Mauna Kea Golf Course

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In the early 1960s, Laurence Rockefeller was determined to build a notable Hawaii resort and golf course regardless of cost or challenges-of-location. On a remote expanse of black lava located between two white sandy beaches, he—and famed course designer Robert Trent Jones Sr.—found the perfect spot. And since 1964, Mauna Kea Golf Course has been the prototype for island course design. Its 18 holes offer panoramic ocean vistas, large undulating greens and 120 formidable bunkers. The par-3 signature 3rd Hole demands significant water carry along a dramatic rocky shoreline where the surging Pacific races into the nooks and crannies of several inlets. Unlike its sibling — Hapuna Prince Golf Course (where a premium is applied to tee shots) — approach shots are key to good scoring at Mauna Kea. Be sure to ascertain the exact pin position and stay near or below the hole.

Read about the 2009 renovation
The Rees Jones renovation (not really a redesign), completed in Dec. 2009, is subtle, to say the least. In fact, unless you played Mauna Kea every year or two (or several times prior to 2009), the improvements may be somewhat imperceptible in a positive way. The main challenge was to update one of Hawaii’s most venerable layouts to the current demands of the game, while retaining the overall look and feel of the fascinating course designed by the Jones family patriarch.

With so many elevated approaches, the focal point of the renovation was to ‘cup’ the greens, which had settled in such a manner that approach shots just could not hold the putting surfaces with regularity. Cupping, re-contouring and moving to contemporary super-dwarf Tifeagle Bermudagrass were the primary tasks to tackle. The new turf also reduces (but does not eliminate) a certain amount of grain from the greens and thereby sustains a little less ‘read’ before putting.

Bunkering was also addressed, with a wide variety of solutions dictated by the individual holes. In terms of size and depth, they should be avoided at all costs. Least noticeable is the improvement of sight lines, from the tee and to the greens, on perhaps a handful of holes. Of course, there was also the application of Tifway 419 hybrid Bermudagrass on the tees, fairways and roughs, and a hi-tech irrigation system installed along with drainage improvements. The course’s yardage increased by about 200 yards.

The overall effect is an even more challenging Mauna Kea Golf Course, which clearly and convincingly remains one of the toughest 18 holes in Hawaii to conquer due to length, prevailing winds & breezes, complex bunkering and the overabundance of elevated greens. Bring your “A” game and be prepared to concentrate through the entire round. And, along the way, try to take a good look at the surrounds.

 

The Deal
Scorecard
Website
Photos
Directions
Weather
Aeration

UNLIMITED GOLF
with CART & RANGE BALLS
in a program with Hapuna Prince Golf Club

Now thru Jan. 31, 2015:

THREE DAYS ANYTIME* (1-MKGC/2-HPGC) 3H-Plan: $255 (SAVE up to $430)
THREE DAYS ANYTIME* (2-MKGC/1-HPGC) 3M-Plan: $310 (SAVE up to $550)
FOUR DAYS ANYTIME* (2-MKGC/2-HPGC) 4T-Plan: $360 (SAVE up to $670)
FIVE DAYS ANYTIME* (2-MKGC/3-HPGC) 5H-Plan: $400 (SAVE up to $800)
FIVE DAYS ANYTIME* (3-MKGC/2-HPGC) 5M-Plan: $465 (SAVE up to $910)
SIX DAYS ANYTIME* (3-MKGC/3-HPGC) 6T-Plan: $500 (SAVE up to $990)

Feb. 1 thru Jan. 31, 2016:

THREE DAYS ANYTIME* (1-MKGC/2-HPGC) 3H-Plan: $295 (SAVE up to $410)
THREE DAYS ANYTIME* (2-MKGC/1-HPGC) 3M-Plan: $360 (SAVE up to $530)
FOUR DAYS ANYTIME* (2-MKGC/2-HPGC) 4T-Plan: $415 (SAVE up to $630)
FIVE DAYS ANYTIME* (2-MKGC/3-HPGC) 5H-Plan: $460 (SAVE up to $750)
FIVE DAYS ANYTIME* (3-MKGC/2-HPGC) 5M-Plan: $535 (SAVE up to $860)
SIX DAYS ANYTIME* (3-MKGC/3-HPGC) 6T-Plan: $575 (SAVE up to $930)

*Mauna Kea GC tee times are restricted to after 11:00am from Dec. 16 thru Apr. 5*
Hapuna Prince GC may be played at anytime.

Program may only be purchased at the Hapuna Prince Pro Shop!
Tee times also via Hapuna Prince Pro Shop up to 90 days in advance.
This program guaranteed through Jan. 31, 2016.
NOBODY BEATS US!

COLOR TEE NAME 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out
BLACK Tournament 383 394 210 413 593 344 204 530 427 3498
BLUE Championship 376 358 200 396 570 344 175 509 372 3300
ORANGE Regular 369 344 180 375 517 334 168 480 340 3107
WHITE Forward 345 275 140 257 452 283 133 434 283 2602
 
Par   4 4 3 4 5 4 3 5 4 36
Handicap   7 11 13 1 3 17 15 5 9  

 

COLOR 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 IN Totals Rating/Slope
BLACK 554 247 387 409 413 201 422 555 428 3616 7114 73.6/143
BLUE 500 208 387 323 413 201 422 555 428 3437 6737 71.9/138
ORANGE 492 181 378 323 402 175 396 538 373 3258 6365 70.1/134
WHITE 452 166 332 260 298 109 292 455 311 2675 5277 69.6/121
 
Par 5 3 4 4 4 3 4 5 4 36 72  
Handicap 2 10 12 18 4 16 6 8 14      

Aeration Schedule:

Golf Course Particulars

Designer:
Robert Trent Jones Sr. (1964), Rees Jones (2009)

Opened: 1964

Renovated: 2009

Distance: 7,124 yrds

Rating/Slope: 73.6/143

Mauna Kea Hawaii Golf

Mauna Kea GC photos by Evan Schiller