The Manele Golf Course, formerly The Challenge at Manele Bay, is an ocean lover’s dream come true and one of the most breathtaking courses you may ever play. Jack Nicklaus certainly had a vision when he laid out this course taking full advantage of the raw ruggedness of the tract and the natural beauty of the island. As you leave the clubhouse you’ll gradually traverse up the mountain and be treated to an ever-changing kaleidoscope of color from different vantages of Hulopo’e Bay. On our approach to the 5th hole we reached the highest elevation on the property and an indication of what the back nine revealed. Up until this point I had been tearing up the course but from here on in it was all downhill, if you’ll pardon the pun.
On the back nine, several holes hug the shoreline. Each one is framed by the ocean, challenging not only your senses but also your skill and strategy. No doubt about it when I looked at my scorecard I knew that from here on in I had to focus on every shot, be that with a club or my camera!
When we reached their 12th signature hole, I found a peninsula green perched in front of a sheer 150-foot drop to the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean below. I felt like I was standing at the edge of the world and that there was nowhere else I’d rather be, despite the fact that I was facing a very unforgiving water hazard. Without a doubt this is probably the most photographed hole in the islands. No wonder Bill Gates chose this 202-yard, par three to say … “I do!”
Still, in my opinion, the 17th is their best and my favorite hole. This testy par four features a big dogleg right. Not only is it visually appealing but it also requires a good drive to carry the rocky cliffs followed by a slippery downhill approach to a mound protected green that juts out into the sparkling ocean at Kaluakoi Point.To read the entire article on golf on Lana’i Hawaii see golftravelandleisure.com.