Meet the Pros
Greg Nichols, PGA
General Manager and Director of Golf
Greg grew up in Maryland, just outside of Washington D.C. and fell in love with the game of golf at first sight when he had the opportunity to play his first 9 holes of golf at age 13. He then moved to Hawaii in 1971 for his sophomore year at University of Hawaii. Upon graduation from the University of Maryland, Greg entered the Hawaiian golf industry, working in food and beverage and golf course maintenance positions at Hawaii Kai GC and Honolulu CC before turning professional and accepting a position at the historic Waialae CC in 1979. In 1986, Greg was promoted to Head Professional, where he served until 2002, at which time he accepted a position at Ko Olina Golf Club to serve as General Manager & Director of Golf.
Greg's role model growing up was Arnold Palmer, who instilled in him the importance of giving back to the game. His passion has always been in helping to grow the game of golf, whether it be through junior golf, introducing the game to new players, developing better players, mentoring fellow professionals or helping community & charitable groups to further their missions. In 2007, Greg joined forces with the principals of Nanakuli, Nanaikapono, Ka Waihona Elementary Schools and Nanakuli Intermediate and High Schools to form the non-profit Ho'Okipa I Po'okela (Commitment to Excellence) golf program which provides year-round free instruction, equipment and playing privileges to keiki from the Nanakuli school district.
- Member of the TaylorMade Presidential Emeritus Advisory Board
- Co-Founder of Hawaii State Junior Golf Association, 1998
- Founder & Chairman of the ASPGA Golf Industry Conference, a business conference held biannually since 1998
- Founder & Chairman and Founder of Hawaii Junior Golf Day, since 2010, a statewide program offering introductory golf experience to over 500 juniors annually at 12 golf facilities around the state. This program has introduced the game to over 3,500 youngers.
- Founder, Aloha Section PGA "Get into Golf Hawaii" Program, 1998 - 2002 an introductory golf-in-schools program that introduced the game of golf to over 1,000 children
- Hosted golf clinics with Top 100 Golf Instructors Gary Wiren, Chuck Cook, Stan Utley, LPGA Tour Players Jan Stephenson, Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer, Christine Kim, PGA Tour Players Tadd Fujikawa, Scott Simpson, Parker McLachlin, European PGA Tour Player Matthew Zion, and Mike Malaska.
- Won ASPGA Head Professional-Assistant Professional Championship 1986
- National Finalist for PGA Junior Golf Leader of the Year Award
- National Finalist for PGA President's Award recognizing contributions towards Growth of the Game.
- Aloha Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award - 1990 & 2002
- Aloha Section Presidents Award for Promotion of the Game - 2006, 2009
- Aloha Section PGA Merchandiser of the Year, multiple years
- Aloha Section PGA Horton Smith Award for contributions to Education 1989 & 2001
- Aloha Section PGA Junior Golf Leader Award - 2002
- Aloha Section PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award for mentoring contributions - 2004
- Chairman of the Tadd Fujikawa Invitational, an annual fundraising tournament benefitting the March of Dimes mission to prevent premature births and resulting birth defects as a result.
- Recognized in Legends of Hawaii Golf, The First Century, by Rob Sandler, 1998 as one of nine legendary golf professionals in Hawaii.
- Contributing golf writer for two Hawaii publications, High Luxury Magazine and Pacific Edge Magazine.
- Founder of Ho'Okipa I Po'okela non-profit junior golf program.
Andrew Farrea, PGA
Head Golf Professional
Andrew Farrea arrived at Ko Olina with over 18 years of experience in the golf industry, with 11 years of experience as a Head Golf Professional and 13 years as a PGA member. After graduating from Methodist University in 2006 with a degree in business administration and professional golf management, he would go on to serve as the Head Professional at Newport National Golf Club in Rhode Island for 8 years and just over two years at North Sound Golf Club in the Cayman Islands. Andrew served as the primary golf instructor in his previous two roles and possesses a teaching philosophy of shaping each lesson to work with each player’s unique strengths and limitations to produce an experience that is both productive and fun! Andrew is also one of the few PGA professionals nationally who has earned two PGA Certifications in both Golf Operations and Player Development from the PGA’s Certified Professional Program.
Kevin Shimomura, PGA
Director of Player Development
Kevin grew up on the island of Maui where he worked at the prestigious Kapalua Golf Club before joining the Ko Olina Team back in 2010. Growing up around competitive golf, he developed a passion for the game. He is now our Director of Player Development and now looks to share his knowledge and experiences to help golfers of all ages and skill levels reach their goals and potential. He believes that all golf swings are unique and strives to develop correct concepts, a feel, and an understanding for each of his students to attain their desired goals. Some of his awards and accolades include:
- PGA Class 'A' Golf Professional
- 2018 Aloha Section PGA Teacher of the Year
- Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" Award for 2018 - 2019
- Golf Digest "The Best Teachers in Your State" Award for 2017-2018
- 2016-2017 Golf Digest Best Young Teachers in America Under 40
- 2014 Aloha Section PGA Player of the Year
- 2017 & 2013 Aloha Section PGA Assistant Golf Professional of the Year
- 2016 Aloha Section PGA Junior Golf Leader Award
- Winner of the 2014 Aloha Section PGA VISA Hall of Fame Championship
- Winner of the 2014 & 2010 Aloha Section PGA Assistants Championship
- Winner of the 2014 & 2012 Aloha Section PGA Assistants 4-Ball Team Championship
- Winner of the 2011 Aloha Section PGA 4-Ball Match Play Tournament
- Winner of the 2011 Oakley Pro-Am Tournament
- Qualified and played in 2014 & 2010 PGA Assistants National Championship
- Qualified and played in 2015 PGA Professional National Championship
- 2017-2019 Aloha Section PGA Board of Directors
- 2017-2019 Aloha Section PGA Teaching Committee Chairman
- 2015-2017 Aloha Section PGA Board of Directors
- 2015-2017 Aloha Section Education Committee
- TaylorMade Professional Staff Member
- Adidas Professional Staff Member
- 2022-2023 Golf Digest "Best Teachers in Your State"
Ryan Christensen, PGARyan was born in Japan and began playing golf at the age of 10. He started playing through various junior programs where he formed an appreciation for the game of golf. He had his first teaching experience at the age of 14 and volunteered to teach young children just starting out in the game. Ryan attended New Mexico State University and enrolled in the PGM program to become a class A professional. Recenly, Ryan has passed the PGM Associates Program and has been elected to PGA Class A Membership. Ryan is currently focused on learning about teaching the game of golf and playing in as many tournaments as possible. If he is not working in the Pro Shop, you will most likely find him practicing on the driving range!
First Assistant Professional
Katie Manlolo, PGA
Katie grew up in Cheney WA but studied and played golf at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston Idaho where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Biology. She played on the traveling team all 4 years, redshirting one year to focus on academics and travel abroad. While being at LCSC she had the opportunity to play in 3 NAIA National Championships.
Shortly after her final NAIA National championship, she took the PGA Players ability test where she passed her first time and decided to remain in the golf industry pursuing her PGA Golf Management certification. It was during her time working as an Assistant Professional at Spokane Country Club (now known as the Kalispel Golf and Country Club) that Katie had the opportunity to become the Head Women's Golf Coach at Whitworth University at the age of 24yrs. She coached at Whitworth while working at SCC for 3 years before deciding to move to Hawaii and gain NCAA Division I coaching experience at the University of Hawaii in Manoa. She spent one year being a Volunteer Assistant at UH gaining valuable knowledge before continuing her PGA Golf Management certification working out of Royal Hawaiian in Kailua Hawaii.
She began her career at Ko Olina as the Assistant Merchandising Manager and quickly moved back over to the Golf side as the 1st Assistant Golf Professional in May of 2016. It was in October of 2018 that she earned her PGA Class A Certification and the official title of Head Golf Professional making her the first woman Head Golf Professional at Ko Olina Golf Club.
Since finishing her Class A PGA Certificate, she has become TPI Level 1 certified. Along with the work she does at Ko Olina Katie still enjoys coaching by working closely with HSJGA (Hawaii State Golf Association). Katie has Co-Captained the Asia Pacific Cup for years 2016, 2017 & 2018 and has been the Co-Captain/Captain of the Hawaii team for the Girls Junior Americas Cup for years 2016, 2017 & 2018.
- Collegiate playing experience at the NAIA level playing in three NAIA National Championships
- Head Women's Golf Coach Whitworth University for three years
- Volunteer Assistant Women's Golf Coach at University of Hawaii for one year
- Head Golf Professional Royal Hawaiian Golf Club in Kailua
- Assistant Merchandising Manager Ko Olina Golf Club
- 1st Assistant Golf Professional Ko Olina Golf Club
- Head Golf Professional Ko Olina Golf Club
- PGA Class A Certified since October 2018
- TPI Level 1 Certified Instructor
- Callaway Golf Professional Staff Member
- Nike Golf Professional Staff Member
Born and raised on the Big Island, Kamai grew up playing baseball for the majority of his youth and did not actually start playing golf until his grandfather introduced him to the game at 16 years old. Kamai fell in love with the competitive aspect of the sport and was primarily self-taught. Kamai then joined his high school golf team. It was after working with Kelvin Miyahira, one of the best instructors in Hawaii, who opened his eyes to the teaching and instruction aspect of golf. Kamai believes in clubface stability and rotation to create longer and more accurate shots. Having spent some time with the junior golf programs we offer, Kamai says should also be fun and entertaining as well as challenging and competitive.