Lanai’s 2 Golf Course are Worlds Apart
First, the bad news: When it comes to golf courses on the island of Lanai, there aren’t many choices. The good news is, the choices you do have are among the world’s best. And although the two 18-hole championship courses are just a few miles from one another, they truly are worlds apart.
Challenge at Manele
Lanai’s leeward coast is where you’ll find the appropriately named The Challenge at Manele, a breathtaking course designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus. Carved from dry lava fields and rugged sea cliffs, The Challenge offers ocean views that are simply unsurpassed.
Don’t get too distracted, however, because this course will put your golf skills to the test. This target-style layout will have you making shot after shot over spectacular ravines and plunging gorges, with the ocean’s crashing waves within earshot at all times. Indeed, at The Challenge at Manele, the ocean is your water hazard!
The winds coming from the ocean may also add to the difficulty level presented at Manele, but what is a championship course without a few challenges? Besides, the winds provide welcome relief during the warm summer days.
Experience at Koele
The Experience at Koele, meanwhile, is just that: an experience. Designed by Ted Robinson and golf great Greg Norman, The Experience at Koele has been called one of the top ten resort courses in the world by Golf Magazine.
Situated 1,600 feet above sea level, The Experience is carved out of a mountainous tropical rain forest adjacent to the Lodge at Koele. The course winds through lush green canyons, and the temperature is much cooler here than it is on the coast. Bring an umbrella to protect you from the periodic misty rains that keep the course so green.
Lanai also has a municipal course that collect greens fees on the honor system. This nine-hole, par-36 course was designed by E.B. Cavendish back in 1947 for employees of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company. Located down the road from Lanai City, the Cavendish is open to locals and visitors.