Deacon “Sportlight”: Carolina Chacarra

Chacarra, though a freshman, has made significant contributions to the golf team.


Courtesy of the Golf Channel

Chacarra is looking ahead to the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate event on Feb. 28.

Christina Denovio, Sports Editor

Though it’s only her first year at Wake Forest, Carolina Chacarra is already a shining asset to the Women’s Golf team. Chacarra’s older brother, Eugenio, also attended Wake Forest for his freshman and sophomore years. Carolina credits him for much of her personal success with the sport due to his support and role as a competitor growing up. 

At the UCF Challenge earlier this month, the freshman from Madrid, Spain finished with the best 54- hole score in Wake Forest program history and tied for the second-lowest in NCAA history. At the event, the Demon Deacons finished a whopping 45 strokes under par and won by 14 strokes, with Chacarra at 19 under. Recording 18 birdies over 54 holes, Chacarra’s Wake Forest career has already begun on a high note. With the possibility of becoming professional in the future, Chacarra looks to continue this stellar performance through hard work and dedication. 

Christina DeNovio: When did you start playing golf? 

Carolina Chacarra: I started playing golf when I was eight years old. My big brother plays golf, so I was following him. I started competing in Spanish events when I was 10, and I started playing international events around 13 or 14. 

CD: What was your experience growing up with a brother who played the same sport as you? 

CC: We’re really supportive of each other, but we’re also really competitive. We play against each other over winter break, when we’re back home. We train together, and we push each other hard. However, neither of us wants to lose! We have to see each other that night at dinner, and it’s tough to lose and then to have to be around the person who beat you afterward. That said, it’s really nice having each other because it makes us both work hard. Also, he’s much better than me, so I usually lose every single day, but it’s still really fun. I actually consider myself really lucky to have a big brother I can play golf with. 

CD: Did you play other sports growing up? What made you choose golf? 

CC: I used to do horseback riding, and then there came a time that I couldn’t do both things. I had to decide, and I chose golf. When I was playing golf back at home, I used to travel to every single tournament with my friends and that was really nice. For example, with my Spanish team, it would be between 10 and 15 girls traveling together. Even though golf is an individual sport, I’d still have my friends there and get to travel around the world. It was just such a nice experience. For horseback riding, it was just me and my parents — you can’t really travel with a team. I like having my friends there because a round of golf is almost five hours, so you get to spend a lot of time with people. 

CD: How did you choose Wake Forest? 

CC: The main reason I chose Wake Forest is because of its golf program and the golf facilities. Also, my brother went to Wake Forest, and he loved it. It was an advantage knowing everything about the school already from his experience. I came with him during his official visit, and then when he started. Due to COVID-19, I couldn’t have my own official visit, but I pretty much knew the place, and I wanted a small school. I wanted a close community, especially as an international student. The girls on the team are super nice, and the coaches are kind as well. It was easy for me to choose Wake Forest. 

CD: How was the cultural shift moving from Spain to the United States? 

CC: I went to an American school, so I knew a bunch of kids from the United States. Socially, I didn’t expect much change. The biggest thing I would say is that the food is really different. In America, you have drive-through service and fast food — you eat fast. In Spain, we take two or three hours for a meal. Also, the time at which people eat is very different. Dinner here is at like 6 p.m., and in Spain, we don’t eat dinner until like 9 or 10 p.m. I’m very happy here, but the food is also what I miss the most about home. 

CD: What’s your favorite part of being on the golf team? 

CC: My favorite thing about being on the team is having my teammates there for support. Also, we’re really close to each other, so it’s like a family. Because I’m so far away from home, they’re like my family and my coach is like my second mom. There’s a support system I have. If I go through a rough time, I know they’re always there. We push each other to train, too, so that also really helps me become a better golfer. 

CD: What does a typical day look like? 

CC: We have workouts Tuesday and Thursdays and from 6:45 to 7:45 a.m., then we’ll go to class. I’m done by 1 p.m. every day of the week, so that’s really nice. Then, we train from around 2 to 5 p.m. On weekends, we go to the course and play some holes. 

CD: How did it feel to get your first win at a collegiate event, and to have Wake Forest win overall? 

CC: It was really nice. The tournament was a bit weird because we were supposed to play 18 holes every day for three days. However, due to weather and storms on the last day, we played 32 holes the second day and then we only had four holes left on the third day in the morning. It was kind of weird because we got stopped in the middle of the round, and I’ve never experienced that before. But it’s really nice to win, especially with the team, because the hard work of the offseason is paying off. It was really good to see that because every girl on the team works really hard. And then, individual win — I’m happy that also my work paid off there. But it was kind of crazy — I was playing and I kept thinking “what’s happening?” Everything was going super well, and in golf, normally you have some good holes, some bad holes. But getting the win was a really nice feeling. 

CD: What are you looking forward to this season? 

CC: Our main goal is to win the NCAA Tournament, so we work hard for that. For the other Spring tournaments, our goal is to play as best as we can. Obviously, we all want to win, but we will keep working hard as a team and keep pushing each other. I want to keep learning and growing both as a person and a golfer. 

CD: Do you have aspirations to play professional golf? 

CC: Yes. First, I want to finish university and have my degree. But if I reach a high enough level to play professionally, I would like to try it. 

CD: What is your major? Do you have a dream job for when you’re done playing golf? 

CC: I’m undecided, but I’m in between psychology or English. If I major in one, I’ll probably minor in the other, but it depends on how the training for golf goes. In the future, I would like to do something related to sports. After everything — if I don’t turn professional — I love golf, and I love sports, so I feel like I would do something in the world of sports, but I don’t know right now.