Six courses on five of Hawaii’s islands have made the Golf Digest list of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses” for 2011-2012. Maui is home to two of the courses, including the highest ranked course in the state: Kapalua (Plantation). The second highest-ranked Hawaii course is The Prince Course on Kauai. Mauna Kea Golf Course on the Big Island of Hawaii is third, followed by Lanai’s The Challenge at Manele, the Wailea Golf Course (Maui) and Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu.

The general manager of the Mauna Kea Resort, Jon Gersonde, said the Big Island course is “distinguished by its unique pedigree, play and spectacular setting.” According to the resort, the golf course was shaped out of bare lava by Laurance S. Rockefeller and Robert Trent Jones, Sr in 1964 and recently renovated “from tee to green” by Rees Jones, son of the original designer.

I’m not a golfer, so I’m going to let you judge this next part for yourself. Below is a photo of the third hole at Mauna Kea with the description provided by the resort next to it. Looks pretty amazing.

“[The] classic elevated greens combine with the prevailing trade winds to put a high value on approach shots that must sit gently and accurately on hearty, often pitched greens. The famous, par-3 signature third hole requires significant water carry along a dramatic rocky shoreline where nooks and crannies host the surging Pacific Ocean.”

I don’t know if the stunning natural beauty makes you feel better if you hit the golf ball into the ocean, but I’ll bet this is a hole you tell folks about when you get back home.

The adjacent Mauna Kea Beach Hotel has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects as one of the 150 classic works of architecture in the world.

With public courses like these, the islands of Hawaii are truly a golfer’s paradise!

Both photos of Mauna Kea Golf Course, Hawaii Island, Hawaii provided by Prince Resorts Hawaii


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