The Ho'okipa I Po'okela Junior Golf program started in October of 2007, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Myron Brumaghin, Principal, Nanaikapono Elementary, Wendy Takahashi, Principal, Nanakuli Elementary and Alvin Parker, Principal of Ka Waihona Charter School and Greg Nichols, PGA Director of Golf and General Manager, for Ko Olina Golf Club. This non-profit program provides free learning and playing opportunities for students of the three elementary schools in the Nanakuli school district.
We feel that the game of golf helps children learn important life skills and promotes positive character development. A major goal of the program is to create young leaders and the value of helping others and the importance of community service. We hope that the skills and values learned will ultimately help them live more productive lives and be contributing members of the community.
The classes meet every Wednesday, from 4:00-5:30 pm. Each child receives year-round golf instruction, access to the golf course and practice facilities, golf clubs, team shirts and caps. Students also participate in field trips and have opportunities to learn from mentors outside of golf.
There is no cost for membership. All lessons, equipment, and apparel are provided at no cost. However, to earn their membership into the program, each student commits to providing a designated number of hours in community service projects each year.
All students learn and adhere to our core values which they will take with them into their schools and homes to further their roles as a model student and citizen.
Students are selected for the program annually from the 4th grade classes of the three Nanakuli elementary schools. Students are selected based on grade point average, community and sports participation, teacher's recommendations and a written essay on what the child feels they will learn from the game of golf that will help them be a better member of their school and community.
Ko Olina Golf Club is solely responsible to obtain funding, sponsors and other support to defray costs of the program. All charitable contributions and donations to the program are directed through Ko Olina Charities, a federal tax 501 C-3 Organization. Mahalo to our sponsors, Jay Hinazumi from Nike Golf, Shelley Choy with Adidas Golf, and Del-Marc Fujita of U.S. Kids Clubs who have all contributed apparel and equipment each and every year for our students.
Auntie Nettie Tiffany, the Kahu for Lanikuhonua on resort helped create the name of the program. In the Hawaiian language, Ho`okipa primarily means to commit oneself to a purpose but it can also mean to welcome or embrace. Po`okela means excellence. So, the meaning of our program's name and the spirit of the program is for everyone involved to make a "Commitment to Excellence".
The shape of the upper part of the logo is to signify a bridge - a bridge that reaches from Nanakuli to Ko Olina and eventually, even further to the rest of Hawaii and the world. The bridge is a metaphor for the journey that each of these students takes as they mature from childhood to young adults. We hope that the life lessons taught through the game of golf will help these students throughout their life. The colors of the logo contain the school colors of Nanakuli Intermediate and High School - black and gold, and the green to represent the game of golf.
Each student is required to follow the Programs Rules and Codes of Conduct, and also maintain a minimum GPS or academic standard as determined by their schools. Most importantly, each student is required to participate in a minimum of hours of school and community service projects. One such project is our Ko Olina lagoon beach clean-up day.