“Mr. Rockefeller, if you allow me to build a golf course here, this’ll be the most beautiful hole in the world.” — Robert Trent Jones, Sr., at the 3rd hole site. Without changing the essential character of his father’s design, Rees Jones Inc. re-planted the championship Course with highly efficient ultra-dwarf Tifeagle Bermudagrass on the greens and Tifway 419 hybrid Bermudagrass on the tees, fairways and roughs. State-of-theart irrigation systems, liners in the bunkers, and advance drainage improvements keep our Hawaii golf course in top shape and save on environmental resources.
As for play, the number of bunkers has been increased to 99, overall yardages have expanded by about 200 yards from the tips, and multiple tees will challenge all levels of players. Look for classy new golf facilities designed by architect John Hara Associates Inc. that make your Mauna Kea golf experience even more memorable. Check out the new Pro Shop, designed by John Hara Associates Inc. and Procraft Heritage Creations, for state-of-the-art golf equipment, the latest designer attire and accessories, logo gifts and golf items. You can also drop off your golf shoes for Buzzy to clean, sign up for lessons or relax and talk golf with our attentive staff. And, golfers who seek a mid-round oasis will love the tasteful new look and tasty cuisine of the new “Number 3” clubhouse restaurant-almost good enough to guarantee a lower score on the course’s back nine.
Stop by after golf to relax in casual atmosphere, along with pupus and a cold one from the tap, or a signature Mauna Kea cocktail to toast your hole-in-one. Opening in 1964, Mauna Kea was Hawaii’s first great golf course. Located on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island, it remains the standard by which all others are judged.
The Front Nine
- The course begins benignly enough, a short par-4 with a wide landing area and big green. The second hole is even shorter but it plays tougher because of the shallow, elevated green.
- The par-3 hole plays from a cliff-side tee across a bay to a cliff-side green. Getting across the ocean is just half the battle because the third green is surrounded by seven bunkers, each one large and multi-undulated. You may recognize the view, though, since this is one of the most photographed holes in Hawaii, if not the world.
- The No. 1 handicap hole is the par-4 fourth, which begins with a downhill tee shot and ends with an uphill approach to the severely sloped and well-bunkered green.
The Back Nine
- The back nine begins with a par-5 that curves up and to the right.
- The 10th requires three good shots to reach the green. The green is large and sloped so keep your approach shot below the hole.
- As daunting as the third hole is, the 11th is Mauna Kea’s toughest par-3. The downhill tee shot drops 100 feet from tee to green, which is surrounded by four bunkers. Don’t go long or you’re in the ocean.
- The 18th is one of the toughest closing holes in Hawaii, demanding length and accuracy off the tee. It requires proper club selection for the second shot to a smallish green.