12-year-old sinks first hole-in-one at Knabe Golf Center

NORWALK – A 12-year-old boy hit the first “hole-in-one” at the new Don Knabe Golf Center & Youth Academy earlier this month.

Kainoa Kruse landed the first hole-in-one shot at the newly-renovated Don Knabe Golf Center.  Photo | Raul Samaniego

Kainoa Kruse landed the first hole-in-one shot at the newly-renovated Don Knabe Golf Center.  Photo | Raul Samaniego

While most 12-year-olds aren’t spending the summer playing a round of nine, Kainoa Kruse of Orange was golfing with his father at the recently dedicated center when on the 77th yard, second hole -- he nailed his ace.

Kainoa’s father Mike Kruse said he’ll never forget the moment, which happened while celebrating Independence Day.

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“We went out to play with a buddy [Dustin Blood] of mine after I got off of work and my son, Kainoa hit his very first hole- in-one,” Mike Kruse said. “And, the very first hole-in-one at the golf course [Don Knabe Golf Center].”

Golf Digest, on its website, says the chances are “12,500 to 1” for any amateur to hit the treasured ace.

Tiger woods hit his first hole-in-one at age 6.

Even the general manager at the Knabe Golf Center said it took him 20 years before he hit his only hole-in-one. It was also at the Don Knabe Center.

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Coincidently, his came on the 65th yard, eighth hole.

Having been playing on and off since age four, Kainoa said he has met friends while playing golf, including his new friend Dale who he practices with at the Norwalk facility.

Kainoa is no stranger to golf courses because his father Mike Kruse used to work at Pelican Hills and other courses before coming to Norwalk.

Kainoa’s father says that the younger Kruse is home schooled by his wife, Teri, and they both plan on continuing his home schooling until he completes the eighth grade.

Currently, Kainoa is beginning seventh grade.

The Don Knabe Golf Center and Youth Academy is a par-3 golf course that includes two practice putting greens along with a practice wedge green. There is also a double decker driving range. The center is open seven days a week, 6 a.m. -9:30 p.m.

By Raul Samaniego | Contributor

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