The Experience at Koele Golf Course Review
73.3 rating; 141 slope
Last played: 2004
The Experience at Koele Overview: The “Experience” is a great golf course with a distinctly non-Hawaiian feel. This Norman design is built in the highlands of Lanai and is surrounded by pine trees and snuggles up against hillsides. The greens are uncharacteristically soft and there is a lot of water. The front nine is relatively flat and offers a great challenge. The back is hillier and less enjoyable, as a whole, but still provides an interesting experience as it feels like a course in the Northeast, as opposed to a Hawaiian golf outing. Some of the best holes are below:
The Experience at Koele Hole 3: This par 5 is a good test of the golfer’s skill from tee to green. Lakes come into play on all three shots, with the masterpiece being the green complex. The water starts behind the green with a waterfall that cascades into a pool to the right of the green, which cascades again into the main lake right and in front of the green. This leaves very few friendly pin placements.
The Experience at Koele Hole 4: The 4th is not particularly special or fun, but it is long and difficult, requiring precision to land a shot on the green between the large sand traps.
The Experience at Koele Hole 6: The 6th is a tough driving hole as it is long and has a lake to contend with right and heavy grasses and bushes to the left. If that can be negotiated, the approach is reasonable.
The Experience at Koele Hole 7: This par 3 is a difficult hole. There is a lake that covers the entire right side of the green, leaving no room for error. However, anything hit left will either be in a large sand trap, or on a hill behind that, having to negotiate trees, while the chip will be heading towards the water.
The Experience at Koele Hole 8: This hole with a large island green is drivable, but the drive better be perfect to avoid the water. The safe play is a mid iron to the two-tiered fairway, which will leave just a wedge to the green from a good angle.
The Experience at Koele Hole 13:
This par three has a lake and waterfall to the left, but they are only in play for shots that come up well short of the green, which, itself, is pretty wide open. (left)
The Experience at Koele Hole 16: A good par 4, this dogleg left makes the player put their drive between two enormous trees, with two large bunkers on the right to collect shots not struck just right. The approach is then downhill to a green fronted by a large bunker. (Not pictured)
The Experience at Koele Hole 17: The signature hole is played from a massively elevated tee to a very narrow fairway with a lake to the right and jungle to the left. If the drive can be mastered, the approach is to a wide, two-tiered green with a huge tree to the right that will nab anything pushed even remotely that way. This is a very difficult hole that requires good shots all the way.
The Experience at Koele Hole 18: While it’s not normal design to finish with a par 3, the 18th is such a good par 3 that the rule can be forgotten. Over water the entire way with bunkers right and long and a steep hill left, the last shot of the day had better be precise.