Golf With a View
100. Take a Golf Lesson
Named one of the top golf schools in America by Golf Magazine, Darrin Gee’s Spirit of Golf Academy is a Big Island must for all avid and aspiring golfers. According to the academy, some of its patrons have cut as many as 22 strokes with just one lesson.
Golf pioneer, innovator and mental-golf guru Darrin Gee created the internationally renowned Seven Principles of Golf, which is taught to golfers of all levels using his effortless, effective and cutting-edge golf-instruction technique.
The Spirit of Golf Academy will inspire you to achieve your goal to become a scratch golfer, break 90 or simply have fun with friends and family. Frommer’s Travel Guides has awarded the Spirit of Golf Academy its highest rating year after year.
Half-day clinics include instruction, clubs, range balls and refreshments.
• Darrin Gee’s Spirit of Golf Academy (808) 887-6800
101. Golf from the Mountains to the Sea
Whether you prefer to play in a cool, misty climate reminiscent of Scotland or so close to the Pacific that you have to wipe salt spray off your clubs, Hawai‘i Island has all you need for a great day at the links.
Sunny South Kohala is home to several fine golf resorts: Mauna Kea Resort, with its Hapuna Golf Course, is ranked by Golf Digest as one of the best golf resorts in North America. A few miles south are the Mauna Lani North and South courses, carved out of black lava rock into a visually stunning layout. At the Waikoloa Resort, another lava desert is “crunched” into soft, velvety greens at the Beach Course and King’s Course.
Kona offers the Hualalai Golf Club at the Four Seasons Resort, which hosts the prestigious Senior PGA Tour MasterCard Championship in January. The course, however, is normally reserved for resort guests or invited patrons. For public play, the Kona Country Club in Keauhou offers two 18-hole courses that literally run from the mountains to the sea. The Big Island has several upland golf courses: Big Island Country Club near Waimea; Makalei Golf Club, which lies on the slopes of Hualalai; Waikoloa Village Golf Course; and Waimea Country Club. In Hilo, the 18-hole Hilo Municipal Golf Course (“the muni”) is a must-play. The Naniloa Country Club, in the heart of the Banyon Drive area, is a cute nine-hole course. The Hamakua Country Club in Honoka‘a also is a nine-hole course. Volcano Golf & Country Club is one of the only courses in the world built on a live volcano. Sea Mountain Golf Course is located close to the southern point of the island.