Mauna Lani’s South Course, Hawaii – Most Photographed
The Mauna Lani Resort’s South Course is a one-of-a-kind golfing experience that offers a panorama of mountain and ocean views.
In 2018, it was rated 4th in the US for course conditioning and the 10th best golf course in the US based on reviews from Golf Advisor.
The Story Behind Mauna Lani
Mauna Lani, meaning “mountain reaching heaven,” is a tropical resort oasis located on the famed Kohala Coast on Hawaii Island.
The area has always been considered sacred land by the Hawaiian people. In the early ’30s, amateur golf champion, Francis H I’i Brown bought and protected the land. It was sold in the ’70s to become the resort it is now.
In 1981, a golf course was added and dedicated to Brown. Ten years later, architect Robin Nelson added two nine-hole layouts. It was then that Mauna Lani’s South and North courses were born.
The South course hosted the PGA Senior Skins Game for a decade between 1990-2000, which saw the likes of Arnold Palmer and Gary Player compete.
Mauna Lani’s South course snakes through the stark, rugged a’a lava of the prehistoric Kaniku lava flow along the Pacific Ocean.
The course is built on a 16th-century lava flow. This means that the lava rocks that surround the fairways are very porous and rough. It is not a good spot to hit a golf ball. If you do hit one into the lava, it’s best to leave it there.
Fortunately, the fairways are very generous, so if you hit pretty straight, you’ll be in business to attack the large greens.
The conditioning of the course is considered one of the best in the US. The paspalum greens are perfectly smooth. You’ll feel like you’re playing on carpet. The sand in the bunkers is soft, the fairways are immaculate, and even the surface of the rough is lush.
The Signature Hole
Hole 15 is one of the most dramatic holes in golf with a carry over the ocean to a green sitting on a distant peninsula. It is one of the most photographed over the water golf holes in the world. Note: Here the wind off the ocean can be a factor. You will need to hold your nerve, choose the right club and make a good swing!
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