19-year-old energetic, witty and amusing KeNako Academy student AJ Dos Ramos is a prankster at heart and enjoys spreading joy to those around him. He embraces happiness as a lifestyle. He is always up for a laugh and knows how to break the tension in awkward situations.

AJ learnt the basics of golf for the first time whilst on a family vacation in Spain. He was about 4 years old at the time. His father bought him his first set of clubs and patiently showed him how to hold the putter and aim for the hole. Like most boys he enjoyed playing sports from a young age and was immediately taken with the game. AJ started playing more competitively at the age of 11 and this was when a deeper passion for the game was born. The first tournament he competed in was at Zwartkop Country Club, in the U12 division. He believes he shot 92.

AJ is working to improve his game and his eye is set on winning a golf tournament this year. Winning the Club Champs at Glenvista Golf Club in Johannesburg was an extremely proud achievement for him. His whole family came to support him and his first golf coach was also there cheering him on as he played the golf course. AJ reminiscing on the achievement; “It was an awesome feeling making myself and my family proud. It was an incredible moment for me.”

When asked about his long term career goals he jokingly states that he wants to be a golf professional and that an added bonus would be having fellow KeNako Academy golf student and best friend, Mario Da Silva who is also an aspiring golf professional, as his caddie. He also enjoys exploring and if life as a professional golfer doesn’t work out he would pursue a career in the travel industry, but he hasn’t given it too much thought at this point in time.

He keeps focus by applying his ‘no distraction policy’, meaning no cellphones and keeping his head in the game whilst competing… and also hopes that Head Golf Coach Roger Wessels isn’t close by to put his play under scrutiny and his nerves under too much pressure. He is looking forward to the day that he can tee off at The Links at Fancourt because it is rated the number 1 golf course in South Africa. Of all the international courses, Pebble Beach Golf Links, with its spectacular views, is at the top of his bucket list. His favourite club in his bag is his driver, because he can hit it 50 meters past Mario (understandably so AJ, golf is a competitive sport at the end of the day J) and it is the most consistent club in his bag. His idol is Jordan Spieth, for winning two Majors in 2015 (The Masters and the US Open). AJ thinks that Jordan represents one of the best golf apparel brands in the industry, Under Armour.

AJ joined KeNako in the beginning of the year. He joined KeNako to perfect his game and that meant working with one of the best coaches in South Africa, Head Golf Coach Roger Wessels. “Rog is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the game and his experience on the professional circuit is invaluable.” He jokingly states that he loves the academy, except for the grueling exercise regime in the gym, with Fitness Expert Jan-Harm Venter – working up a sweat is not his first love. He enjoys the social atmosphere and friends became like family members for him very quickly. He is also enrolled at Rundle College as a School Leaver student and is currently studying to complete his AS Level Business and Travel & Tourism subjects. He enjoys his flexible schedule and the support from the teachers and staff at the school.

Success comes only to those who believe in themselves and are prepared to win. Good Luck with reaching your goals AJ!  Oh…. and keep smiling!