Renovations to shutter Makena Golf Course

The Makena Golf Course will be closing Sunday for multimillion-dollar renovations with plans to reopen with an “upgraded 18-hole course” in the first quarter of next year, according to the management company of the Makena Beach & Golf Resort.

“Plans include for design elements to be true to the natural beauty of Makena with its kiawe forest, indigenous trees, ancient rock formations and natural streams,” said Shawn Sweeney, president of The Landmark Hotels Group, which manages the resort.

Robert Trent Jones Jr., who designed two 18-hole courses for the Makena Resort, will not be involved in the redesign, Glynis Esmail, spokeswoman for Landmark Hotels, said Friday. No golf course designer has been hired yet, and no final details on the redesign have been approved, she said.

“The most attractive aspects” of the golf course will be retained, she said, adding that the changes will make the 18 holes “one of the top golf courses on Maui.”

Esmail noted that Jones designed both the North and South courses. The South Course was considered the higher caliber layout “with the greater attributes” but was shut down in 2008, she said. Measuring 7,017 yards, the South Course opened in 1993, according to http://hawaiigolfcom.

The new 18-hole course will use the footprint of the old courses, she said.

Esmail added that during the redesign none of the golf shop or maintenance staff will be laid off.

Cafe on The Green at the golf course will remain open daily for lunch, afternoon snacks and early dinner throughout the golf course redesign, Sweeney said. The hotel’s shuttle will take guests and patrons from the hotel to the restaurant.

The redesign of the golf course is part of the next phase of the makeover of the Makena Beach & Golf Resort, formerly the Maui Prince, according to the news release from Landmark. All 310 guest rooms and suites in the hotel were remodeled with the work completed in January 2012, hotel officials said.

In other news from the hotel announced earlier this month, Declan McCarthy has been promoted to general manager of the Makena Resort. He replaces Carmine Iommazzo, who was named hotel manager of the Kahala Resort on Oahu.

McCarthy has been part of the management of the Makena hotel for the past 18 years. Under Landmark, he was part of the team that worked on the hotel’s multimillion-dollar rooms makeover project.

Denise Hoopai has been promoted to hotel manager, McCarthy’s old position. Hoopai has been front office manager at Makena for the past five years and was previously with The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui.

* Lee Imada can be reached at