Old home ‘great’ for new clubhouse

The clubhouse of the Wailea Old Blue Course is moving back to its original home built four decades ago, and the ownership of the first golf course in the resort returns fully to Wailea Golf Club and its owner, GolfBC Group of Canada.

Renovations began last month on the site of the “new-old” clubhouse for the course near the intersection of Wailea Ike and Wailea Alanui drives. Currently, there are three businesses on the site at 100 Wailea Ike Drive – Manoli’s Pizza Co.; Urgent Care of Maui, a medical office; and Snorkel Bob’s Wailea, according to Barry Helle, general manager of the Wailea Old Blue.

Plans call for renovating and expanding the buildings on the 6.7-acre site to about 15,000 square feet of space and adding four more businesses and the golf shop, Helle said. Renovation work is targeted for completion in October.

The move to the Wailea Ike Drive site from its current home on Kaukahi Street near Polo Beach is “the right place” for the clubhouse, Helle said. The location is near the Wailea Ike and Wailea Alanui drives, a hub for the Wailea area. It will be more convenient and make business sense; and it “maintains the integrity” of the Wailea Old Blue Course, bringing the clubhouse home to its original site, he said.

The location means that golfers will return to the clubhouse after each nine holes, Helle said. He added that the only golf course changes required will be adjustments to a few tee boxes.

“It’s a great location,” he said.

The clubhouse will be leased from developer Ron Allred, who until the end of 2013 was a half-partner in the Wailea Old Blue, said Anne Takabuki, Wailea Golf Club president and general manager.

GolfBC, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, acquired the Old Blue, Orange and Emerald golf courses at Wailea in 2003. In 2006, GolfBC took on a partner for the Old Blue Course, Allred, with plans to redo the course around some real estate projects, Takabuki said.

When the Great Recession hit in the latter part of the decade, the redevelopment and course changes did not occur. At the end of 2013, the owners decided it was not realistic to redo the Old Blue Course and basically decided to “split our assets,” said Takabuki.

The Old Blue Course was “remerged” with the other two Wailea courses as Wailea Golf Club took back full ownership, and Allred took the commercial property, which includes the site of the new clubhouse, she said.

Takabuki added that Wailea Golf Club’s retaking full ownership of the Old Blue Course and the clubhouse move were not coordinated. They just happened to occur at the same time, she said.

The Wailea Old Blue opened in October 1971 as a nine-hole course. The full 18-hole golf course was completed in February 1972.

* Lee Imada can be reached at leeimada@mauinews.com.