Jack Nicklaus (center) during his recent visit to Kauai Lagoons Golf Club. // © 2010 Kauai Lagoons Golf Club
Of all of the golf courses that Jack Nicklaus has designed, he says that Kauai Lagoons is one of his favorites. So, it felt like a hole-in-one when the Golden Bear recently returned to review the extensive renovation taking place there, giving two thumbs up to the work in progress.
“It’s great to be back here in Hawaii and at Kauai Lagoons,” said Nicklaus. “The new holes we are building are going to fit in nicely with what golfers have come to expect from the course — great golf holes with beautiful panoramic ocean views.”
During his five-hour examination of the project, Nicklaus — whose designs consistently rank among the world’s best by industry critics — observed the renovation on the back nine of the Kiele course as well as the changes that are being planned for the Kiele front nine and the Mokihana holes. The golf icon also engaged with fans during the visit and signed a number of autographs.
“It was exciting to have Mr. Nicklaus back here at Kauai Lagoons,” said Kauai Lagoons director of golf Scott Ashworth. “He has a tremendous amount of energy and focus for this project because he is so fond of the golf course.”
Scheduled to reopen in spring 2011, the award-winning course is currently in the first of three phases of renovation. The first phase involves building three new holes — including a new ocean hole — and renovating six others on the Kiele back nine. All renovated holes will receive new irrigation, greens, bunkers and drainage.
Currently, clients can play 18 of the 36 holes designed by Nicklaus at Kauai Lagoons, including nine holes from the Kiele portion and nine holes from the Mokihana course.
Kauai Lagoons is located next to the Kauai Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach, which just completed a $50 million makeover.