Dylan Reales, “the madman of the stick” in Villa 31: from hitting lemons to jumping barriers and being a crack rookie in golf

Macarena broke a broomstick. And that’s where everything started.

Actually, before that there was another scene that Dylan royals marks as the first in this story. I was doing zapping and stopped at Golf Channel. I was 8 years old. And he was trapped.

Two years later, Julio, Macarena and the whole family turn to the television. In the socket of the screen the hashtag #Mesaza change for #DylanConMirtha when the camera focuses on the baby who is sitting at one end of the table.

-Did you ever make a hole in one? Asks Mirtha.

-Nooo, not yet.

Dylan Reales turned 17 on Thursday, October 15. He lives in block 4 of Barrio Güemes, in Villa 31. The neighbors who nicknamed him “El loco del palo” when they saw him with that piece of broken wood now congratulate him and ask for photos.

Dylan Reales, on the streets of his neighborhood, a day like everyone else. Photo Emmanuel Fernández

“At first it was just thinking about having fun, I didn’t imagine much more. He would go out on the street and start hitting lemons, badges, whatever he found with his stick. And he did the movements as he saw on TV, without swing obviously, but I was trying to imitate them. Then when I got to know the golf course everything was different ”, he says.

And the field met him by chance.

Some neighbors were leaving the neighborhood to go to live in Tigre, and since Julio had a truck with which he did freight, they called him to move. Dylan accompanied his grandfather, not knowing that on their return they would make a stopover that would change his life.

“We stopped to rest and eat something in Palermo, there near the Bosques. And we saw how far away they were playing golf: it was the Municipal Field -review-. I remember that I got as close as I could and stood against the fence to see how they played ”.

The chance was crowned when they saw a poster that was hung: “Free classes for boys between 8 and 13 years old.”

-What do you remember from that moment?

-I went in to sign up. Imagine: it was a dream. Everything was fine until I told the secretary that I lived in Villa 31 and there, out of nowhere, He told me that there were no more places available. It was a strong blow, I left crying.

-You ran into discrimination.

-It was ugly. But I’m honest: as a child I didn’t even realize if they discriminated against me. It never affected me, I didn’t pay attention to those things. I used to play. Perhaps when I was older I began to reason and I realized some things, of some boy who told another not to join me. But in general there are no problems between boys; the problem is with adults.

Dylan Reales had to isolate himself for 5 months away from his family, due to infections in Villa 31. Photo: Emmanuel Fernández

Dylan Reales had to isolate himself for 5 months away from his family, due to infections in Villa 31. Photo: Emmanuel Fernández

Dylan and his grandfather kept going outside to watch the golf practice until one day Daniel Ocampos, a teacher at the Municipal Field, approached the boy who was against the fence. “He asked me if I wanted to come in and he told me he was going to give me free classes. And that’s how I started ”, he says.

Two months later, with borrowed clubs and the worn out sneakers he had, competed against 200 guys and won his first tournament. His life entered a mountain impossible to imagine.

“Everything was like a dream. I only knew Jujuy and Salta because my stepfather and my grandfather are from there, but nothing else. Start traveling, go to other provinces, check into hotels … I felt like a professional. In Mendoza, I was in a hotel that had a huge window overlooking the hill. Something spectacular. And the first plane trip to compete … It was in 2016, to Brazil, I was super nervous. To make matters worse, all the paperwork had to be done with the authorization so that my grandfather could take me out of the country. I remember that my godfather took us to Ezeiza and to annoy me he told me to be careful to see if they would not let me go through Customs. I did not give more than the nerves”, retrata Dylan.

He sat in the living room of the house Roberto De Vicenzo, he Cabrera Duck praised their shots and they played together in a tournament. He paraded through the television studios of Telefé, The thirteen and Public TV. International media showed him going down the spiral staircase in block 4 of Barrio Güemes with the bag of clubs. The professor who gave him the first trophy was right when he told him that this was only the beginning and to start putting together a showcase.

Golf Channel: El Loco Del PaloThe Story of Dylan Reales, a young golfer from the Villa 31 BA

Behind those flashes that go as fast as they come, Dylan would take the 91 bus to and from the club and when he returned he would go to school. He had to stop training for six months when his younger brother, Lorenzo, who is now 3 years old, spent most of his first year of life interned at the Garrahan Hospital for meningitis. Since her stepfather had to go out to work and her mother was with Lorenzo, it was Dylan who cared and cooked for them Gael, who now has 5, Matías (11), Agustina (12) and Daniela (13).

“That moment was very difficult,” he admits, “because my mother had to be with my little brother day and night. And I hardly ever went to the club. When my mother asks me, I have to stay to take care of my brothers. That affects the training a bit ”.

-It is clear that effort and talent are often not enough if opportunities and conditions are not equal for everyone.

-The truth is. It is a lot of effort and you also have to be well psychologically. When things don’t start to turn out and you don’t have the same opportunities, I think it affects you a lot. You have to be very strong in every way, be in good company and feel good about yourself so as not to lower your arms.

Grandfather Julio and Dylan, in Villa 31. Photo: Emmanuel Fernández

Grandfather Julio and Dylan, in Villa 31. Photo: Emmanuel Fernández

– Was there a time when you thought about throwing everything away and stop playing?

-Yes. There were times when I didn’t feel like it anymore. And beyond that many times I did not have the money to travel to play the tournaments or that I did not have the necessary clothes or that the clubs were broken, in addition to all that a few years ago my grandfather stopped accompanying me because he is a big man, he’s not in good health, he has heart problems, he’s diabetic, hypertensive… And then I started to drive myself, to go alone to the club by bus. And when things don’t turn out, you’re also alone. Before I had my grandfather who supported me, who accompanied me and was with me. Now I have to have triple the strength to get ahead.

– Did you receive any kind of support from the State?

-What I received were many promises. But specifically, nothing. Two, three photos, many promises and then no more appeared. I have bad experiences so far. I’m being honest. I know what I’m going to say is wrong, but I wouldn’t even sit and listen to the promises. If there is something concrete and true, only then do they tell me.

-What things did they promise you?

-Everything: scholarships, free teachers, monthly money to continue training. And never anything. They promised me heaven and didn’t give me a lollipop.

In order to continue training, pay your teacher, buy balls, gloves and the rest of the elements you need every day, a solidarity Campaign to raise funds and help keep Dylan’s dream alive.

Through the Instagram account @ dylan.reales.golf , you can also access the campaign and donate.

Since I was little I have to travel long hours and make great efforts to be able to go to train and play … But my passion for Golf was and continues to be much stronger 🏌️‍♂️💪 Fighting for my dream 🏌️‍♂️‍♂️ # golf #aag ​​#asociacionargentinadegolf #golfista #campodegolf # villa31 #effort #dreams

The pandemic, another obstacle

“It is very difficult to control so many people, so much tumult, families that live tightly, houses with stacked pieces. The reality is that there was never quarantine, the businesses never closed, the boys continued playing in the fields and in the squares every day. I believe that out of 100 percent of the villagers, 95% were infected, counting my family, because I can not name you or one who has not been infected“Dylan relates of the first months of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I did five months of quarantine in the house of a relative, in the Province. The truth is that I did not want to go to the neighborhood. I communicated with my family by video call and my mother would send me merchandise, but I did not want to risk so much because when I was little I had asthma and it was a big risk. When they enabled golf practice, I returned to the neighborhood due to a question of proximity to the course. If not, I had about three hours of travel. But I have to continue taking good care of myself, “he summarizes.

The day the Bichi Borghi bought the clubs

Dylan Reales needs financial support to continue playing.  Photo: Emmanuel Fernández

Dylan Reales needs financial support to continue playing. Photo: Emmanuel Fernández

“I didn’t even know who he was, I had no idea,” says Dylan frankly. He was told that that man who was on the field a couple of meters away holding a golf club was the Bichi Villages and ask him for an autograph. And Dylan was.

He Bichi at that time he was the technical director of Argentinos Juniors. And in his moments of relaxation at the Golf de Palermo, he had already heard about the kid who lived in Villa 31 and played better than everyone else.

In a short chat and after the shy autograph, Dylan told the Bichi that was wrong because his bag of clubs had been stolen. “It had been very difficult for my mother to collect the money to buy me some clubs and one day when I returned to the neighborhood they stole them from me. They must have thought they were worth a lot, but they really weren’t much of a thing, ”says Dylan.

Days after that meeting in the green, the manager gave Dylan a professional and complete bag of clubs. That to which an embroidery was immediately added that says: “Thank you, Claudio Borghi”.