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“Gale force winds”
Review of Hapuna Golf Course

Hapuna Golf Course
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Attraction details
Owner description: Nestled in the dramatic landscape from shoreline to about 700 feet above sea level, this Arnold Palmer-designed, 18-hole golf course measures 6,534 yards from the championship tees.
Reviewed December 13, 2011

Hapuna is the sister course of Mauna Kea and just a bit further up the mountain from Mauna Kea. The layout and grounds are acceptable but not kept up to the higher resort standards (like Mauna Kea or Mauna Lani) and is reflected in the lower green fees ($125) which is not bad for the Island.

Wind can be a real issue here and we had constant gusts about 1/2 the time (and calm the other half) of up to 50 MPH. The other problem is the greens are nuts...so many pin positions on slopes that if you are above the pin, you cannot stop the ball. Often the ball would not stay on the greens (just blow off during the wind) and even just roll off during calm.

I will not repeat due to the greens. Staff, etc. were very nice.

Thank FABOregonUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"pro shop"
in 5 reviews
"in great shape"
in 6 reviews
"tee shots"
in 2 reviews
"the big island"
in 8 reviews
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40 - 44 of 49 reviews

Reviewed July 28, 2011

Hapuna and its sister course Mauna Kea (also related to the two hotels Hapuna Beach & Mauna Kea Beach operated by Prince Resorts Hawaii) are a must play if you visit the Big Island. And by staying at the hotel you will receive discounted rates as well as having the golf and of course the beach within easy access. They have golf packages as well.

Hapuna Golf is located about 30/40 minutes north of the main town Kailua Kona and the Kona airport. The course was designed by Arnold Palmer and opened in the mid-90s. The course is golfer friendly when there is no wind. Because the course is located at the base of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, the two volcanoes channel the eastwardly land base winds and conversely westward trade winds. Of the three times that we played, the 9:30am tee times were tranquil for the front 9 and then your shots needed to be calibrated according to what was blowing. And one late afternoon round was real fun as we had cross breezes. It seems that Arnie took that into consideration.

The course has some generous and large fairways and large greens. Bunkers are strategically placed and come into play regardless of the tees that you play. The 6th hole is #1 handicap hole which I first asked why..and you find out when you can easily miss the green and loose your ball! By adding the wind, it is generally 1 more club and therefore the distances grow. For instance, hole # 3 a par 5 is 500+ depending on your tees. With the wind, you will need to hit 3 good shots onto an uphill green with though breaks. Hole 11 and 14 are challengng par fives and 18 is a fun finishing hole.

The greens are bermuda and the grain (and sunset) has an impact on speed. Generally they are on the slow side but they do roll well and the ball gets good traction on the green with a dependable pitch mark and roll. The bunkers have good sand quality and thickness except around the higher perimeters. You have great views of the ocean and of both volcanoes Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. The day we played we could see Maui in the distance. But generally you will find what is affectionately called “VOG”, a haze created by Kilauea crater and the Pu’u O’o vent.

The golf carts have GPS and they provide you a small cooler with two water bottles. A refreshment cart does do its rounds. The driving range is included and has ample space to practice any shot. The greens fees are expensive but discounts are available for twilight hours, a 3 round golfing package or your hotel room golfing package. Our two rounds as a twosome were completed in three hours and the third was 4:15 because of three family foursomes in front of us.

The bonus for us was that we stayed at the Mauna Kea Hotel which is three minutes away and could be at the beach for the rest of the day.

Background- As part of our three week golf vacation, I played 7 different courses totaling 12 rounds. On the Big Island, they were Hapuna, Makalei and Mauna Kea. On Maui, they were Kapalua, Makena, Wailea Emerald & Gold. My handicap index is 3.7 and played from the “tips” with the exception of Kapalua since they were not available. All have been reviewed on this web site.

2  Thank marenostrum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2009

I have now played most of the courses on the Big Island as my folks live there.

The people at Hapuna are nice, (except the starter) but the course leaves much to be desired. The first 11 holes play uphill into the trade winds with greens and grain sloping back toward the ocean.

What that means is if there is wind, and typically there is every day in the afternoon, the winds will blow your ball right back down off of the greens. Think of Phil and Torry Pines in 08.

On my day it was sustained 20 MPH winds,"no refunds for wind"

No wonder they are about to close a couple days a week.

Try Mauna Lani, Kona CC, or Waimea.

1  Thank moriarti7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2008

Played Hapuna on 12/28/2008. Located at Hapuna Prince Beach Resort on the Kohala Coast....about a 50 minute drive from our condo in south Kona. Not right on the water, but still a beautiful location with amazing panoramic views on many holes. As other reviewers have mentioned...there are a lot of residences adjacent to the course, but not too close. A few blind shots....I'll do better next time, now that I know where to aim. The course might consider preparing a course guide for those of us who are playing it for the first time. The course was in excellent shape.

Customer service was first rate, from the bag service to the pro shop to the starter. Range balls included in the price....water bottles provided in the cooler on the cart. Souvenir bag tag.

My only real complaint is that the 'turn' is far, far away from the clubhouse. There is a snack bar facility at the turn, but it was not open when we were there. We also didn't see a refreshment cart during our round. Since no one mentioned the lack of service or food at the turn, it was a looooong time without anything to eat or drink other than the water provided in the cooler. You might want to ask about what is available on the course when you play.

You will enjoy the course....make time to play it if you're in the area.

Thank FireFlyer01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 26, 2007

Two great courses, each very different.

Great value.

Good hotel, great view, good food, well kept courses, management is customer diriven.

1  Thank Up&downBellingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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