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golf and eating

Texas
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golf and eating

We are getting ready to visit Kona for the first time and are staying at the Sheraton. Where are some really good places to eat and also where are the good golf courses? Thanks

Los Altos...
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1. Re: golf and eating

My favorite place to eat on the Big Island is Merriman's in Waimea. Perhaps my favorite in the world. Unbelievable food, with incredibly fresh local ingredients! For romantic setting, Brown's Beach House at the Fairmont Orchid is pretty special. Roy's is always good for Pacific Rim cuisine; the location here is at the Waikoloa Kings' Shops. My favorite for plate lunches is Kaupena in a plaza on Alii Dr, in Kona.

I've played nine of the golf courses on the Big Island. Here's how I'd rank them:

1) Mauna Lani (South): the former home to the Senior Skins game. Lots of lava formations, but otherwise pretty wide open. Two great oceanside par-3's, including the signature hole over an ocean inlet.

2) Mauna Kea: excellent old-school RT Jones Sr. track, with the best ocean-inlet par 3 in Hawaii. The course won't wow you with target excitement, but is a very classy traditional track with great views.

3) Mauna Lani (North): As good a track as the South, with a similar feel, but minus the great oceanside par-3's and as good of views.

4) Hapuna: sister course to Mauna Kea. Excellent Palmer track that is far less busy than Mauna Kea, with a lovely setting and great views.

5) Waikoloa (Kings): lots of lava formations, but not as interesting a track or a piece of property as the courses at Mauna Lani. Managed by one of the best golf management companies, Troon Golf.

6) Waikoloa (Beach): similar to its sister course, although not a good a layout. More popular of the two mainly because of a par-4 that is on the coast.

7) Makalei Hawaii: upcountry course that not bad, but without the frills of the above Kohala Coast courses.

8) Big Island CC: similar to Makalei. Has an island green. Not a lot of flat lies.

9) Waimea CC: Best bargain on the Big Island at about $60. Upcountry in Waimea, decent track. Bring an umbrella, as it rains a lot.