GOLF - Big Island Style

By Emily T. Gail - Host and producer of Emily T. Gail Talks Golf and Other Sports
on ESPN Radio, AM 850 Hilo, AM 790 Kona, Sundays 6-7pm - See AD


 

The line up of pretty-as-you’ll-ever-see golf courses along the coast-line of the
Big Island offers breathtaking ocean and mountain views, picturesque
vistas and magnificent signature holes, unique to each course.


At the north end of "golf course row," I'll call it, on Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway or Route 19, is the Mauna Kea Resort with the Mauna Kea Golf Course and Hapuna Golf Course. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., the Mauna Kea Golf Course is set in lava on the Kohala Coast. Recently named again in the top 100 public courses in America.

The famous par-3 third hole plays across a surging Pacific inlet to a cliff-side green surrounded by bunkers. A bench and plaque located at the back tee mark the spot used by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player when they played one of the first "Challenge Three," made-fortelevision golf matches which were very popular in the 1960's. The Golf Channel co-created by Arnold Palmer still runs this classic show. Mauna Kea Resort's Hapuna Golf Course was designed by Palmer and Ed Seay.

South of Mauna Kea, along the Kohala Coast is the Mauna Lani Resort with the Francis H. I'i Brown North and South Course. Mauna Lani is celebrating 30 years and has always been recipient of many awards from various golf and travel magazines.

The Mauna Lani South Course was home to the Mauna Lani Senior Skins game for many years in the 1990's and provided wonderful memories for golf enthusiasts when some of their favorite players like Palmer, Nicklaus, Player, Lee Trevino, Chi Chi Rodriquez, Raymond Floyd, Jim Colbert and Tom Watson played in the Mauna Lani Senior Skins. The signature par-3, 15th hole could be one of the mostphotographed holes in golf. Huli Sue's at the Mauna Lani Club House is a wonderful setting for after golf drinks and lunch or dinner.

 

 

 

 


The Mauna Lani Resort's Keiki Golf Course is a fun way for the entire family. The 9 hole course is designed for junior golfers that have some golf skills but they might not be ready for full length golf course. Keiki (children) rate is $25, Accompanying adults $35, Keiki Rental Clubs $10. Adult 3 club set $10.

A few miles south of Mauna Lani is the Waikoloa Beach & Golf Resort, home of two golf courses. The Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed Beach Course features the Pacific Ocean at its splendid 12th hole.

The Waikoloa's Kings' Course was designed by Tom Weiskopf & Jay Moorish. Visitors can enjoy 9 holes at the Kings' and 10 holes at the Beach for $69 after 8:00am and $50 after 3pm. Kings' Grille at the clubhouse serves breakfast and lunch.

The Kona Country Club is located in Keauhou south of the Keahole Airport and historic Kailua-Kona featuring an Ocean Course & a Mauka course.

While the courses along the Kohala Coast feature makai (ocean) experiences there are inland golf courses that provide a unique mountain (or mauka) experience.

Big Island Country Club offers cool mountain breezes and an abundance of wildlife including nene. BICC is located on upper highway 190.

Makalei Hawaii Country Club is also on upper highway 190 with lots of wildlife. Waimea Country Club (highway 19) is found on the way to Hilo.

VISITORS NOTE: There are occasional charity events where visitors are certainly welcome and encouraged to participate. Ask the Pro Shops and enjoy some wonderful prizes and local fun!