Known to many as the “Golf Capital of Hawaii”, the Big Island is home to fifteen golf courses featuring breathtaking ocean and mountain views and dramatic volcanic landscapes. It offers something for golfers of all levels. Here are some of our favorites.
Jack Nicklaus Golf Course – Four Seasons Resort Hualālai
Home to the PGA Championship Tour’s “Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualālai” since 1997, this course is available for play to Hualālai Club Members, their registered guests, registered rental guests and the guests of the Four Seasons Resort Hualālai. The par-72 layout weaves through lavascapes and a dramatic shoreline. The latest in GPS technology is available, as is caddie service for those who prefer a more traditional golfing experience. Equally impressive is the resort’s sister course, Ke’olu Golf Course, open for Hualālai Club Premier Members and their guests. Finishing holes at both courses feature a breathtaking view of the turquoise seaside.
Francis H. I’i Brown North and South Courses - Mauna Lani Resort
The Championship North Course is truly spectacular. Built on a lava bed, this course offers gorgeous scenery and borders a 230-acre archeological district on the far north end. Easily one of the most popular golf tournament venues on the Big Island, guests love the natural lava amphitheater at par-3 17th hole. The South Course at Mauna Lani is home to the Hawai’i State Open and its 15th hole is one of the most photographed over-the-water golf holes in the world.
Golf Course at Mauna Kea
Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., this award-winning course features incredible ocean views. Of particular note is the par-3 third hole that can play as long as 272 yards over the Pacific Ocean. Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player first hit shots here in 1963 but a renovation in 2008 by Rees Jones has made an already stellar course nearly perfect.
Waikoloa Beach King’s Course
Designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, this course is great for all levels, featuring both challenging and forgiving holes. The picturesque but devious 5th hole is a very short par four where the wind can be an ally or enemy depending on the day. Choose to go for the green and a chance at the elusive eagle, and a fickle tropical breeze could guide the ball into the large lava field down the middle. But once you reach the elevated green, the view is magnificent — with vast lava "moonscape" as far as the eye can see.
Just north of the Kailua-Kona airport, Rees Jones’ Hawai‘i debut golf course is unlike any other. As the only layout in Hawai‘i with six oceanfront holes, its design is “breathtaking and, at times, wonderfully distracting.” The par-72 course is ideal for golfers of any level.