Formerly known as The Challenge at Manele Bay, and now simply as Lana'i Golf, Manele- this clifftop course was designed by Jack Nicklaus, and opened in 1993.
It is generally regarded as one of Jack's best!
It has ocean views from nearly every hole, and is beautifully maintained.
Nicklaus courses are always solid strategically and Jack the architect largely tells you what your options are from the tee- I like that!
The bunkers are well positioned, and suit the grand scale of the surroundings
There are quite a number of lengthy forced carries, from the tee and for approach shots- but different tee box options give players choice as to the difficulty of the course they play
Longer hitters will have a number of decisions to make through the round but the shorter more strategic player will not be disadvantaged in playing his own game.
The first 6 holes are a very strong start to the round.
The routing is well thought out, but relies heavily on the use of carts to make the course playable.
It would be a terribly long and difficult course to walk.
From one to six the holes play across or down the slope, relying on the drives from green to the next tee take you ever higher up the slope.
By using the carts to take the player up to the next tee, Nicklaus was able to accommodate elevated tees and approach shots- making those approaches both attractive to the eye and nice to play
A short summary of the holes includes:
Hole 2, a gorgeous brute of a par 4 which requires a strong tee shot and then a decent carry over a deep valley to an elevated green- one of the few uphill shots early in the round. It is a good hole
Hole 3, a standout par 3 with a horseshoe green and bunker front middle
It is a picturesque hole, but also a compelling hole to play- don’t even think about hitting the wrong part of the green and leaving yourself with a putt with the bunker in your line... Perhaps a wedge over the bunker from the green is the shot?
Hole 4, an engaging short par five
Hole 5 is a really interesting par 4- a good tee shot in the middle of the fairway will leave you with an approach which will hang in the air- as the green sits well below the fairway.
Hole 6, another intriguing shorter par 5
Hole 7, 8, & 9 are solid holes but a little quieter than the rest of the round- and not quite of the standard set by the first 6.
With an average of perhaps 20 players per day on the course, you will feel like you have the place to yourself.
So stop half way and have lunch in the clubhouse looking out over the cliffs and sea vistas.
It is a spectacular place to dine, and with the backing of the Four Seasons Resort team, the cuisine and service cannot be faulted...
The back nine starts well on 10 & 11- two strong golf holes with wonderful views
Then things go up a gear with the stunning par 3 twelfth hole.
Off the back tees it is a carry of 198 metres to a slightly elevated green on the cliffs beyond.
With the pin at the front of the green, anything short will hit the cliff face, and fall to the white water and rocks of the Pacific Ocean 150 feet below.
When we played the wind was at least a club into us, so it was a solid hit.
It is one of the longer sea carries any of us will experience and with the high cliff walls facing us at the front of the green, it is one of the most daunting tee shots I have experienced….
Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen and sixteen are also strong, visual holes with solid strategies…
And then we get to hole 17- a longer par 4 that wraps around the majestic cliffs giving the player the chance to make one more heroic carry to make the fairway.
The approach shot here is slightly downhill and needs an accurate long shot in- with cliffs all along the right side of the fairway, it’s a tough hole.
The closing hole has a strong collection of bunkers surrounding that final green, meaning you will need to hold your nerve to post a score
Manele is a one of the best courses in Hawaii, and certainly the best in Lanai with word that the Experience at Koele may never be revived.
Manele is a resort course. It is a cart course. But it is a great course
Any trip to Hawaii playing golf should include Lana'i Golf, Manele- it's a Travelling Golfer 'must play'
The Four Seasons Lana'i is a world renowned luxury resort hotel in a magnificent setting, and if you can afford it would be a very nice place to unwind and play a littlle golf. Lana'i Golf, Manele is owned and run by Four Seasons for their guests.
The Travelling Golfer can assist with hotel and golf bookings at Four Seasons Lana'i, and with notice arrange golf only bookings as part of a planned itinerary for day visitors to the island. We can tailor a golf tour in Hawaii to suit your group. See Golf Destinations- Hawaii for suggested golfing destinations in Hawaii
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