Families try disk golf at Kukuiolono Park

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Isaiah Puni follows his approach shot, Sunday while disc golfers arrive for the disc golf round that was part of ‘Ohana Day at the Kukuiolono Park golf course.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Noah Puni uses the whole-body approach to his short game, Sunday during ‘Ohana Day where a round of disc golf was offered.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Disc golfers Elijah Aasand, Gregory Gonzales and Tony Gonzales wait for the start of the disc golf round, Sunday during ‘Ohana Day at the Kukuiolono Park golf course.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Chad Puni checks out the Hurricane discs and Robert Medeiros cruises by, Sunday while Phil Worwa explains the specialty discs to a golfer during the ‘Ohana Day festivities at the Kukuiolono Park golf course.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    A disc golfer works on her short game while waiting on the start of the disc golf round, Sunday during the ‘Ohana Day festivities at the Kukuiolono Park golf course.

KUKUIOLONO — A round of disc golf was just one part of the ‘Ohana Day special events for Father’s Day at the Kukuiolono Park golf course where a good crowd took advantage of discounted special pricing for play on the Kuks Mini Golf course and disc golf.

“You missed the morning surge,” said Robert Medeiros, the Kukuiolono manager. “We had a lot of parents and their children on the course, and of course, everyone was having fun.”

Phil Worwa of Kaua‘i Disc Golf rolled up after the mini golf excitement, setting up for instruction, course briefing, and even brought merchandise that disc golfers could add to their arsenal of specialty discs. This was a big advancement over last year’s event when Worwa was available to help interested fans throw.

Medeiros said the disc golfers would use specially-laid out four holes closest to the clubhouse in the interest of time, and the groups would go out only after the last of the club golfers left, minimizing disruption from the disc golfers.

“They don’t really have disc golf on the Westside,” Worwa said. “We have disc golf at Lydgate Park and Princeville. We also play at the Weliweli Park in Po‘ipu, but there really is no place on the Westside.”

Medeiros was asked to lay out the four-hole designated course for scenery without sacrificing any of the challenges on the course.

“I didn’t think that many people would come,” Medeiros said. “But when I checked at the pro shop, there were more than two dozen people signed up.”

And more came, according to Worwa who said at least 35 golfers took to the field. These golfers ranged from keiki, families, and veteran golfers packing their individual bags of specialty discs who appreciated that “we don’t need to leave Kalaheo just to play golf.”

The success of Sunday’s response to disc golf led Medeiros to wonder about the future of disc golf at the park that was created to take care of community needs.

“We just put up a sign on Hole No. 6 that talks about the history of the park,” Medeiros said. “During the pandemic when golf courses were closed, we created walking paths so the community could use the park. We didn’t have to close, and many of the people walking were happy to discover places they only heard about.”

Medeiros said he’ll look over the scheduling and wants to start slow.

“We might do a couple more events,” he said. “We can look at what kind of response we get from those events, and maybe go to twice-a-week outings starting in the fall.”

Worwa, who said the ‘Ohana Day course layout was designed to demonstrate the minimal impact disc golf has on ball golf, said hearing plans of Disc Golf at Kuks is like a dream come true.

“This is like my backyard,” Worwa said. “I can see this course from my kitchen window.”

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