Kukuiolono reopens

  • Jason Blasco / The Garden Island

    Kukuiolono Park & Golf Course patron George Blogg takes a practice swing before teeing off Saturday afternoon at the Kalaheo course.

KALAHEO — Kukuiolono Park &Golf Course patron George Blogg found himself in a precarious situation before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

Blogg and his wife decided to extend their stay on Kaua‘i.

Blogg, a retired teacher, arrived on the island on December 31, and typically vacations until April 15 before returning to his northern Illinois home.

After viewing the Illinois COVID-19 infection numbers, he and his wife decided to extend their stay on the island.

“This year, we decided to stay longer because going home was not good,” Blogg said. “We saw two to three thousand cases every day, and we are hoping that it plateaus. Because the tourists aren’t coming, we were able to keep our rental car and condo and decided to stay here.”

Seeking an outlet, Blogg, an avid hockey and baseball player, used another sport as his coping mechanism.

Golfing at Kukuiolono Golf Course nearly every day since the course reopened, Blogg said he uses the sport to clear his mind.

“My wife and I love this island,” Blogg said. “Some people say that we are stuck. If we are going to be stuck somewhere, this isn’t a bad place to be stuck.”

General Manager and Superintendent of the park Robert Medeiros has seen an increase in the number of patrons gravitating towards the game and the park’s other amenities.

The park, which currently boasts of over 400 members who utilize the golf facility, continued to offer walking as an activity even when people couldn’t golf.

With only a few trails off-limits, they continued to keep walking as an option.

Before they reopened the golf facilities, Medeiros estimated they had about 250 walkers a day, which has now dwindled since the course reopened.

The park is continually expanding its recreational opportunities to its patrons.

They are currently working on expanding their existing mini-golf course as part of the club’s experience, and hope to offer special events during Father’s Day weekend.

When their golf course opened in mid-May, Medeiros said the response was instant.

“Everyone wanted to come out here. There were over 400 members, and we pretty much see the same people every day,” Medeiros said. “They walk, and there aren’t as many carts going out, but many walkers.”

Medeiros said he feels walking, golfing and enjoying recreational activities are imperative for the mental health of the island.

“They appreciate coming out and getting exercise, and a lot of them do it for their health,” Medeiros said.

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Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or jblasco@thegardenisland.com.

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