KANEOHE, Hawaii (KHON2) — The Koolau Golf Club is closing permanently due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
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The operator of the club negotiated with the property owner, First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu, to end its 10-year agreement just three years into the lease.
The club’s last day will be Sept. 30.
The golf course opened in 1992 and it has gone through five operators, including the church as it searched for a hospitality company to lease and operate the golf club.
The church’s senior pastor Dan Chun said the golf course came with the purchase agreement with the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The 246-acre property is zoned as “conservation land” by the DLNR and future plans for the property will be worked out between the owner and the department.
Pastor Chun said the many attempts to operate the golf course have not been successful. They are now considering a different route.
“I think many companies have tried to make it work, so I am not blaming the present owners, or should I say former owners, at this point,” Pastor Chun said. “It just has been very hard to run golf courses … and then you throw in coronavirus.”
The church hired Pono Pacific Land Management LLC as consultants to figure out plans for the future of the land. It seems golf may not be part of the plan.
Chun said, “We have all come to the realization that this is very difficult and so they are open to looking at different ways that we could use the property and we are just beginning conversations.”
The Koolau Ballrooms and Conference Center is still in business, although there are no events due to social distancing restrictions. They recently started an Ohana Sunday Dinner to go meal for four for $69.
The KMR School of Golf is also still in business.
The services are being held virtually due to the pandemic. Once services continue in person, they will be at the ballrooms on the golf course. Chun said turnout has improved by going virtual.
He said, “We have all of the youth groups, small groups, and men’s groups, senior citizen groups and bible studies they are still occurring but it’s all zooming. We are all zooming online.”
As for the golf course, Chun said that they are not sure about its future, but they are committing to a sustainable and environmentally conscious plan.
Chun said, “So we’re looking at a lot of possibilities right now and we want to partner with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to come up with those possibilities.”
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