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September 27, 2023

Where Are They Now – Niel Cabico

Niel Cabico’s journey since graduating from LHES in 2006 is nothing short of a hole-in-one. After high school, he attended Maui Community College for one year before returning to Lanai. There, he continued his studies through distance learning while securing a job at the Koele Golf Course. Niel worked at the course for two years, during which he began to play golf and improve his skills.

He later transferred to the University of Hawaii at Hilo, where he tried out for the golf team and made the cut. For three years, Niel played on the team, achieving remarkable accomplishments, including earning a scholarship and finishing as the top player for the Vulcans in various tournaments. As a senior, he was also named Pacific West Conference Men’s Golfer of the Week.

A New Swing in IT and Accounting

In 2011, Niel graduated from UH Hilo with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Seeking new opportunities, Niel relocated to Oahu, where he secured a position as an assistant golf professional. He devoted two years to the golf industry before embarking on a new career path.

Currently, Niel works in IT and accounting at an archaeology company based on Oahu. He has been with the company for a decade and appreciates the flexibility of working remotely, allowing him to spend time with his children. While Niel has traded fairways for firewalls, he continues to enjoy golf as a hobby.

“I still play a lot of golf,” said Niel. “I guess I would be considered a professional golfer. I just play in small events. I think it’s when you win like $700 in a golf tournament that you’re considered a pro and lose your amateur status and you can’t play amateur golf anymore.”

Lessons from the Greens

When offering advice to young golfers, Niel emphasizes that he never chased the “big stage” during his upbringing. He always believed that his skills were never good enough due to the limited competition on Lanai. He encourages young golfers to dream big and embrace the opportunities presented during high school and college.

“I feel like I realized how good I was way too late,” said Neil. “I only just started really thinking I could make it after I graduated from college. I played with a lot of people, like really good players – nowadays I see their names on T.V. and stuff.”

“Where are they now?” features alumni from Lanai High and Elementary School to see what they’ve been up to since graduation.

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