Experience at Koele to reopen in December

The Experience at Koele golf course on Lanai is currently closed but will reopen in December following a nearly yearlong redesign by professional great Jack Nicklaus.

Course enhancements include new sand in the bunkers, new irrigation and some improved routing for the course, according to a news release from Four Seasons Resorts Lana’i.

On Jan. 27, Four Seasons became managers of the Koele course on the upper elevations of the island as well as The Challenge at Manele course, also designed by Nicklaus, near the ocean.

Pulama Lana’i was the management company prior to Four Seasons, said Lori Holland, director of public relations for Four Seasons Resorts Lana’i. Pulama Lana’i is the entity overseeing development and operations for billionaire Larry Ellison, who owns 98 percent of the island after a 2012 purchase.

In addition, Scott Ashworth was recently appointed new director of golf by the resort. He was PGA director of golf and grounds at the Kauai Lagoons.

Holland said she could not disclose the cost of the renovations but said “significant investments have been made” at the course as well as at the newly renovated VIEWS clubhouse restaurant for the Manele Bay course.

VIEWS now features a contemporary design inspired by the works of early Hawaiian artisans. The new cliff-side restaurant has views of Pu’u Pehe, or “Sweetheart Rock,” and Manele Bay beach. It is open for lunch and happy hour.

At the Koele course, improvements include a new type of turf. The grass used could be paspalum, a type of grass that aids in water conservation by using effluent or reclaimed water, a news release said.