The Experience at Koele is a Resort, 18 hole golf course located in LANAI CITY, Hawaii.
The Experience at Koele first opened for play in 1990. The course was designed by Greg Norman and Ted Robinson.
The front nine is located on the side of a mountain, providing some spectacular views. The back nine is more open than the front nine and not as hilly. The greens are fast and medium-sized, and the fairways vary in width and are tree lined on the front nine.
Water hazards come into play on several holes, including #17, a 308-yard, par 4, which calls for an approach shot to an island green.
The signature hole is #8, a 444-yard, par 4, offering a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside and a 250-foot drop in elevation from the tee box to the fairway. This hole has a lake and a fairway sand bunker on the right and a hillside on the left side of the fairway.
The weather around the course can be totally different than its sister course, The Challenge at Manele. This course is located at about 1,800 feet of elevation and can have fog and rain, while it is sunny at the beachside.
$101 (cart included), played on Monday, July 2013 at 8am
We've been returning to Four Seasons resorts on Lana'i for several years (see my earlier reviews). Because of drought in 2011-12, they slashed green fees on The Experience (the uplands couse)for this season (not for The Challenge, the sea-cliffs course). Then the rains came, and the course is in beautiful condition. Some of the water hazards are still low or empty, however, lowering the ambiance somewhat. But the upland setting (if not in the clouds) is unimpaired.
$176 (cart included), played on Thursday, July 2012 at 8am
So I did return and play again (I reviewed two years ago). This course is a wonderful experience, partially because of its stunning, mountaintop location. Lana'i is in its third year of (relative) drought, and it shows a bit. Fairways are showing stress, water hazards are low, and a couple are drained for major maintenance. I was pleasantly surprised to see charges on the hotel bill almost 30% below what I expected.
$101 (cart included), played on Tuesday, March 2011 at 2pm
I actually like this course more than the challenge, each hole was totally different. The course was not in as good shape as the challenge, but more than made up for with the scenery. Be sure to go have a couple of drinks at the lodge, and relax. Booked thru maui discount golf, and saved a ton, and they were very accommodating.
$201 (cart included), played on Tuesday, July 2010 at noon
Gorgeous, mountainside layout with indescribable vistas of forest, sea, and islands. Challenging (out of league for a duffer like me) but a fantastic experience. The only other courses on the island are a goat-track muni and another beautiful resort course, the Challenge at Manele, equally striking, equally expensive.
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