Reggie Pinuelas-People You Should Know-“Chasing The Green-Living Life Up To Par Is An Everyday Struggle.”

People You Should Know, Sports — By on January 3, 2013 at 4:36 am

Cover Photo- Reggie Pinuelas. Photo by Judith Orr Photography. Inside Photo- Reggie "PinHi" Pinuelas at the range. Photo by Sandra Simon.

By Buddy Sampson

Professional sports, including golf, have an allure that attracts athletes to participate in them. Much has been made of the travails of athletes in other sports, such as football and basketball, but not until the well-publicized mishaps of Tiger Woods, has golf been the center of controversy. Golfer Reggie “PinHi” Pinuelas, who had PGA aspirations until an incident derailed his dream, is telling his story; so hopefully, many young golfers will avoid the mistakes he made. “Chasing The Green,” a potential TV show, produced by Michael Goldstein, Lee Goldstein and Zack Baz, is inspired by Pinuelas’ life (currently in pilot status) and hopes to address personal issues that golfers experience that are not widely reported by the media.

“Chasing The Green’s (slogan) is ‘Living life up to par is an everyday struggle,’” said Reggie, who was born in Colinga, California and raised in El Centro, California. “It’s an everyday struggle. And it really doesn’t matter in our life what career you choose, you’re going to get a lot of stuff on the way up, some good and some bad.” Pinuelas worked very hard to get to the professional ranks. Always an athlete, his concentration was on baseball and wrestling as a youth. He left El Centro and joined the Air Force when he was 17 and took up golf at the age of 30 after playing baseball for several years. His first wife made a bold statement. ”You’re getting too banged up, she said,” he laughed. “You need to take up another sport.” From that point on, he dove into golf, competing in several qualifiers, including the US Open. Highly touted, his future seemed bright until one day, his dreams were derailed. “When I got comfortable, I made a bad mistake,” he reflected. “I got drunk and fell asleep at the wheel and broke my neck and ended (his dreams) it all in 2001. Without an operation, the doctors told me I’d never be able to do this at a professional level again.”

But what is the purpose of the “Chasing The Green” project?  “I’m trying to put my mistakes out there and hopefully I can save or influence one kid and let some parents know that this stuff goes on in golf, too, not just in basketball and football, but in music, and in many phases or professions, even if you’re a doctor or a lawyer,” said Pinuelas, who also plays a golf pro in the soon to be successful TV series. The pressures and pitfalls of high profile sports can be quite formidable. “We can turn to booze, to drugs or to prostitutes,” he said of the temptations that follow sports, including golf.

Undaunted, even with his dreams of a pro career seemingly placed on permanent hold, he is determined to make a difference. Pinuelas is still working on his golf game, seeking another chance at glory. “Lord willing, here I am,” he said. “I’m busting the ball over 300, and, at 50 years old, I want another shot.” And, with Pinuelas’ determination, wit and perseverance, who, in their right mind, would bet against him?

“I’m a walking miracle,” he said. “I really believe that God gave me a second chance on my life with something that I really love to do and it’s up to me to keep my life in check.” The Scoop LA went to screen the pilot at a recent event, and it was gripping and turbulent. ”It is desirable to watch, because golf is now,” said Zack Baz, who acts in the pilot and serves as one of the producers of the show. ”This is an edgy show, with a great storyline. It’s time we had a show about golf. This is ‘Breaking Bad’ meets golf.”

TV producers, take note- “Chasing The Green” will make any network that picks it up lots of money. Let the bidding wars begin. “Living life up to par is an everyday struggle,” said Pinuelas. “But if you keep yourself spiritually strong, mentally strong and physically strong, you’ll have a much better ride to the top.”

With Reggie Pinuelas’ very positive attitude and determination to succeed, look for big things from him. That’s why Reggie Pinuelas is one of the People You Should Know.

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