Over 100 play at Hokuala for HLTA fundraiser

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Bert Ponce and Chip Bahouth of the Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort lead a caravan of golfers Saturday during the shotgun start of the 16th annual Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association Kaua‘i Chapter golf tournament at the Ocean Course at Hokuala in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Rows of hotel stays and dining experiences beckon golfers to the silent auction table Saturday during the 16th annual Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association Kaua‘i Chapter golf tournament at the Ocean Course at Hokuala in Lihu‘e.

LIHU‘E — If there were more golf carts at the 16th annual Hawai‘i Lodging &Tourism Association Kaua‘i Chapter golf tournament, there might have been more golfers, said Stacie Chiba-Miguel Saturday at the Hokuala Ocean Course.

“We were full up,” Chiba-Miguel said. “Then we found some carts, and that was all gone, too.”

More than 100 golfers signed up to participate in the tournament that unfolded under health and safety COVID-19 rules that included face-mask wearing, social distancing, and no sit-down luncheon following play.

Bart Thomas, the junior vice commander of the Kaua‘i Veterans Council, was one of the players in the four-person team playing a two-putt minimum modified scramble.

“Mike Curtis really wanted me to pitch, today at Kaua‘i Senior Softball,” Thomas said. “But I was already invested in this golf. Besides, the Kaua‘i Veterans Council is doing a golf tournament during the Memorial Day weekend so I need to get ready.”

Chris Machorek, general manager of the Sheraton Kaua‘i at Coconut Beach in Waipouli, was one of several other resort managers who converged at the tournament, where prizes were awarded for first-, second-, third- and 16th-place finishes, the prizes consisting of hotel stays for all players on the winning team.

Hotel stays lined the silent-auction table that provided something to do for golfers waiting to register. The long-drive competition winner took home a $100 Bull Shed restaurant certificate.

A Get Into the Game contest had eligible golfers being entered into a drawing for a one-night hotel stay if their tee shots on any par three landed on the green. A non-green shot put golfers into a drawing for a $50 dining certificate.

A second-shot contest had golfers eligible for a drawing to earn half of the money collected for this contest, where golfers became eligible only if their second shot on a par three landed on the green.

Proceeds from the golf tournament go toward supporting HLTA Kaua‘i Chapter education programs, scholarship funds and other association-related programs, including support of local nonprofit organizations.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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