LIHU‘E — Keith and Bonnie Amemiya and Ken Sakihama reversed the role of golfers, Saturday at the Kaua‘i Lagoons Golf Club.
Keith, the former head of the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association, was assisted by his wife Bonnie and Sakihama, a Kapa‘a High School graduate who operates The Plumbing Source in Honolulu, in presenting the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation with a check for $6,500.
Diane Nitta, the KIF Secretary, said the amount represents the difference in revenues lost after the KIF Football season was modified to Saturday afternoon and late-afternoon games due to concerns over endangered seabirds.
“We were pleasantly surprised when Mr. Amemiya called and inquired about the loss of revenue,” Nitta said. “Football accounts for almost all of the revenue used to support the 14 other sporting venues in the KIF.”
These include bus transportation costs, helping to subsidize student athletes to state competitions, and more, she said.
“After his call, we calculated the difference to be about $6,500 and Mr. Amemiya, who started the ‘Save Our High School Sports’ campaign, said he would see what could be done,” Nitta said. “A few days later, he called back with the good news.”
Keith said the effort was possible because of Sakihama and Hugh Yoshida who, although recruited by ‘Iolani School, still had his heart on Kaua‘i.
“These two gentlemen did the work,” Keith said. “They made phone calls and generated interest, which resulted in the amount being raised in about two weeks. My wife allows me to do this, and Ken, like how he carried us in today’s golf, made it happen.”
The presentation was made Saturday following the KIF Benefit Golf Tournament, which helps raise funds for the KIF sporting programs through the school year.
More than a hundred golfers ventured onto the Kaua‘i Lagoons Golf Club, including a tour into the recently-dedicated Kiele Moana 9, the longest stretch of ocean in the state and a new ocean hole and with about four holes remaining, endured a deluge laced with thunder and lightning.
Saturday also marked the opening of the Kiele Waikahe Nine, which are the former eight Mokihana holes, states an email from Kenneth Kimura of the Kaua‘i Lagoons Golf Club.
This coincides with June being designated American Express Women’s Golf Month and Kimura said Kaua‘i Lagoons offers free clinics in putting, short game and full swing.
The putting clinic is June 13, the short game clinic is June 14 and the full swing clinic is June 15. All three run from 4 to 5 p.m.
Additionally, free golf was offered on the Kiele Waikahe Course after 2 p.m., Saturday, but for walkers only due to the KIF benefit tournament taking place on the Kiele Mauka and Moana.
“The Kiele Waikahe Nine is the perfect course for beginners, juniors, walkers and those who want to play a quick nine holes of golf,” Kimura said. “For the golfing family, the Kiele Waikahe is the perfect venue to introduce children or grandchildren to the game of golf while spending a fun afternoon together, outdoors.”
Kama‘aina rates are $20 walking and $35 riding. Kama‘aina Junior 9-Holes are free. Club rental for nine holes is $25 for adults and $10 for juniors.
The Kaua‘i Lagoons Golf Club continues its June schedule with the Easter Seals Golf Tournament this weekend, followed by the Marriott’s Waiohai Children’s Miracle Network Golf Tournament, June 18.
To register for the free clinics, or for more information, visit www.kauailagoonsgolf.com, or call 241-6000.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.