Darren Chiu’s unique road to success

Chiu’s path to D1 college athletics


Chiu playing the game he loves at the Oak Park Invitational (photo courtesy of Ian Chiu)

Senior Darren Chiu has had a golf club in his hand since he was just 6 years old. Chiu was first introduced to the sport by his dad, who once played golf in college. At just 8 years old, however, Chiu ended up temporarily quitting golf, but later picked it up four years later. 

“I found it boring and it just wasn’t the sport I was interested in. I picked it back up when I was 12 and have been playing competitively ever since,” Chiu wrote to the Talon. 

Though Chiu — a recent commit to the UC Davis golf team — has been playing since he was 12, his path to college level golf has not always been smooth. Chiu has dealt with extreme adversity, but what ultimately set him apart from the rest is how he managed to keep pushing forward towards his goals. 

“Everyone has their bad days, but I think the hardest adversity to overcome is the motivation. Some days you just have nobody to play or practice with and don’t feel like working,” Chiu wrote. 

Chiu’s recruiting period was affected by COVID-19. Scholarships and other financial aid became less available, with many golf programs across the country losing valuable money for their program.

In the end, it worked out for Chiu, who formalized his commitment on April 26 in the Oak Park gymnasium on signing day. 

“UC Davis stuck out to me because of the team and community. When I visited in February of 2020 I could tell that the guys on the team were really close to one another. They all loved golf and were constantly pushing one another to get better,” Chiu wrote. “Coach Williams and Coach Raber are also experienced coaches, making the decision easy for me. They know what they’re doing and play a great schedule throughout the year.”

Chiu has been surrounded by the same core team and community throughout his highschool career. He played on the OPHS team for all four years.

“He always seemed to strike it like a pro, made it look easy,” senior and golf team member Nicolai Cascione wrote to the Talon.

Chiu remains optimistic as ever, looking forward to what is to come.

“All I have to do is have fun and play my game,” Chiu wrote.