Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., Mauna Kea is no newcomer to the Big Island. The 18-hole, par 72 course at the Prince Mauna Kea Beach Hotel opened in 1962. It covers some 230 acres of Hawaii’s tropical landscape. Getting in a round here is a perfect reason to add a Big Island stay to your trip. You can even take a quick flight from Oahu just for the day, as I did.
Views from the course cover every type of topography, from snow-capped Mauna Kea to lava beds that weave their way through the course to the magnificent beach below. The course boasts the greatest par 3s in Hawaii, including its two signature holes, Nos. 3 and 11. The dominant theme incorporated by Jones is the elevated greens found on 14 of the 18 holes throughout the course.
The course at Mauna Kea is the gold-medal Olympian of Hawaiian golf, having won awards and accolades from many sources. It’s been listed in America’s Best Golf Resorts Golf Magazine, March 2006; No. 1 on the state-by-state Hawaii list Golfweek, March 11, 2006; and it’s made Conde Nast Traveler’s Top 100 Golf Resorts list five years in a row.
The Prince Mauna Kea Beach Hotel offers magnificent views of the beach, as well as attentive service and comfortable rooms with all the necessary amenities.
Hole 3 (200 yards, par 3)
This is the signature hole at Mauna Kea. You’re shooting over a cove between the tee box and the green, created over centuries of pounding by the Pacific surf. It is said to be the most photographed and famous par 3 in the world. The pin was forward the day I played and there was no wind to speak of, making the shot to the green about 190 yards. Take care to avoid the bunkers guarding the front (four) and two to the right. Long and right is better than short and left, unless you want to go for a swim.
Hole 4 (396 yards, par 4)
Hole No. 4 ranks No. 1 handicap. It is all uphill to an elevated green. You need 232 yards off the tee to clear the left bunkers, which should be avoided. Short drives left will find an area of scrub, sand and branches requiring a near-impossible recovery. Yours truly had a “golf shot” with one foot in the trap and one on the grass, making the green in regulation. Those who under-club themselves for their shot to the green should take care to avoid the traps guarding the left and right sides. The undulation reported in the yardage book is overstated — the green appears flatter than indicated.
Hole 5 (570 yards, par 5)
Wow! This 570-yard monster requires three near-perfect shots — two of which must have distance to make the green in regulation. Both your tee shot and second shot will most likely land on an uneven lie with the ball above your feet. Drives should be aimed slightly right as the fairway rolls to the left. Six is a good score here.
Hole 6 (244 yards, par 4)
Ranked the 17th handicapped hole, this one should not be difficult. But errant shots can cause scoring issues. Take a picture from this elevated tee box of the valley below, then launch up again to an elevated green. A set of bunkers protects the shooters to the right and one large bunker catches shots that head left off the tee. The green is two-tiered and pin placement on the back means your approach shot must clear the front of the green.
Hole 10 (500 yards, par 5)
Try to cut the corner if you dare on this par 5 dogleg to the right. It’s ranked as the No. 2 handicapped hole. Errant shots off the tee could be caught by a left-lying bunker at 182 yards — or worse, could clear it and be lost in the trees and scrub behind. The fairway is undulating and your approach shot is to an elevated green. Avoid the bunkers to the left of the green.
Hole 11 (208 yards, par 3)
This is a simple par 3 with a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean beyond the green. Prevailing trade winds might require additional clubbage at the tee. Beware of out-of- bounds on the right, a beautiful garden and a multimillion-dollar Big Island beach house. Be sure to take a peek at the magnificent beach below from the green — it’s worth the price of admission.
Hole 12 (387 yards, par 4)
From the tee box, aim to the center of the fairway. Those trying to cut the corner of the dogleg right might catch the group of bunkers on the right side at the bend. A set of four bunkers guards the left side and might catch a shot blown through the fairway. Your approach shot is to an elevated green guarded on both sides by bunkers.
Hole 18 (428 yards, par 4)
Off the tee you are required to clear about 200 yards of native growth. A pair of bunkers on each side of the green catches errant shots as the fairway races downhill to the green. Don’t be fooled by the bit of fairway in front of the green, which almost looks like a false front.
MAUNA KEA GOLF COURSE
At the Prince Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Drive
Kohala Coast, Hawaii 96743
tel 808 882 7222
San Antonio celebrated 300 years of progress in May 2018. With a clear vision following that anniversary year, the Texan city set its sights firmly on 300 more. While commemorating this milestone, the city underwent a major overhaul to prepare for the next phase in its history.
IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.
When you think of a relaxing spa day, mountains, rivers and view of gorgeous landscapes pop in your head; a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of any city’s booming music and honking taxis. SoJo Spa Club and Hotel gives you the relaxing feeling of being away while still staying close to the busy center of Manhattan.
I was part of a group of travelers attending the Hamad International Airport Expansion presentation in Doha. Most arrived the day before, but due to a family commitment, I arrived the following day. A driver picked me up at the airport and drove me to the sleek and modern Mondrian Doha, designed by Marcel Wanders of the Netherlands. The 270-room property was the first sbe hotel in the Middle East. My luggage was scanned and put aside for a hand check and the guard removed the little sleep sound device I use to cover city noise when I sleep and travel. “No speakers allowed,” the guard said, but once I explained what the item was he allowed me to take it. From there, check-in was swift, and I received a packet of information about dinner and the week’s agenda.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
As ACI EUROPE and leading European aviation associations recently detailed a plan to make sustainable aviation a reality, Munich Airport continues its work toward climate neutrality. In 2019, MUC was one of the first airports in Germany to sign a Net Zero Carbon resolution alongside more than 200 other European airports in 2019. The pledge aims to deliver net zero airport CO2 emissions by 2050.
The Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, introduces new meeting offerings starting this month. Louisville’s only waterfront hotel recently underwent a property-wide $80 million renovation on all guestrooms, meeting spaces and new food and beverage concepts.
Are you looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own refined adventure of a lifetime. You can custom order your new Volvo, tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next international trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Madrid, Spain, with us.