Golfer makes hole in one only two years into playing

Sep 21, 2021

Some golfers spend a lifetime on the links without making a hole in one.

Then there’s Andre Capataz.

He only started golfing two years ago at the age of 13, but on Sunday, Sept. 12, while playing with a friend at the Allendale Country Club, the 15-year-old Dartmouth High sophomore reached that golfing milestone.

He and his friend stood at the 14th hole. His friend took his swing and watched as his shot landed an impressive five feet from the pin.

Capataz then made his swing, not especially impressed with the effort.

“I didn’t hit mine that great,’’ he recalled. Or so he thought. 

But as he watched, the ball rolled through the rough and hit the pin.

“Then I watched it disappear,’’ Capataz said. “And my heart stopped.’’

“It didn’t seem real,’’ he added. 

Fortunately for Capataz, golfers at the next hole vouched for it.

The sophomore celebrated by keeping the ball as a memento of his achievement and calling his pals to share his accomplishment, which the friend he was golfing with captured on video. “He was just as excited as I was,’’ he said.

Then, he said, “we just kept playing.’’

Capataz began golfing while vacationing with his family in April 2019. “I decided to try it, and I liked it,’’ he said.

“When it comes to my work ethic, if I try something, I need to be good at it,’’ Capataz said. “I tried it, it was pretty fun and I told myself I need to keep getting better and better at it.’’ 

He began taking lessons with Issac Moniz of the Acushnet River Valley Golf Course. Moniz taught him both technical skills — “the golf swing is so complex,’’ Capataz said — and “the mental aspect of the game,’’ which is crucial.

“He pushed me through some barriers,’’ he said.

He also credits Gary Cardoza, a golf pro at the Pine Oaks Golf Course in Easton, and Dartmouth High School golf team coach Mike Frates with advice and support that have helped hone his skills.

Playing on the team has been “lots of fun,’’ he said, now that Covid restrictions have eased. And the team has already outdone itself, already notching three wins and two losses this year, compared to two wins and 10 losses last year.

He said he generally spends two to 2 ½ hours per day practicing with the team and often hits the driving range on the weekend or will “play a round or two with my buddies.’’

He may never make another hole in one, but he will always have the memory of that September afternoon in Dartmouth.

“That stays with you forever,’’ he said. “Nobody can ever take that away from you.’’ 

And he knows a hole in one at such a young age is rare.

“My teacher said he has never gotten one ever,’’ he said. “I got mine in 2 1/2 years.’’