BREWSTER — Nauset sophomore Jack Martin was the first person in Martha White Memorial Tournament history to sink a hole-in-one. It happened on Saturday, May 6, when he aced the par-3 second hole at the Captains Golf Course’s Starboard course.
The perfect shot entitled Martin to a $10,000 cash prize — but he won’t see a dollar of the money.
An NCAA rule states that, if Martin were to accept the money, he would lose his amateur status, which would make him ineligible for any level of college golf. He and his mother, Debora, were on the phone all day Monday trying to find a solution. There isn’t one.
“It’s not worth risking,” said Martin somberly. He is chasing a prize worth far more than $10,000: a collegiate golf scholarship could be worth more than $18,000 per season. Martin is coming off a year when he finished tied for 11th at the MIAA Division 2 State Championship as an individual.
“I want to play in college,” he said. “Every time I go out on the golf course, it’s working towards getting better and trying to make it to the highest level I can reach.”
Martin, 16, hit a “chippy and relaxed” 8 iron toward the back pin location, which played at 172 yards from the blue tees and was placed as far back as it could be without being illegal. His ball flew over the flag, checked, and then spun back to the hole before dropping. He didn’t immediately know that it went in.
“No [expletive] way,” he said to teammate Ben Mayhew. The two, along with teammates Jacob Everson and Owen White, dropped their clubs and sprinted for the green. The four golfers, who had all dressed in red à la Tiger Woods, screamed the entire way.
“You never know when or under what circumstances a hole-in-one is going to happen,” said Martin. “I woke up on six hours of sleep thinking it’s going to be a long day.” He also racked up victories on Saturday in the closest-to-the-pin and longest drive challenges.
The Nauset foursome went on to place first overall, shooting a combined 11-under 61 to win the charity tournament on a tiebreaker. The Martha White Memorial, which was celebrating its 25th edition, raises money for scholarships for Nauset, Monomoy, and Cape Tech students and is named in honor of Martha White, whose grandson, coincidentally, was playing on Martin’s team.
“It’s a tournament the Cape really needs because it’s super expensive for families to live here,” said Martin. “For the event to help kids go to college, I think it’s special and I applaud the White family for doing it.”
Martin has a way of making the best of any situation. Right before sinking his second-ever ace, he realized that he didn’t have a tee in his pocket. Instead of returning to his bag, he dropped a ball on the early-season sandy tee box, went through his normal routine, and hit one of the best shots of his life.
He admits it hurts — he won’t be able to buy his dad’s car — but for Martin there’s no price tag on the memory. “I just had a lot of fun that day,” he said. “It’ll be a memory I’ll always have and to be able to look back on that will be the best part.”