Big Island Golf Courses and Beautiful Signature Holes

The Hawaiian Islands have a collection of glorious green courses that range from the extraordinary to the exhilarating. The professionals have called Hawaii a tour stop for many years. The PGA Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Maui’s Kapalua’s Plantation Course announces the official start of the tour season each January. More recently, the LPGA announced that they will return to Oahu’s Ko’olina Golf Club in April 2012 for the Lotte Championship.

Tournaments aside,  many high handicap or scratch players will find that the Big Island of Hawaii has a collection of courses that no other island can match. Most resort courses have relaxed play and offer prime oceanfront layouts that embrace the sea breezes, the warm Kohala coast sun and have views of the Pacific and unexpected glimpses of wildlife that somehow become more memorable than par on some holes.

Then there are the signature holes where the beauty necessitates that one pull out the camera to capture that magnificent shot to share with friends and family. Here a wrap up on some of the best signature holes and beautiful courses on the Big Island

Waikoloa Golf Course
1020 Keana Place
Waikoloa, HI 96738

Home – 27 Holes

Signature Hole: Beach Course #12
Two 18 hole Par 72 courses are located within the Waikoloa Beach Resort. Each is a fantastic experience that weaves through ancient Hawaiian archeological sights, upscale resorts and vacation rentals. Built by Tom Weiskopf in 1990, the course offers four tee boxes and includes several water features. Of the two courses, the Beach Course is the most popular. One can find the signature hole flowing through a lava field and then a double dog-legged left before running parallel along the ocean bluff to the green. The first shot should be aimed toward the double bunkers where one can see and hear a pod of spinner dolphins frolicking rather heartily just offshore.

Mauna Kea Golf Course
62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Drive
Kamuela HI 96743


Signature Hole: #3
This is the course that started it all for golfers on the Big Island. Built by Robert Trent Jones in 1964, Mauna Kea is elegant, enjoyable and exhilarating this 18 hole Par 72 course is one of the finest on the island. Carved out of dense lava fields, the course offers play on a sloping terrain and multiple bunkers along undulating fairways. The #3 is probably the most famous course on the island where the surging Pacific Ocean is the water hazard and the postage stamp sized sloping bunkered green is sometimes obscured by huge powerful breaking surf.

Mauna Lani Golf Course
68-1050 Makaiwa Place
Kamuela HI 96743
Signature Hole: North Course #17
Two courses have been expertly fashioned to embrace and highlight the natural beauty of the Mauna Lani Resort along the Kohala Coast. Formally known as the Francis H. I’i Brown North and South Golf Courses, the first 18 holes opened in 1981 and is one of the most exclusive of all Big Island courses. Today, each course has gentle sloping fairways, a herd of roaming feral goats and meticulously manicured greens. The signature hole is a lava rock amphitheatre with a pin positioned in the base lava that is guarded by a huge lava boulder. Rebounding off the lava rock onto the green is a realistic option here, seriously.

The experience of playing a Big Island course is one that should not be overlooked during a Hawaii vacation. Yes, green fees are pricey, but a round at these courses are a special event. Many resorts off room and golf specials and reduced fees for nine holes of twilight play. There are many who bring their non golfing friends just to ride along for the experience and the beautiful scenery.

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