Flora / Fauna
Golf on the Big Island of Hawaii
Golfers will find that the Big Island offers beautiful and challenging links in settings as varied as the island itself.
There are 15 courses on the island, and two are consistently rated among the world’s top courses by golfing magazines: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr.; and the Mauna Lani Resort’s Francis H. I. Brown Course. The latter is actually comprised of two championship courses that are the home of the PGA Senior Skins Tournament each January.
Other fine resort courses on the west side of the island include the Arnold Palmer-designed Hapuna Golf Course, beautifully landscaped with indigenous plants and trees, and two Waikoloa links designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.: the Waikoloa Beach Resort Golf Course and the Waikoloa Village Golf Course.
Another Waikoloa course, the King’s Course, was carved out of a lava field by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Moorish. It’s for those duffers who really like to give themselves a hard time.
A number of very fine country club courses are found around the island. Among the most beautiful are the ocean side Kona Country Club and the pastoral Makalei Hawai’i Country Club up the hill. Excellent courses can also be found at Hamakua Country Club, Discovery Harbor Golf and Country Club in Ka’u, Waimea Country Club in Kamuela, and Naniloa Country Club Golf Course in Hilo.
Strong coastal breezes are a factor at Sea Mountain Golf Course on the slopes of Mauna Loa, and wet weather may waterlog the lovely Volcano Golf and Country Club at Volcanoes National Park. It can also get pretty soggy at the Hilo Municipal Golf Course, but greens fees are low and the views are great.