Hokuala opens Ocean Course with 18 holes of golf

NAWILIWILI — Josh Rudinoff was so excited that he clutched the putting pin marker along with his clubs on Wednesday at the Ocean Course at Hokuala starting shed.

“He’s pumped up,” said Doug Avazian. “Even when I called him Tuesday night, he got excited.”

The Ocean Course at Hokuala opened its full 18-hole offering, Tuesday, marking the end of a seven-month renovation and upgrade of the golf course that covers 220 acres.

“The new hole flags with the Ocean Course at Hokuala designation just came in Tuesday night,” said Fran Roach, Hokuala golf club general manager. “But, we’re open for 18 holes.”

Work on the starter shed area continued as golfers took advantage of the full course offering, getting in putting practice while waiting their time from Ricky Brun.

“The permanent starter shed, and the snack shop should be fully functional by next week,” Roach said. “The practice green has been temporarily moved while work on the permanent facility continues. This new practice range, with a section for reserved for Hokuala owners, and a public section, should be ready by Christmas.”

Brun said the snack shop which should be ready next week is a good Halfway Place.

“We will have a television set installed,” Brun said. “And yes, there will be snacks and restroom facilities. It’s a perfect Halfway Place.”

Major features of the renovation included cutting back of a lot of the overgrowth, Roach said. The weather cooperated in getting the grass to grow in at the exposed areas, and the establishment of TifEagle grass on the green tops.

A more obvious sign of the renovation work was the re-painting of the bridge connecting the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club to the Hokuala complex.

Other improvements included the replacement of the bunkers on the front nine to feature new silica sand.

“We also re-did some of the bunker layouts, removing some of them to give golfers a friendlier experience,” Roach said. “After doing the front nine with new sand, the Hokuala CEO approved changing out the sand on the back nine. This just started at hole 10 and will make a big difference in the overall appearance.”

Another aspect to the renovation work is the cutting back of overgrowth on the two old golf courses to include a running and walking path. Major work on the renovation was handled by the 28-man grounds crew headed by David Nagao.

“This is a peaceful area, taking walkers and joggers past the lagoons and wide open areas,” Roach said. “You never realize just how much area this is.”

Andy DeGeus was anxiously awaiting this turn to tee off.

“I can’t wait to play this new course,” DeGeus said. “I’ve been playing the back nine for the last six months, so I’m excited. This is a beautiful day to play on a new and exciting course.”

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