Newest Bronco golfer has similarities for famous NMMI grad

Robert Choi – third from left – with his parent, golf coach, head NMMI coach, and the members of of the NMMI Sports Medicine staff.

NMMI Sports Press

Robert Choi in his ACU uniform.

The newest Bronco golfer has something in common with a very famous NMMI athlete. See if you can figure out who.

Robert Choi, who hails from Hawaii, wanted to go to West Point from high school. But his math grades were a bit too low, so they suggested he come to NMMI for a semester to fix those grades before he enrolls in the service academy.

He and his parents thought that was a good idea, and now he’s a New Mexico Military Institute cadet.

Have you guessed yet who has a similar trajectory?

Choi — no relation to Peter and Paul Choi, Bronco grads who are headed to Sterling, Kansas, to continue their college careers — follows in the footsteps of Navy and NFL star Roger Staubach, who came to the Institute to make up a deficiency in English before going to Annapolis.

Whether Choi will reach those heights is still an unknown, but for someone who only truly started in the sport four years ago, coach Andy Robertson is pleased.

“We’re very excited to have him,” the coach said. “To be at this level is just unreal.”

Choi improved his golf game while enrolled in the KMR School of Golf, a prestigious academy at the Ko’ Olau Golf Course in Honolulu. Under the practiced eye of coach Kevin Rolbovsky, Choi practiced for four hours daily — his only day off was Sunday, and he was on the course then — and he improved quickly.

“Like all our students, we gave him a trial period and he did very well and it seemed like he was a good fit,” Rolbovsky said. “He’s very athletic. Played a lot of other sports, so we were able to translate that athletic ability into his golf swing very quickly. Then it’s just a matter of every day, trying to make it a little better, a little cleaner with his technique.”

The coach — who accompanied Choi and his parents to NMMI for the signing — has no doubt he’ll make a mark with the BRoncos.

“He’s developed into a really nice hitter of the golf ball. Very long. Very straight. His tee to green game is outstanding. Still has room for improvement on the scoring side of things, but it’s just a matter of time.”

Choi is confident with his game on the fairways.

“I think I hit the driver pretty far for my size,” he said. “I’m pretty strong and accurate with my irons, and I believe that’s an important part of your golf game and will bring your score down.”

In April, the future Bronco tied for 22nd in the Mid-Pacific Open, a solid PGA four-day tournament in Lanikai on Oahu.

Everyone at the signing seemed excited to be in New Mexico — “I like this school very much. I appreciate coach Robertson allowing my son to play here,” said father Patrick Choi — and the younger Choi had a lot of people to thank for the opportunity.

“I’d like to thank my family, of course, for making me who I am today, and I’d like to thank my coach for helping me with my game and all the things he’s done for me.”

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