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“Great course, but not a Four Seasons experience” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Koele Golf Course

Koele Golf Course
1 Keomoku Hwy, Four Seasons, Lodge at Koele, Lanai, HI 96763
808 565 4000
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Ranked #9 of 17 Outdoor Activities in Lanai
Activities: Golfing
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Attraction details
Owner description: This championship course offers stunning views of mountains and lush greens, with the ocean in the distance. A dramatic contrast to The Challenge at Manele, The Experience at Koele boasts a cooler climate, wooded slopes, manicured bunkers and terraced water hazards.
East Brunswick, New Jersey
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Great course, but not a Four Seasons experience”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

First, the course design and mountain location make this quite an experience. The picture shown is their 17th signature hole. The vertical drop is much more than the picture shows.

The staff at the clubhouse and starter position were very friendly. The course itself was well maintained although the fairways were just OK.

Less people seem to play here than at the Ocean course. We played 3 rounds. Only during one round did we see the food cart driving around. It is a very cart, just like the one at Manele Bay. No alcohol other than beer.

For two of the 3 rounds, the club washers mounted on the carts had no water in them. Twice we found toilets at the comfort stations with no toilet paper. And once, the cart I was driving had pretty worn out brakes - scary on a mountain course.

Overall, playing there is only part of a whole wonderful Lanai vacation. Therefore, as long as you know about those small problems ahead of time, you can plan for them: bring your own drinks, food, toilet paper, fill up your with water, test the brakes, and then enjoy the gorgeous course!

Visited August 2013
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30 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Not your standard course in Hawaii”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

This course is more of a Colorado mountain course. Exact opposite of Manele.
Stunning course none the less. Don't pass on an opportunity to play here!
Loved holes #9 and #17!

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
40 attraction reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Most unusual Hawaii Golf!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

You might wonder why someone thought of putting a golf course high in the mountains with hardly any ocean views--until you play here! It couldn't be any more different from the seaside Challenge at Manele Bay course a few miles away, but good golfers will love both! Huge elevation changes put you in a different climate zone, with forest, deer, wild turkeys, and more....including one elevated tee with a purely amazing view (17th hole). Coffee and free pastries for early tee times. If you are staying at either 4 Seasons hotels, paying for play provides unlimited golf in the same day. This course has never been crowded when we have been there. It really is an "Experience!" The golf shop is a 2-minute walk from The Lodge at Koele (check for hotel specials!) or a shuttle will take you there.

Visited April 2013
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Brampton, Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Challenge the Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

The Experience at Koele is a Greg Norman Design and the polar opposite of its sister course, The Challenge at Manele. This is a mountain style golf course that has been transposed into the tropics. Because of the high elevation it is 10 degrees cooler in the mountains with dew in the morning. In fact it is cool enough that I needed a jacket for the first couple of hole minutes. Because of this they have bent grass greens which are unheard of in the tropics. The sea-shore paspalum tee blocks were in great shape however some of their Bermuda fairways were rough around the edges.

Visited January 2013
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Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Well worth it.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

Played The Experience at Koele on 1st March 2013.
Flew from Oahu that morning to play there and The Challenge at Manele.I was treated like I owned the place. The staff were fantastic in accommodating me from the minute I arrived. Complimentary coffee & pastries. Excellent practice facilities. The course, what a layout!
I understand in recent years, not as much effort in maintaining the course has allowed it to suffer a little. However, i think with the new owner of the island now putting the effort into getting the course as good as it can be, it won't be long before it is again in pristine condition. They are in the process of rehabilitating the cascading waterfalls and small water hazards around the course. Yes, it could be greener but it is a course carved out of valleys and mountains on a windswept island. This style of golf is not for everyone, but is none-the-less a great test of your skills.With 25-30mph winds, playing off a handicap of 4 from the Tournament tees I shot 70 off the stick. So a score can be made if you think your way around the course.
The front-nine cascades through the valley with the Par 3 7th a great hole at 209 yards with a lake bordering the back & right of the green. The Par 4 8th requires a precise tee shot to a comfortable lay-up position, for a short, precise approach to an island green. A hole that can be easily birdied/bogied. The par 5 9th is reachable with a good drive, but requires full commitment on the approach to carry the hazard that edges the left of the fairway & green. A climb up the hill to the back nine exposes you to the tradewinds for a test of ball control and accuracy with a couple of great holes to negotiate. The pick in my opinion, the Par 5 12th with a long carry over a ravine. Needing to play down the left side is difficult with the wind pushing hard from the right. If you can stay left the green is reachable with the wind then behind you on the approach. The par 3 13th is straight into the wind and can play 2-3 clubs longer than the yardage suggests. The 17th is the signature hole and for good reason. A huge drop to the fairway makes the landing area seem quite narrow. But it's an illusion, a typical Greg Norman design trait. Tee it up, smash it at the left hand side jungle, and as the ball climbs out of the chute of trees the wind will start to push it right. It will settle in the middle of the fairway and leave a short iron in. Hitting this fairway will make your day. A downhill Par 3 finishes the round, but be warned, it's all carry to the green with a large dam in front of the green. This is a course with it's own unique style. Beautiful but strategically placed waterfalls and creeks speckle the front, with wind & elevation changes a feature of the back. I loved it.

Visited March 2013
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