Every member of the Waikoloa Beach Resort Golf 'ohana brings something special to the family, with individual talents, great golf skills and stories to share. Together, we're working every day to welcome golfers to our island home for some of the best golf in Hawaii.
Kevin Ginoza, Head Golf ProfessionalKevin Ginoza"I enjoy the business aspect of the golf industry and really like to see others take joy in the game," said Kevin Ginoza, PGA, Head Golf Professional at Waikoloa Beach Resort. "We have an excellent staff, and it's important for all of us to make sure our guests take away a great Big Island golf experience."
Kevin has been part of the Waikoloa Golf 'ohana for a long time, first as Assistant Pro from 1998 to 2005, and then returning in 2011 as Head Pro. Originally from Aiea, Oahu, he started golfing at age 10, taught by his father, and continued to play competitively through his college career at University of Hawai'i-Hilo.
"I've been looking at golf business-wise for over 15 years," said Kevin, who still has fun playing the occasional round when he can work it into his busy schedule. For him right now, the more interesting challenge is in perfecting the overall operation.
"When you're dealing with the travel industry, there are lots of variables. World events, the economy... Weather issues can affect performance, even in Hawai'i where it's almost always beautiful, it's never static. Wind, sun, surf, occasionally rain—it's very changeable." said Kevin. "And recently golf has become competitive with other activities. For example, right now the volcano is going off. It's an historic time."
Depending on the season, whale-watching might be a priority for visitors. Other times, the newer trends in active pursuits get more attention. When zip lines first came on the scene as the hottest thing to do on vacation, Kevin said even hard-core golfers wanted to try it. And, families in particular have to choose between Big Island golf and numerous other things to do, depending on their budget.
Kevin said that as the sport of golf progresses, it impacts the business of golf as well. As equipment continues to evolve and improve, golfers want to try the newest clubs with the best reviews, and check out the latest trends in apparel. "Our merchandise is some of the best along the coast," said Kevin. "We've got everything from the top-end, trendier designers to more classic styles and solid colors—with choices for the 80-year-old traditionalist all the way to the 20-year-old fashionable lady golfer."
And when golf is in the headlines, that can boost business too. "If someone famous wins the Masters, it inspires people," said Kevin. "They want to get out and practice and play and improve their game. It makes a big difference."
Most important is the people aspect of golf, and the special fellowship among those who love the game. "We've got a great staff," said Kevin. "They have a lot of experience; they're knowledgeable, friendly, and they really enjoy meeting people and talking golf at the shop."
To contact Kevin you may call the Golf Shop at (808) 886-7888 or email.
Alan Texeira, Assistant PGA ProfessionalAlan Texeira, Assistant PGA ProfessionalHard to believe that ever-youthful Alan Texeira has been part of the 'ohana for 33 years. Born and raised in the little sugar cane plantation town of Honoka'a, where he still lives, Alan started playing golf at age 12, for a very simple reason—he lived across the street from the golf course! He and three friends, brothers from the Ka'aikuahiwi family next door, played Little League together, and in their spare time they'd walk over to Honoka'a Golf Club and caddy for a candy bar and a soda.
"Sometimes the members would ask, 'what are you doing Sunday?'" said Alan, "and they'd invite us to play." That's how he learned to play the game, and that's how, at age 14, he shot his first and only hole-in-one, on Honokaa's 4th hole. "It's a weird feeling," said Alan. "It just happens," said Alan. "You don't know when it's going to happen. I came close so many times!"
Alan excelled on the Honokaa High School golf team, and in 1976 won the Big Island Amateur, one of the oldest tournaments in the state. He attended University of Hawaii on a golf scholarship, earning individual honors, and going to collegiate championships with the team. He won the Hilo Open twice, as both an amateur and a pro, and after college, pursued a golf career on the mainland, playing on the "mini-tours." After several years, he and wife Debbie decided to come home to Hawaii and raise their two sons.
Always very involved with Junior Golf, Alan especially loves teaching children on the golf course. "Some kids are really interested, and some have natural ability," said Alan. "Later on, their demeanor and character come into play. Are they willing to practice by themselves? Do they put down the right score on the card? Are they watching where their shadow is cast?"
Nobody knows the Kings' Course or the Beach Course any better than Alan, who remembers when both were brand new. His favorite, by a narrow margin, is Kings'. "It's more competitive," said Alan. "There are subtle design elements that Tom Weiskopf put there, that a competitive player appreciates."
After 33 years, Alan's aloha for the game, and for Waikoloa Beach Resort Golf, remains the same. "It's still fun," he said, "It's easy to wake up in the morning and head this way."
To contact Alan you may call the Golf Shop at (808) 886-7888 or email.
Jamie Koizumi, Assistant ProfessionalGrowing up in a golf family, Jamie learned to play from her father, Japan PGA player Shuji Koizumi, when she was seven years old.
"Pebble Beach is the first course I played," she said. Born on the U.S. mainland, Jamie's family moved to Honolulu and then to Japan. "Dad was a teaching pro at range," said Jamie, "So I would hit balls for something to do. I started to play competitively and winning prizes, and it was fun!" she said. "When I was twelve, we came back to Hawaii where I was in Hawaii State Junior Golf, and in the summers, I would go to the mainland for national events."
She remembers Alan Texeira from when she was a Junior player. "He was very supportive, a real fixture on the golf scene," said Jamie. "I knew a lot of other pros who said the only reason they would play, is that Alan would come and pick them up and bring them to the golf course."
In her senior year, 1992, Jamie won the USGA Junior Girls Championship, the same year that Tiger Woods stepped into the spotlight. "Tiger Woods revitalized the sport," said Jamie. "He motivated the rest of the players – because there's no way to play with him otherwise. And that trickled over to the ladies."
Inspired, Jamie earned a golf scholarship to Duke University, where she played all four years for the successful program, winning national titles with the team. She came back to Hawaii, took a shot at the LPGA tour, and then travelled to Japan to play in the "mini-tours," giving golf lessons and English lessons to support her career.
Now mom of daughter Lennon, 6, Jamie and her family are happy to be living on the Big Island. "I grew up with Kevin and Alan," she said. "It felt like coming home to work here."
Continuing the family tradition, Jamie loves to teach kids too. Her advice to parents: "Let them have fun," she said. "It's better if they get fundamentals early on. And, it's important for parents to be good examples, as far as etiquette and sportsmanship."
When they can, she and her Dad enjoy the occasional round of golf together. "We still compete, and get a kick out of it," she said. "If I can beat him on the course it feels pretty good."
To contact Jamie you may call the Golf Shop at (808) 886-7888 or by email.