by bill stewart | photos by Tyler McElhaney

Golfing Quest

Usually, one of the most difficult decisions college students must make is choosing a career they want to pursue. For Eric Sugimoto, it was easy. He took up golf at the age of eight and spent the next twelve years developing skills he believes will give him a realistic shot at achieving his goal of being a professional golfer.

Eric grew up in Rancho Bernardo and learned golfing basics from his father, Masao Sugimoto, at Bernardo Heights Country Club where his dad has been the men’s club champion ten out of the last eleven years.

“I love spending time on the golf course, whether it’s playing a round of golf or just practicing,” Eric said. “I enjoy every moment I’m out there, doing everything I can to make my dream of playing on the PGA Tour a reality.

“I love spending time on the golf course, whether it’s playing a round of golf or just practicing. I enjoy every moment I’m out there, doing everything I can to make my dream of playing on the PGA Tour a reality.”

“As a kid, I played a lot of junior golf tournaments all around San Diego,” he added, “but it was at Rancho Bernardo High School that I got serious about someday playing professionally.” It was there that Eric was named a three-time All-CIF and All-Palomar League golfer, and he helped his team win the Palomar League Championship during his junior year.

Those accomplishments earned him a scholarship at the University of the Pacific, where in his sophomore year he led the UOP golfers to the Big West Championship team title and won the individual champion’s title for himself.

He transferred to the University of Southern California (USC) this year and is majoring in economics while still pursuing a golfing career. “USC has been a great experience so far,” he said, “offering everything I need to be successful in both golf and academics. The facilities and the golf courses we play are phenomenal and any help I need with school work, the athletic advisors provide.”
After he graduates, he plans to participate in the Web.com golf tour’s qualifying school and begin his climb up the professional golf ladder from there.

When he’s not in class or playing golf, Eric loves to go ocean fishing with his dad very early in the morning on a half-day trip. “It’s a great way for me to relax and escape from any concerns I may have,” he said. He also finds time for the beach, for playing basketball with his friends, and for listening to lots of country music.

Meet Eric

Name: Eric Takuya Sugimoto (20)
School: University of Southern California (USC)
Parents: Masao and Rie Sugimoto
Siblings: Steve (14), Christina (13)
Favorite Places in 92128: Bernardo Heights Country Club and The Kebab Shop