Dakota Ochoa: an emerging golf star for the Wildcats


Chico State Athletics

Dakota Ochoa teeing off during a tournament last season. Photo courtesy of Chico State Athletics

As many athletes are eager to get back to their respected sports, Chico State golf star Dakota Ochoa is no different. 

Ochoa a sophomore at Chico State, only participated in five events last spring before COVID-19 shut down the season. His best round of  the season was a 3-under par 69 February 24 at the Bay Area Invitational.

“I technically still have four years of eligibility left since I only played in five events last year, so that’s good at least,” Ochoa said. 

In his five events last season, Ochoa averaged 75.6 strokes per round, second best on the team. He had four Top-40 finishes.

“It was really fun playing with the team and traveling to different places and playing different courses,” Ochoa said. “I thought it went well for the time we had.” 

Ochoa has been keeping his game up to par during the pandemic as best he can. 

“On days where it’s not raining or too cold, I get out and try to play a round at Butte Creek,” Ochoa said. 

Head golf coach Nick Green expressed his appreciation for the standout second year player. 

“Dakota is a great player and a very highly skilled athlete,” Green said.“He’s excelled at many sports and he relies on his instincts and feel to help him be successful. I think having that background has made him a great teammate. He is very well liked and he has really grown from the start of his Chico State career to where he is now.” 

Ochoa has felt welcomed into the golf program by coach Green since day one. 

Dakota Ochoa approach shot into the green during a tournament last season. Photo courtesy of Chico State Athletics

“Coach Green has been great,” Ochoa said. “He’s very personable and super competitive, which I like a lot.” 

Ochoa’s teammates see how hard he works. He shows up each day with a positive attitude and a desire to improve.  

“He’s always in a good mood with a positive attitude,” teammate Kyle Katz said. “Dakota is full of talent, and when he gets hot on the course he can be very dangerous. There is so much potential in him.” 

Ochoa really started taking his golf game seriously during his middle school. The game became an everyday thing for him.

“I really started taking it seriously in the summer of eighth grade,” Ochoa said. “I was bit with the [golf] bug hard. I was basically playing 36 holes a day every day.”

As for when head coach Green, Ochoa and the Chico State golf team will start their next season, that’s undecided. It has been nearly a year since they last played a competitive collegiate tournament. 

“As far as the season is considered, all we know is what President Hutchinson said during her State of the University Address,” Green said. 

Ochoa and teammates want to compete again.

“Frustrated is the first word that comes to mind,” Ochoa said. “It’s been tough. I just can’t wait to get back out there with my teammates and start playing against other schools in tournaments.”

Jacob Milligan can be reached at [email protected] or @champ_milly8 on Twitter.