With about dozen courses both public and private on the island, the avid golfer on a Big Island vacation is certainly not at a lack for unforgettable round of quality golf. There is a course for everyone who decides to bring their clubs or rent a fantasy set of oversized clubs locally. For those who like to dream, here are the top five holes on the island that were designed to wow, inspire and perhaps intimidate vacationing golfers.Hualalai #18– It is a 410 yard par 4 that tees off just steps from the sandy shoreline and the ocean. Located at the Four Seasons Resort at Kaupulehu in North Kona, #18 is a contrast of colors from the immaculate greens alongside rich black and deep brown lava fields. Natural tidal pools and seemingly constant strong trades are the immediate challenge, lingering to embrace the views are the ongoing challenge.Mauna Lani #15 – Perhaps most widely known as the former home of the Senior Skins Game, the Mauna Lani South Course is one of the best courses in Hawaii and #15 is it’s signature hole. A196 yard par 3 sounds conquerable, but factor in the cross winds, the crashing surf that obstruct the view to the two tiered green and the required overwater shot it can also be the most intimidating hole on the island. Kona County Club #13 – Not as glam or as pricey as the other resort courses, the Kona Country Club is a great value. This 416 yard par 4 offers an unusual distraction. On days when the ocean is rough the water rises up under the rocky lava shelf and shoots high into the air. This “puka” can rattle nerves when the ocean spray showers unprepared players. Mauna Kea #3 – What can be more splendid than a winter day at Mauna Kea? Warm sun, glimpses of passing humpback whales and views of snow covered Mauna Kea it’s all apart of the experience of this special golf course. Mauna Kea’s #3 is the hole which lifted golf course design to and entirely new level. This 272 year par 3 is the overwater hole that began it all. The hole starts from a precipice requiring a downhill tee shot, over the ocean and on to a seemingly postage stamp sized green embraced by no less than seven enormous bunkers.Waikoloa #7 – Located along the ocean in the resort area of Waikoloa, the Beach Course is a moderately priced course that is enjoyable, scenic and challenging from the blue tees. The wide fairways and generous tees make play fast, that is until you get to #7. It begins with a straight forward tee shot onto another glorious fairway, but an overshot will land in the ocean out of reach. Play carefully and don’t let views of the winter whale migration add strokes.
Big Island (Hawaii)
Winding its way through ancient lava fields along the breathtaking Kohala coastline, Waikoloa's Beach Course is, quite simply, resort golf at its finest. But don't let the swaying coconut trees and gentle ocean breeze lull you into a false sense of security. The Beach Course can also be a significant challenge for quality players. The classic Robert Trent Jones Jr. design was literally carved from the lava flow along the picturesque Anaeho'omalu Bay. Immaculate greens are well-guarded by numerous white sand bunkers and strategically placed water features. The crowning glory of the Beach Course is the 502-yard par 5 twelfthknown throughout the islands as the most spectacular oceanfront par-five in Hawaii. Not only is it a challenging golf hole, it's a great place to watch humpback whales and catch splendid views of the other Hawaiian Islands. Par 70, 6566 yards, Slope: 134, Rating 71.6