Monday, February 6, 2023 Feb 6, 2023
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By D Magazine |

“The greens are fas! and grow out to the sea,” lamented one experienced golfer after a missed birdie on the third at Mauna Kea.

THAT’S ONE HAZARD of island golf, but don’t let that keep your clubs on the mainland. You’ll be sorry when you feast your eyes on the enticing selection of scenic golf challenges.

Turtle Bay Hilton Country Club was designed by George Fazio and completed in 1971. A relatively long 72-par course, the middle tees measure out at 6,336 and over 7,000 for the championship tees. The wide fairways are mostly flat, but the greens are undulating and slick. There is an abundance of well-placed bunkers at each green, but thankfully, the putting surfaces are large. On Oahu’s rugged North Shore, Turtle Bay provides a beautiful view of the ocean and the club’s namesake. The latest news here is that Arnold Palmer is scheduled to design a second 18-hole course. A word of caution: Keep the windy conditions in mind when making your club selection.

Located on the west coast of Maui, Royal Kaanapali’s North and South Courses afford a spectacular view of the West Maui Mountains and the neighboring islands of Molokai and Lanai. Opened in 1962 and designed by Robert Trent Jones, the North Course epitomizes beauty served up with challenge. The large, sinuous greens are the specialty of Jones Sr and call for extra emphasis on putting. A standard rule of thumb to remember when putting is that the ball will usually break toward the setting sun or the channel between Maui and Molokai. The North Course plays host to the Women’s Kemper Open Golf Tournament in March.

Royal Kaanapali’s South Course was designed with accuracy in mind. Originally an executive par-58 course, the South Course was redesigned by Arthur Jack Snyder and opened in 1977. The 6,250-yard course is made treacherous by narrow fairways protected by sugar cane fields and bunkers at every hole The variable trade winds, adding to the challenge, can cause dismay and make club selection a crucial factor. Listen and watch for the Lahaina Sugar Cane Train, which passes through the course.

Kapalua Golf Club, located on the northwest shore of Maui, is the site of two championship courses. The Village Course, the newer of the pair, was designed by Arnold Palmer and architect Ed Seay and built in 1980. The 18-hole course begins on level ground but quickly climbs up the slopes of the West Maui Mountains. Many of the broad fairways are bordered by pineapple plantation fields. If you love a challenge, you’ll enjoy the 510-yard, par-5 No. 3; a double dogleg with six sand traps in the final 110 yards. Another tough hole is No. 6, which plays off the top of the hill with a large lake affecting the front and entire right side of’the green. With the panoramic views of the ocean and mountains, it can certainly be nicknamed “beauty and the beast.”

Kapalua’s Bay Course was also designed by Arnold Palmer and completed in 1975. It plays host to the Kapalua International Championship of Golf in November, when you can watch the likes of Ben Crenshaw, David Graham, D.A.Weibring and many more top names compete for the big prize money. (By 1986, the Kapalua International will become a PGA Tour Coordinated Event, a new category for the Tour.) The fourth hole, a 330-yard par4, carries you out on a large rock promontory where the pounding surf will compromise your putting concentration. Surrounded by seven strategically placed bunkers, No. 18 has been described as one of the most difficult closing holes in the country. The snake plants, which act as 150-yard markers, and many other flowering plants and trees make this one of the most beautiful courses on the islands. Beginning and experienced golfers alike will appreciate Mr. Palmer’s design ability.

wailea Golf Club, located on the southwest edge of Maui, offers two challenging-but very different-18-hole courses. The Blue Course, designed by Arthur Jack Snyder, was completed in 1971 and provides duffers as well as serious golfers with fun and challenging golf. For challenge, the par-3 No. 2 has two lakes separating the tee and green, along with three well-placed sand traps. Carved from the leeward slopes of Mount Haleakala, the dormant volcano shelters the golfer from the prevailing winds and provides ideal golf weather year-round.

Wailea’s Orange Course, built in 1977, is also the creative design of architect Jack Snyder If the 12 narrow doglegs on this 18-hole course don’t offer enough challenge, then the pronounced elevations, ancient Hawaiian stone walls and naturally situated lava formations certainly will. Imagine an outcropping of black lava rock, roughly the size of a compact car, on the 18th green. This course can definitely keep your game interesting. Along with the challenge comes panoramic views of the blue ocean and neighbor islands. And keep a sharp eye out for the mongooses that inhabit the course-they may give you good luck, and you’ll need it here.

The Mauna Lani’s Francis H. I’i Brown Golf Course is a study of sharp contrasts. Built in 1981 out of centuries-old lava from the Mauna Loa volcano, this 18-hole course has breathtaking views of jet-black lava, manicured greens and blue, blue ocean. With more than 80 bunkers of large grain sand- and lava-bordered fairways, this course is a test of any golfer’s skill. An errant approach on either No. 14 or 15 will land you in one of the numerous bunkers or ancient fish ponds surrounding the greens. The course was reportedly built at a cost of $17 million.

The Mauna Kea Golf Course has a unique underground irrigation system that pumps more than 1 million gallons of water per day onto the fairways and greens. This course has been recognized by Golf Digest as one of the top 100 courses in America. The dramatic par-3 third hole’s tee sits on a volcano rock promontory with a long shot across the ocean to a kidney-shaped green. From No. 11, the highest point on the course, you can see Maui’s Mt. Haleakala.

Princeville Makai Golf Course has been described as the most beautiful golf course in Hawaii. The designer, Robert Trent Jones Jr., said: “If there’s a finer place to build a golf course, I haven’t seen it.” Built on the north shore of Kauai overlooking Hanalei Bay, Princeville consists of three distinctly different nine-hole golf courses: Ocean, Woods and Lake. A combination of any two provides the golfer with a challenging 6,200 yards from the middle tees and 5,500 from the front. No. 3 highlights the Ocean nine with a spectacular view of the bay and a difficult tee shot to the green 120 yards and 100 feet below. The green is fronted by a lake and flanked with a tropical jungle and two sand traps. The greens will test your patience-some are fast, and others are slow. Jones created a unique hole on the Woods course-No. 8, which has a large sand trap running almost the whole length of the fairway with three huge lava boulders giving it the Oriental flavor of a “Zen” garden. The Lake nine has three lakes, two of which come into play on the ninth. This finishing hole requires a drive across one lake, a second shot alongside another and the approach shot to a small green fronted by more water. Play this course, and you’ll understand why Golf Digest ranked Princeville in the top 100 golf courses in the United States-it has everything.

The new Kiahuna Plantation Golf Course is located at Poipu on the southern coast of Kauai. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and opened in 1984, it will soon rank with the best in Hawaii- if it hasn’t already. For challenge, Kiahuna gives you numerous doglegs, oddly shaped and sized greens, preserved Hawaiian stone walls, elevated tees, lava mounds on rolling fairways and five lakes and streams affecting nine of the 18 holes. A short 5,670 yards, this par-70 gives relief to the high handicap-per while challenging the everyday golfer. The most interesting feature is the 12th and 16th greens, which, like so many of the courses in Scotland, share separate sides of the kidney-shaped green. If you visit Kauai, this course is a must.


Waikoloa on the Kohala Coast (Big Island) is home of two 18-hole championship courses.

Keauhou-Kona Golf Course (Big Island), is an 18-hole, 6,329-yard course at Kailua-Kona.

Sheraton Makaha Valley Country Club, rated as one of the top five courses on Oahu, has eight water and 107 sand hazards.

The Makena Golf Course, a Robert Trent Jones Jr. creation, is a private 18-hole course open to the public, located on the southwestern coast of Maui.

Wailua Municipal Golf Course at Kapaa (Kauai) was ranked in America’s top 10 public courses, according to Golf Digest.

Kauai Surf Hotel Golf Course in Lihue (Kauai) is a fine 18-hole layout.

The 18-hole championship Kaluakoi Golf Course (Molokai) is spectacular, with holes named “The Gorge,” “Great Lakes” and “Hawaii’s Pebble Beach.”


1. Honolulu International Country Club, homeof the celebrity fairways, has named 12 of the 18holes after heads of state, scholars, athletes andentertainers. What better way to put a name orbleep to that hole you love or hate?

2. Moanalua is thought to be the oldest coursewest of the Rockies. Built in 1898, it was accessible only by streetcar and a four-mile walk or horseride.

3. Pukalani Country Club is distinct in that it isthe only golf course in the state with 19 greens. No.3 has an alternate green for those who would rathersteer clear of the gulch separating the tee from thegreen (for chickens only).

The 1953 movie From Here to Eternity was filmed at Oahu’s ultra-exclusive Waialae Country Club. The scene in which Montgomery Clift is shotis near the bunker on No. 1.

5. Sea Mountain Golf Course at Punalu’u on the Big Island had its pro shop destroyed by a tidal wave in 1975.

6. Discovery Harbor Golf Course and Country Club on the Big Island is the southernmost golf course in the United States.

7. There’s an annual Macadamia Nut tournament at Hamauka Country Club on the Big Island, in which they use the tasty nut as golf balls.



Feb 23-24; Mar 2-3: BUFFALO’S ANNUAL BIG

Mar BOARD SURFING CLASSIC-Two two day surfing events with entertainment, crafts, food booths. Makaha Beach, Oahu. Bunky Bakutis (808) 696-3878

10: MAUI MARATHON-Annual marathon from Maui Mall, Kahului to Kaanapali Whalers Village, Kahuluim Maui. Valley Isle Road Runners (808) 244-6042

11-17: LPGA WOMEN’S KEMPER OPEN- Features the Helene Curtis Pro-Am. Kaanapali Golf Course, Maui Amfac Corp. (808) 667-7411


May 19: VALLEY ISLE TRIATHLON-Distances equal one-half the Ironman. Wailea. Maui Valley Isle Road Runners (808) 775-0345

May 24-27, May 31-June 2, June 7-9,14-16: 50TH

June STATE FAIR – Held four consecutive weekends. Commercial exhibits, produce, food booths, entertainment. Aloha Stadium. Honolulu, Oahu. Honolulu Jaycees (808) 536-5492

2: TEDESCHI VINEYARD 10-K-Starts at Keokea Park, Kula, Maui, and finishes at beautiful Ulupalakua Ranch. Mostly downhill with one tough hill at end. Fun for first time competitor Emil Tedeschi (808) 878-6058

6: TRIATHLON-APR ULTRA-DISTANCE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP-Two mile swim in Hanalei Bay; 85-mile bike ride from Hanalei to Kekaha, and a 16-mile bike ride to Poipu. Kauai Tina Ronning (808) 826-6135

July 4: PARKER RANCH RODEO AND HORSE RACES-Top entertainment by Hawaiian cowboys from the largest singly owned U.S. ranch Paniolo Park. Waimea, Hawaii. Elaine Scott (808) 885-7655

4: HAWAIIAN ISLANDS TALL SHIPS PARADE – Fifty tall ships from many ports meet in Hawaii Parade route around Oahu – Koko Head to Sand Island and back to Diamond Head. Andy Baker (808) 596-6326

4-15: 33RD HONOLULU TRANSPACIFIC YACHT RACE-Slarts at Pt. Fermin, Calif, finishes at Diamond Head in Honolulu. Entries from 15 foreign ports Dan Rice (808) 537-5341

5-7: MAKAWAO STATEWIDE RODEO-An old-time upcountry rodeo – one of the best. Oskie Rice Arena. Annual Makawao 4th of July Rodeo Parade on July 6. Makawao, Maui. Gary Moore (808) 572- 8736

6: BIG ISLAND MARATHON – A 26 2 mile and a 13.1 -mile loop run starting and ending at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. Hilo, Hawaii. Laurie Lannen (808) 959-7987

July TBA- 10K at Royal Kaanapali Golf Courses 7-12: MAUNKA KEA BEACH HOTEL’S 12TH ANNUAL PRO-AM GOLF TOURNAMENT-A 54-hole event with 25 teams of one pro and three amateurs Kohala Coast. Hawaii. J.D. Ebergs-berger (808) 882-7222

14: TIN MAN TRIATHLON-About 1,000 triathletes gather to swim 800 meters, bike 25 miles and finish with a 10,000-meter (6.2 miles) run around Diamond Head. Queen Kapiolani Park, Waikiki. Honolulu. Oahu. Olga Caldwell (808) 533-4262

15-25: PAN AM WINDSURF PACIFIC CUP – One design and open class windsurfing event on Oahu. Wave jumping. Olympic triangle, and long distance race. Site determined by wind conditions. Oahu Beaches Dick Gooch (808) 836-6741

2-9: KONA HAWAIIAN BILLFISH TOURNAMENT – Qualifying test for American teams seeking entry to the annual Hawaiian Billfish Torunament. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Peter Fithian (808) 922-9708

9-18: 27th ANNUAL HAWAIIAN INTERNATIONAL BILLFISH TOURNAMENT (HIBT)– The world’s leading international martin fishing tournament. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Peter Fithian (808) 922-9708

16-24:1985 HAWAIIAN OPEN STATE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS-Held at City and County courts. Prizes. Honolulu, Oahu. Don Andrews (808) 923-7927

23-25: GREAT WAIKOLOA OPEN GOLF TOURNAMENT-Local event drawing amateur and professional golfers from Hawaii. Held at Wai-koloa Village and Waikoloa Beach golf courses. Waikoloa, Hawaii Dennis Rose (808) 883-9661

Aug 31-Sept 1: PARKER RANCH ROUND-UP RO-Sept DEO-Paniolo Park. Waimea, Hawaii. Yvonne Kainoa (808) 855-4239

1-2: MAUI COUNTY RODEO- Paniolos from Molokai and Maui compete. Makawao, Maui. Gary Moore (808) 572-8736

1: GARDEN ISLAND MARATHON AND HALF MARATHON-Starts at Sheraton Coconut Beach Hotel. Kapaa, Kauai. Dick Coffman (808) 332-9494

2: WAIKIKI ROUGH WATER SWIM – A two-mile swim from Sans Souci Beach to Duke Kahana-moku Beach. All ages and categories Honolulu, Oahu. Gen Imuma (808) 547-6410

8-12: MILLION DOLLAR GOLDEN MARLIN FISHING TOURNAMENT-Kailua-Kona. Hawaii George Molholm (808) 322-3832

29: MOLOKAI TO OAHU CANOE RACE- Women race across the rough Kaiwi (Molokai) Channel in Hawaiian canoes. Finish at Fort DeRussy in Waikiki Honolulu. Oahu Fred Hemmings. (808) 926-0611


Oct World’s finest tennis players compete. Honolulu, Oahu. Reed Witt (808) 521-9462

6: MOLOKAI TO OAHU CANOE RACE –Men race across the rough Kaiwi (Molokai) Channel in huge Hawaiian canoes, finish at Fort DeRussy in Waikiki. Honolulu. Oahu. Fred Hemmings (808) 926-0611

12-19: PAN AM INTERNATIONAL RUGBY CLUB TOURNAMENT – Teams from Australia. New Zealand, Tonga. Canada and the United States participate Queen Kapiolani Park Honolulu. Oahu Dick Gooch (808) 836-6741

19-20: WAIKOLOA QUARTER HORSE SHOW -Waikoloa Stables. Waikoloa. Hawaii Warren Miura (808) 883-9335

26: IRONMAN WORLD TRIATHLON CHAMPIONSHIP- A 2 4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26 2-mile marathon Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Ironman Office (808) 528-2050

Oct 31-Nov 3: KAPALUA INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP OF GOLF-Top golf pros meet at Kapalua Resort for the “Super BowT of golf and one of golfs largest purses. Kapalua. Maui Kapalua international (808) 669-4844


Dec ING CHAMPIONSHIPS – Top pro surfers gather for surfing season. Times, dates and beaches based on wave action, except for Men’s masters which is always held at Banzai Pipeline, Oahu. Big money prizes and national TV coverage. Fred Hemmings (808) 926-0611

1: KAUAI LOVES YOU TRIATHLON-A top race, one of three such events world-wide sponsored by APT-World Championships. Kauai. Brian Kennelly (808) 826-7244

8: ANNUAL HONOLULU MARATHON – One of the most popular marathons in the US Honolulu, Oahu. Gary Murfin (808) 723-7200

9-14: MAUNA KEA BEACH HOTEL’S 21ST ANNUAL INVITATIONAL GOLF TOURNAMENT-54-hole medal play in four flights for men and 36-hole medal play in three flights for women Kohala Coast. Hawaii J.D Ebersberger (808)882-7222

12-15: KAPALUA-BETSEY NAGELSON TENNIS INVITATIONAL – Select field of women pro players, as well as amateurs compete at the Kapalua Bay Resort Kapalua. Maui. Tennis Garden (808) 669-5677


AIR TRANSPORTATION from the mainland to Hawaii provided by American Airlines. American Airlines flies wide-bodied jets twice daily to Honolulu; once a day to Kahului, Maui If mainland transfers are made, baggage will be checked through to final Hawaii destination. American Airlines offers multiple Hawaii packages for individuals, honeymooners and groups through local travel agencies. Call your travel agent for more information.

INTER-ISLAND TRANSPORTATION provided by Aloha Airlines. Flying Boeing 737s, Aloha is the only inter-island carrier to feature first-class, and a first-class lounge. In first-class, passengers receive free cocktails and a complimentary box of greeting cards, designed by Hawaiian artist Guy Buffet For first-class passengers, Aloha offers curbside check-in and the baggage of those passengers are the first unloaded. Aloha also offers a mini-bus to ferry passengers to connections at the main terminal.

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