A Perfect Day on the Green
Imagine playing a round of golf, the salty ocean breeze cooling you down as you gaze across the Pacific, dolphins and seasonal migrating whales in the distance. Lava rocks and signs of ancient Hawaiians dot the beautifully manicured greens, a surprise at every hole.
That’s not just a dream at the Jack Nicklaus signature Hualalai Golf Course at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai—it’s the reality. Below, Director of Golf Brendan Moynahan takes you through a perfect day on the green.
“Rounds go pretty quickly—under four hours. It means you’re not committing your whole day to golf, but it gives you a chance to get out there and really enjoy it.” —Brendan Moynahan, Director of Golf
Before your round
Start off with a well-rounded breakfast and cup of local Kona coffee at ’ULU Ocean Grill, choosing from the impressive buffet or à la carte menu. The restaurant overlooks the Pacific—just a taste of the views you’ll encounter throughout the day.
Stop at the Club Shop for any last-minute needs and to reserve your cart equipped with GPS navigation featuring maps, course information and tips. If you’re seeking adventure, enquire about the GolfBoard, an exciting alternative to get around the course.
Highlights on the course
Lava and ancient Hawaii
#6 Par 4, 392 yards: Remnants of Hawaii’s past abound here, including ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs on the lava rocks to the right. Be careful with your chip shot, as the green is well-protected in the back by sand and lava.
#7 Par 5, 556 yards: The seventh tee is the highest point on the course, making it a perfect spot to enjoy views of Maui. Moynahan’s favourite feature here is the lava tube, a natural cave created by lava.
“You have two walls of lava you can either play through or play over,” he says. “There’s lots of landing area on the other side. [It’s] a green that you can roll the ball onto, and it’s a lot of fun.”
Refreshments at the turn
After playing the front nine, enjoy fresh-baked cookies and chilled fruit at the comfort station. Take advantage of the complimentary non-alcoholic beverages served by Sid at the beverage cart on the course, or ask him to mix his famous Sid Vicious, made of lemonade, Arizona Mucho Mango juice, vodka and a splash of guava juice.
The bear trap
#12 Par 3, 167 yards: This huge green has been nicknamed “The Bear Trap.” “It’s deep enough to hold a bear, and the green has a bunker [and] a sand trap in the middle, making it look like a big doughnut,” Moynahan explains. “This offers good positions all the way around the edge of the green.”
The shot is downhill and downwind, but be careful. “You can get yourself on the wrong side of the green and have to go around the sand trap,” he cautions.
Ocean views and marine life
#17 Par 3, 164 yards: Moynahan describes this hole as the perfect photo opportunity with its “contrast of the black lava, the white sand, the green grass and the blue sky and ocean.”
“You can smell the ocean, feel the spray every once in a while, and there’s a little cove just left of the tee box, down the lower path,” he says.
There, you might find sea turtles dozing on the rocks in the middle of the day or early afternoon. If you’re here in the winter, you’ll have a good shot at spotting whales breaching off the coast.
#18 Par 4, 410 yards: At the last par 4, you’ll play across an inclined pond once used as a fish farm by ancient Hawaiians. Play to the middle or the right on the wide fairway, as there are bunkers down the left.
After wrapping up your day on the green, walk over to Beach Tree Bar and Lounge to wind down. Go off-menu and ask for the Bartender’s Choice (BC) Burger—one of the Resort’s best-kept secrets.
Text by Alexandra Sheehan
Mitsubishi Electric Championship
Since 1997, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai has hosted the Mitsubishi Electric Championship every year. The world’s top golf professionals are invited to the season-opening PGA TOUR Champions Tour event, an exciting time for players and fans alike. To date, the tournament has contributed more than USD 1 million to a number of Hawaii-based charities.