 inductee into the RGV Sports Hall of Fame. “He made me believe that I was one of the best players in the state and just told me very, very casually that I believed him. John Raiders was the guy who I think inspired everything in me.”

Carlos dominated the Rio Grande Valley during his four years as a Bulldog. He then turned his attention to the collegiate level.

Espinosa attended the University of Houston. At the time of his commitment, the Cougars were the best golf program in the country.

“I don’t think I know what I’m getting into,” Espinosa said. “I know my family doesn’t know what I’m doing signing with the No. 1 golf team in the country.”

After Carlos came to Houston, it was not easy. He struggled for most of his freshman season.

Most people think of golf as an individual sport, but Espinosa is not. Carlos credits much of his college success to seniors who showed him the ropes.

“Thank God for Steve Elkington,” Espinoza said. “He was my teammate at the time, and he took me under his wing. Within a few months, I went from being a struggling guy on the team to the third-best player on the team.”

Courtesy: Carlos Espinosa

Over the next four years, Espinosa continued to improve his golf game. In 1985, Carlos was part of the Houston National Championship team.

“Being part of the fight for a spot on the team with 15 other golfers who have the same dream as you, I think that’s what makes Houston special,” Espinoza said. “Again , the culture and history behind the project was really, really helpful.”

Carlos turned pro during his time as a Cougar. He has toured the world, winning competitions in several countries. Espinosa has also played alongside the likes of Tiger Woods, Lee Trevino and Greg Norman.

“It was an amazing experience,” Espinosa said. “People ask me, ‘Is that a hard life?’ I say no. It’s really easy when you’re good.'”

The time away from home caught up with Espinosa. In order to start a family with his wife, Carlos returned to McAllen, where his golf tour began.

He served as Director of Golf at Champion Lakes Golf Course and has never left since. On the course, Espinosa saw the young golf talent the valley had to offer.

His knowledge and passion for the game is one thing he loves to share with future golf stars.

“It’s just been a joy for me to be able to share experiences that I think have been helpful, and the knowledge I’ve gained over the years,” Espinosa said.

Espinosa and the rest of the RGV Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023 will be inaugurated at the Mission Events Center on June 17 from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

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