Ernie Els Visits New Course in Hawaii


Ernie Els recently visited his first signature 18-hole golf course. Hoakalei Golf Course will stretch nearly 7,400 yards long, making it the longest layout on Oahu. The course, located next to the Ocean Pointe master-planned community in 'Ewa Beach, is part of the new Hoakalei Country Club being built by Haseko in partnership with ClubCorp.

Ernie Els recently visited his first signature 18-hole golf course. Hoakalei Golf Course will stretch nearly 7,400 yards long, making it the longest layout on Oahu. The course, located next to the Ocean Pointe master-planned community in 'Ewa Beach, is part of the new Hoakalei Country Club being built by Haseko in partnership with ClubCorp.

"Things are shaping up quite nicely," Els said of the course. "Every aspect of it has been designed to strategically fit the natural terrain and the team is doing a superb job of it."

The South Africa native explained that grading of the West Nine has been completed, and that the course may have more water features than any course on Oahu. "In fact," he said, "the nearly eight-acre lazy river lake between holes 18 and 8 may be the largest on the island."

Grassing on the West Nine will start in June. Hoakalei will be the first course on Oahu to use SeaDwarf seashore paspalum turf, which Els said is one of the most sought-after turfgrasses in the golf industry. "This is a fine-textured, warm-season turfgrass particularly suited for use from tee to green on golf courses and sports fields," said Els. "It has a tighter knit and delivers faster green speeds than other varieties of this type of grass."

What makes the grass especially attractive to Els and the Hoakalei team is its environmentally friendly nature. The salt-tolerant, warm-season turf requires up to 50 percent less water and up to 75 percent less fertilization. And, it can be irrigated with brackish or reclaimed water, and even seawater can be used under the right conditions.

"This is a win-win solution because it can save time and money and contribute to a cleaner environment by putting fewer chemicals into the ecosystem," Els explained.

The Hoakalei golf course is being built on 248 acres that follow the natural landscape to the 'Ewa Beach coastline. "This spectacular golf course will be a reflection of the scenic splendor of Oahu. It will be beautifully landscaped and manicured, with hundreds of Palm, Kiawe, and Hala trees, all framed with native grasslands. Players will have expansive views of the 'Ewa plains, mountains, and legendary surf - in sunshine nearly every day of the year," Els enthused.

Although numerous sets of tees will accommodate all levels of golfers, Hoakalei will boast water features on most holes and strategically placed bunkers throughout. Strategy will be important as well. Just as golfers are getting acclimated to the course, Els said they will have a decision to make on the seventh hole, where players will face a split fairway that will force them to ponder club selection and strategy.

Hoakalei Country Club will surround the future Hoakalei Resort, which will overlook a new marina. The clubhouse, still in development, will contain meeting areas, dining facilities, locker rooms and a pro shop. In addition, the resort will feature a spa, resort residences, hotel and a commercial center. Construction on the commercial center and resort (hotel) is not expected until after the marina excavation and golf course are completed in early 2009.

For further details, visit http://www.clubcorp.com/hoakalei_groundbreaking.aspx.     


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