Aloha From Ocean Course at Hōkūala
April 10, 2023
The award-winning Jack Nicklaus Signature Ocean Course at Hōkūala is not only the best golf view on the island, but an immersive experience into the culture and history of what makes Kauaʻi so special.
Typically, you will not see golf pros out working on a golf course between tee-offs, but Director Tom Freestone and Assistant Golf Pro Juan Gonzalez are in the trenches (or bunkers, in this case) working together to bring Ocean Course to life.
Gonzalez, a new addition to the team, joins Ocean Course from his Director & Head Coach position at the Keala Foundation, a fitness-based mentorship nonprofit designed to support the youth of Hawaiʻi. In his new role, Juan is honored to continue a connection to the community by cultivating relationships through golf programs created to connect guests with not only the love of the game but an intimate connection to Kauaʻi.
The team, the culture, and the vision has to be my favorite part about Timbers and Hōkūala. The staff’s attitude and dedication to create experiences for the community as well as our friends from off-island is really special.
– Juan Gonzalez
In addition to refurbishing the bunkers themselves, Freestone and Gonzalez are working on a special tee box project to bring attention to species of sea life just beyond the cliffs of the magnificent Ocean Course. As someone who has called Kauaʻi home for quite some time, it’s been important to Freestone to place culture at the forefront of the guest experience, even out on the green. Teaching about Kauaʻi through golf has been a passion project for Freestone, and has proven to enhance the guest experience as well. Instead of colored tee boxes, golfers will work on their swing by using the following as their guides:
- Shark (Manō) – Fun fact: The most common species of sharks in the Hawaiian islands are Tiger Sharks.
- Humpback Whale (Koholā) – Our winter visitors! Between November and March, you will likely see humpbacks breaching as they make their annual migration to the warm waters of Hawaiʻi.
- Spotted Eagle Ray (Hīhīmanu) – Eagle rays have a distinctive diamond-shaped body and pointy mouth, like the beak of an eagle.
- Dolphin (Nai’a) – Our social spinner dolphins are often found playfully riding in the wake of a passing catamaran.
ROCK ‘N RANGE
You won’t want to miss the next Rock ʻn Range. This special event takes place in the evening, complete with glow- in-the-dark golf balls and driving range. Best of all, Ocean Course chooses a nonprofit to support and donates the proceeds of the event. The last Rock ʻn Range was hosted to benefit Kauaʻi Special Olympics, and Ocean Course had the opportunity to partner with several local businesses to reach the $50,000 goal. Airborne Aviation, Blue Dolphin Charters, and Kauaʻi Backcountry Adventures joined Ocean Course in the event, which included an aerial ball drop!
The Kauaʻi Special Olympics keiki were given access to some of the most esteemed golf professionals on the island for the first hour of the event. After the sponsored ball drop, local music, food, and drinks started flowing. Participants are offered to donate to the organization of choice by purchasing a square, with 10 players allowed in each.
Not a pro? Other games such as Pitch Into a Barrel, Longest Putt, and Foot Golf Hole in One are also included, so this really is an event for all ages and skill levels!
HŌKŪALA GOLF ADVENTURES
This golfer development program is led by Director of Teaching and PGA Professional Kellie Hines with the help of Cort Walter and Juan Gonzalez.
UP YOUR GAME WITH THESE PROGRAMS*:
- Operation 36 – A 6-week program that integrates personalized coaching guaranteed to up your game. During Operation 36, the goal is to begin at a 25-yard par and work your way to 250 by the end of the 6 weeks.
- Fit Golf – Fit Golf sessions include golf-specific workout routines and swing drills to help golfers of all levels improve their swing technique and get a great workout at the same time. Perfect for professional and recreational golfers and tailored to your individual needs, this is a golf clinic like no other.
- TrackMan – Practice like the pros using Trackman to gather data and help you play your best.
- Titleist Performance Institute Training– Through a 16-point physical assessment, our team is able to pinpoint physical issues that may affect your golf swing, and provide stretches, exercise, and golf drills to help you improve your game and longevity. You’ve never seen fitness meet golf in this unique way.
*These programs are by appointment only.
Group Golf Clinics (all things golf short games, irons, and woods) are available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9 AM and 1 PM (*1-hour class)
Gather your friends and ‘ohana for the Hōkūala Twilight Scramble, held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This fun 9 hole scramble includes a shared cart, rental clubs, and golf instruction. Twilight Scramble is held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the Waiʻaleʻale front 9.
The Sunrise Hui Aloha Huakaʻi is offered on Tuesday mornings from 6:30 AM – 8:30 AM. Experience a Sunrise greeting with an Alakaʻi (tour guide). Explore The Farm at Hōkūala, drive through the enchanted forest of mango groves, and listen to ancient Hawaiian ʻolelo (stories) of the area while enjoying stunning mountain and ocean views.
Learn more about The Game and other weekly events featured at Ocean Course!
NEW GOLF SIMULATOR
Our golf simulator is a state-of-the-art system by Golfzon and Troon. Explore courses from all over the world with realistic simulations of everything down to the bunkers. The side-to-side motion will transport you right to the green without ever leaving the room. We are working with food and beverage to provide private party packages for your next event. Stay tuned!
Recently we’ve had the pleasure of hosting everything from the 46th John Burns Intercollegiate Tournament to the YouTube stars of Good Good Golf; we are looking forward to what’s to come the rest of this year.
- Drive, Chip, & Putt Tournament for Juniors – May 27th, 2023
- Andy Irons Tournament – July 2023
- Operation Rising Star: Folds of Honor 2nd Annual Tournament – December 17th, 2023
…and more to come. We hope to see you on the course soon!