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The Journey with Derek Tudela-Wilcox: From SFPGA Junior Tour to Assistant Golf Professional

September 23rd, 2021

Author: Danielle Muench

From competing on the South Florida PGA Junior Tour in the late 2000s to now thriving as an assistant golf professional at Deering Bay Yacht & Country Club in Miami, Derek Tudela-Wilcox has paved his way in the golf industry. 


Wilcox’s first encounter with golf came when he was eight years old and his dad bought him a set of plastic clubs. From that moment, he couldn’t seem to put them down. 


Wilcox still remembers the 2008 South Florida Junior PGA Championship and the fond memories of playing on the Junior Tour. This was the first time in his golf career that he carded back-to-back rounds under par (67-69). Although Wilcox was a stroke shy of the win, this event carries memories he will never forget. “It was a great feeling shooting well and having my friends cheer me on,” said Wilcox. “These are the moments I’ll always remember.”


The same year, Wilcox was presented the Don Law Service Award which he says was a “great honor.”


Currently, Wilcox is in his fourth year at Deering Bay as an assistant professional.


 “Every day presents new opportunities and challenges, and I have truly enjoyed my time here,” explained Wilcox.


Golf is a game of lessons. “The game has taught me so much,” said Wilcox. “But the most important one for me is patience.”


Wilcox goes on to describe how patience is a virtue and the meaning is not truly understood until you have played golf. Along with patience comes honesty, truthfulness and respect. “No other game in the world requires you to make penalty decisions on yourself,” said Wilcox.  


Wilcox has been fortunate to have a tremendous support system behind him. One individual, in particular, is his father. “He has had my back since day one and has always supported my golf career,” said Wilcox. 


When Wilcox isn’t working or playing a round of golf, you can most likely find him on another course: the disc golf course. Wilcox picked up this hobby about two years ago. What started as a form of exercise has developed into a newfound passion. Wilcox is also a dedicated Arsenal FC fan. His admiration for the team goes all the way back to 2005 and to this day, he still tries to watch every game he can.


Wilcox plans to continue his journey in the golf industry, with the intention of working his way into the business side. But for now, his first goal is to complete his PGA Class A Certification, which he recently started this year. 

The South Florida PGA is proud to share the experiences and stories of our PGA Members and Professionals. Have a story you would like us to feature? Please contact Danielle Muench.