Mini Post: An Old Friend –

By Wayne Halm –

On January 12th 2016 I flew over to the island of Lanai.  Lanai is one of the smaller Hawaiian islands, only about 3,000 people live on it.  Still, it is relatively easy to get there.

Ohana Airlines plane to Lanai.

Ohana Airlines flies several flights a day to Lanai from Honolulu.  It is a fine aeroplane, just not very big.


Currently Hotel Lanai is the only hotel open on the island – I stayed there.

Hotel Lanai

Hotel Lanai is heavy on quaint.


It wasn’t the sole purpose of my trip but I wanted to visit an old friend going through a rough patch.

Koele Golf Course Sign on Lanai

The Koele golf course has been closed for over a year now – I just had to go see my old friend. Koele and I have a lot of history.


For an old guy like me it was something of a hike up the mountain, but I had to do it.  I wanted to walk on its grass, talk to it, and remember.  I was emotional about it.  Maybe that is weird – so be it.  I believe anyone who has played the Koele course will understand.

I walked the 17th hole vacillating between despair and hope.  Koele is a long way from playable but the grass is being watered and cut.  The bunkers are grown in and the greens are heavily sanded for some reason – still, it is receiving some attention.

17th tee on the Koele Golf Course on Lanai

View from the tee box – I remember perfect drives, just left of center and over the hill (back in the day when I could hit the ball that far). Of course I’ve also faded the balls into the stream on the right and pulled balls into the tree on the left – that’s Koele.


17th hole approach on the Koele Golf Course on Lanai

The approach shot – and yes, I admit to hitting many shots from under that tree.


After saying bye I walked off the course misty eyed – Koele is my friend.  Details are scarce but there are plans for a very upscale renovation.  My old friend has a bright future.  I may not be financially able to be part of that future, but that is okay.  We had our day – and Koele is not a golf course you forget … ever.

After a day reminiscing with my old friend I felt like doing something new.  I had never seen a 3D movie before so I went to see Star Wars in 3D.

Wayne ready for 3D movie on Lanai

Here I am ready for my first 3D movie – thought that would make you laugh.


Come play golf with me.


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7 thoughts on “An Old Friend

  1. Wayne

    Being sentimental about a course is cool. Too many of us have a fast paced life and forget to pause soak in our surroundings and breathe. Love the pics and I am sure it was an awesome place to play. Thanks for the walk down your memory lane!


    • Aloha Jim,

      Thank you – I guess I’m a cool guy because I was definitely sentimental.

      Remember the name of the island – Lanai. The island has two fantastic golf courses, the Manele course (post about it to follow shortly) and the currently closed Koele course. I suspect that when the Koele course is renovated and re-opened the island will become a major golf destination for the rich and famous.

      A Hui Hou,

  2. Hi Wayne! I hope you had a great Christmas and I wish you a happy new year. Lanai seems like an amazing place. I have never heard about it before. Happy you got to play some golf there as well! And that your friend to have a great future ahead. That means you soon can go back!

    Just saw Star Wars while in Helsinki as well. Not in 3D. That must have been cool!

    • Aloha Hanne,

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you also. And congratulations on your journalism job.

      I miss you – but understand the demands of the job. Besides in a few years, when you are a famous journalist, I can say “I knew her when she had cake on her face”.

      Lanai is a special place – and it is about to get “specialer”. The renovated resort at Manele Bay is going to re-open in a few weeks. Then I think renovation work will start on the resort and golf course at Koele. Things are looking up there.

      The Star Wars movie was wonderful and I enjoyed the 3D experience. I could have done without some of the scenes that were just to show-off the 3D effect – but then again I was not the target audience.

      Hanne, it is a joy to hear from you. I hope all is going well for you.

      A Hui Hou,

    • Aloha Mike,

      Thank you. — Folks, Mike is in Antarctica right now (assuming he survived the passage), but he was on Lanai now too long ago. You should take his comment as validation of my post.

      Mike, I hope you and Georgia are warm and well – and can’t wait to see more pictures.

      A Hui Hou,

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