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Kauai Lagoons Golf Club


Getting To Know: Kauai Lagoons Golf Club

An Insightful Interview With Kenneth Kimura, Golf Operations Manager

By Brian Weis

Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Kenneth Kimura who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.

Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
The Kiele course at Kauai Lagoons sits in a secluded southwest corner of the island of Kauai in Hawaii, just five minutes from the Lihue Airport and Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai's main airport and seaport. Designed by legendary golfer and course architect Jack Nicklaus, Kiele's fairways weave through mango and guava tree forests on its inward nine then takes you along imposing ocean cliffs and promontories high above the harbor and among some forty acres of fresh water lagoons on the inward nine.

When Jack Nicklaus first created the Kiele in the late 1980's, the terrain lent itself so well to his vision that he made but a single change to his original design. In 2011, Jack Nicklaus was again called upon, this time to redesign the Kiele's famed back nine. Included in the redesign is a new ocean hole that is now the centerpiece of what is the longest stretch of continuous ocean holes of any course in Hawaii. Four fabulous holes providing over 1/2 mile of stunning oceanfront golf

Sharing this amazing paradise is the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club, set amidst 800 waterfront acres along the Kalapaki Bay, and Marriott's Kauai Lagoons - Kalanipuu, which overlooks much of the Kiele's breathtaking ocean holes.

What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
Golfers not accustomed to playing in the wind may be surprised at how much Hawaii's trade winds can affect shot distance. A mid-iron shot into some stiff headwind may require two to three extra clubs. Most will try to overcome the wind by hitting their normal club harder only to find that the extra backspin imparted leaves them even shorter from the target. The key is to use your use your normal tempo and club up to get back to the hole.

Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
The Kiele has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years. In 2012 we were voted one of the 12 most beautiful courses in the world in MSN Travel. Jack Nicklaus took full advantage of the natural beauty surrounding the course and the views on the ocean holes are simply spectacular.

What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
Measuring just 330 yards, the par 4 number 7 on the Kiele's back nine is Kiele's signature hole and arguably one of the most photographed holes in golf. The crashing waves of the Pacific borders the left of the fairway, which slopes downhill and usually downwind. The green is built on a small peninsula that juts into the sea. Golfers with strong nerves can consider driving the green, but if their ball doesn't hold the turf, it's likely to be sitting at the bottom of the blue Pacific. A small lighthouse sitting on black lava rocks at the left of the green has become a landmark and this hole is often referred to as the "lighthouse hole."

What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It? My favorite hole is the par 3 number 5 on the Kiele's back nine. Tees are set between 170 and 210 yards. The hole plays over an ocean inlet so to reach the green golfers need to carry the entire length of the hole. The green itself is bordered on the left by a sheer cliff so anything short or left will be wet. A very intimidating tee shot for anyone standing on the tee. However, the hole is not as difficult as it first appears. The prevailing trade winds normally assists your shot and there is ample room to the right. The key is to get the ball airborne and favor the right side. By the way, the panoramic views from this hole are breathtaking.

Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
The spicy bloody mary at Putter's Pub, our halfway house, has gotten many golfers off to the right start after a hard night.

Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
Corey Pavin, 65

Back Tee Stats
Par: 72
Yardage: 7156
Slope: 142
Rating: 76.2

More Information
Kauai Lagoons Golf Club
3351 Hoolaulea Way
Lihue, Hawaii 96766

View Course Profile

Revised: 11/16/2013 - Article Viewed 29,747 Times

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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