A handful of the world’s most appealing golf courses lie along the Island of Hawaii’s Kohala Coast, a sprawling, biodiverse landscape that hugs the Pacific Ocean’s rocky shoreline. The Island of Hawaii, often referred to as the “Big Island,” is an idyllic, year-round destination worth revisiting time and time again. Yes, the isle’s world-class golf scene is exceedingly alluring, but don’t overlook the overall tropical appeal of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, a heavenly seaside resort located along Kauna‘oa Bay’s pristine shores. Combine 18 holes at one of the premier Big Island golf courses with vibrant island cuisines, aquatic adventures, exclusive Beach Club access, and a seaside tennis match at dusk for the perfect island adventure.
The Top 3 Big Island Golf Courses
With nearly two dozen Big Island golf courses within a short distance of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, choosing a trio of tee times during your upcoming golf-focused getaway isn’t easy. Or is it? This award-winning seaside resort boasts not one but two renowned Big Island golf courses: Mauna Kea and Hapuna. And, a few miles inland, golfers can also discover a hidden gem near the head-turning Pu’u Wa’awa’a Cinder Cone.
Robert Trent Jones’ legacy includes Spain’s Real Club Valderrama, “The Dunes” of Myrtle Beach, and Williamsburg’s historic Golden Horseshoe. However, his crowning achievement remains Mauna Kea Golf Course, a visual masterpiece that intertwines the Pacific’s rugged shoreline, the natural hillocks that rumble through the Coast, and the tropical trees that branch in seemingly every direction. It’s hard to imagine the island without this enthralling 1964 design. Fun fact: The third tee box is one of the state’s most desirable wedding ceremony destinations.
Hapuna Golf Course, one of the most talked-about Big Island golf courses, rests along the southern edge of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s property. The brilliant duo of Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay designed this 1992 instant classic, which masterfully utilizes the arid landscape and elevation changes to provide one of the most memorable golf experiences in the country. Whereas Mauna Kea hugs the ocean’s shores, Hapuna heads a little further inland, surrounded by a naturally dry, desert (mainly straw-colored grassland) terrain. It’s impossible not to appreciate the links-style design, especially when they’re so hard to find in Hawaii.
Makani Golf Club, a hidden gem if there ever was one, is a common complementary off-site experience. Admittedly, it’s not as stop-in-your-tracks gorgeous as Mauna Kea, but there’s something magical about this small green dot of land amid countless acres of arid, volcanic ruins. The course is happily open to the public, and tee times aren’t overly difficult to come by, even during “peak” seasons. Keep your eyes peeled for a diverse array of animals that often frequent the landscape, such as owls, goats, and Hawaiian ducks.
The Best Places to Stay in Hawaii: Mauna Kea
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s easy access to not one but two exemplary Hawaii golf courses is a colossal selling point, even if you don’t play that often. Combine 18 holes of championship golf with a coastal hike, horseback tour, self-guided bicycling expedition, or some old-fashioned beach fun. As one of the best hotels in Hawaii, Mauna Kea expects an influx of golfers this fall and winter. So, remember to book now to take advantage of exclusive discounts and featured promotions, including the “Unlimited Golf Package.” To learn more about Mauna Kea’s many amenities, such as cultural activities, the fitness center, and Beach Club access, please visit us online.