Mauna Kea Golf Course was conceived In the early 1960s when 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.View More: Mauna Kea Golf Course 2009 Renovation
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 compelling 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 also 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.
with CART & RANGE BALLS
in a program with Hapuna Prince Golf Club
|TWO DAYS ANYTIME* (1-MKGC/1-HPGC)||2T-Plan:||$225||(SAVE up to $395)|
|FOUR DAYS ANYTIME* (2-MKGC/2-HPGC)||4T-Plan:||$415||(SAVE up to $820)|
|SIX DAYS ANYTIME* (3-MKGC/3-HPGC)||6T-Plan:||$575||(SAVE up to $1,275)|
*Mauna Kea GC tee times are restricted to after 11:00am from Dec. 16 thru Apr. 16*
Hapuna Prince GC may be played anytime.
Tee times up to 90 days in advance.
This program guaranteed thru Jan. 31, 2018.
NOBODY BEATS US!
Golf Course Particulars
Robert Trent Jones Sr. (1964), Rees Jones (2009)
Distance: 7,124 yrds
Mauna Kea GC photos by Evan Schiller