Overview

Home to the only Rees Jones golf course in Hawai’i, Kohanaiki’s 18-hole course is both beautiful and, at times, wonderfully distracting. The 7,329-yard, par-72 course winds across more than 100 acres with six ocean-front holes set along 1½ miles of shoreline. It’s challenging, yet infinitely fun.

Crafted around 14 historic Ahu (ancient rock shrines), the emerald-green SeaDwarf paspalum turf intertwines with flows of black volcanic rock, historic structures and 200 protected anchialine ponds, home to native and migratory birds and wildlife. Kohanaiki has taken painstaking measures throughout to honor the history and natural beauty of the area.

To maintain the course in pristine condition while keeping operating costs to a minimum, Kohanaiki invested in a solar powered desalination and reverse-osmosis system that provides the 1 million gallons of water per day needed to water the entire course.

Rees Jones’ masterful design is not only breathtaking, it’s registered with the Audubon International Silver Signature Program for its careful consideration to protect wildlife, conserve water, and preserve and rehabilitate the native vegetation.

Hole 1

 

Par 5 | 477 Yards
Course Handicap: 10

A gentle handshake to start your round, this short par 5 is possible to reach in two. Be sure to avoid the bunkers just short of the green on your approach.

Hole 2

 

Par 3 | 149 Yards
Course Handicap: 18

This short par 3 continues to ease you into the course. The prevailing winds make this hole play shorter than the card so be sure to take this into account. Hitting long on this hole will make par a challenge.

Hole 3

 

Par 4 | 407 Yards
Course Handicap: 6

The longest par 4 on the course, hole 3 has an uphill slope that can be deceiving from the tee. Don’t be too distracted by views of Hualālai in the distance or you may find yourself in the fairway bunkers, at which point bogey will be a great score.

Hole 4

 

Par 4 | 368 Yards
Course Handicap: 10

A good drive left or right off the tee on this hole can work equally well due to the funnel effect of the fairway which will gather your ball into the center of the fairway. The green has a natural bowl added to its shape.

Hole 5

 

Par 3 | 196 Yards
Course Handicap: 16

A beautiful amphitheater of lava rock surrounds the green on this hole. Although it’s a par 3, the hole plays a little longer than expected. Avoid the bunkers on either side of the green and run your ball up the alleyway to the green for a good par.

Hole 6

 

Par 4 | 398 Yards
Course Handicap: 12

This hole is ideal for the precision golfer. Thread the needle between the two fairway bunkers keeping slightly to the right to set up the best approach to the green. From there, a solid approach and up and down for par and you’re off to the comfort station at the next tee.

Hole 7

 

Par 4 | 379 Yards
Course Handicap: 8

A straight drive is important on this par 4 with the fairway bunker and golf lake on either side of the landing area. The wind normally blows right to left and if you play left of the green the closely mown grass allows for a good run up.

Hole 8

 

Par 5 | 480 Yards
Course Handicap: 2

You’ll be tempted to cut the corner off the tee on this dogleg right hole, but be careful as this fairway slopes left to right towards the lake. For best results, aim for the center of the fairway to set up a good approach – which you’ll need as this hole has the shallowest green on the course.

Hole 9

 

Par 4 | 332 Yards
Course Handicap: 14

This hole tends to draw players into hitting over the bunkers. Those who know the course know those bunkers are farther than they appear and play left. The contoured green is well guarded by bunkers and favors a controlled approach.

Hole 10

 

Par 4 | 348 Yards
Course Handicap: 15

The back nine starts by teeing off over the organic farm. Aim left down the fairway and then play to center of the green. Avoid the bunker to the left of the green at all costs.

Hole 11

 

Par 4 | 305 Yards
Course Handicap: 17

This short par 4 is reachable for long hitters if you can carry the right fairway bunker. Go too far left and you might run out of room. The dogleg right focuses your attention towards the green and sets you up for the best left turn in golf.

Hole 12

 

Par 5 | 580 Yards
Course Handicap: 3

Take a moment to soak in the spectacular ocean view before teeing off on the first of 6 oceanfront holes. This hole plays longer than the card with onshore winds and salt spray adding to the challenge. Be conservative with your lay up; the farther down the fairway you lay up, the smaller your landing area. Take an extra club when hitting into this green.

Hole 13

 

Par 3 | 154 Yards
Course Handicap: 11

This is the closest you can get to teeing off from the beach. The prevailing wind may lure you into playing a lesser club, but don’t be deceived or risk coming up short and out of play. Play onto the center back of the green and set yourself up for birdie.

Hole 14

 

Par 4 | 310 Yards
Course Handicap: 5

This may be the best short par 4 in Hawai’i. Weaving through beautiful anchialine ponds, this is a risk/reward hole. A solid drive down the center of the fairway sets you up for an easy approach to the green but veer left, right, or come up short, and you’ll find yourself trying hard to save bogie.

Hole 15

 

Par 4 | 382 Yards
Course Handicap: 7

This hole can favor the bold, offering you an opportunity to be more aggressive and drive far down the fairway. Keep to the left to avoid running out of fairway and set yourself up for the approach. The lava and anchialine ponds make this one of the course’s most dramatic greens.

Hole 16

 

Par 3 | 165 Yards
Course Handicap: 13

Aiming straight for Wawahiwa`a Bay in the distance, keeping to the left side of the green, is the smart play off the tee on this hole. The wind blows right to left of the ocean making this hole play longer than one might expect.

Hole 17

 

Par 5 | 516 Yards
Course Handicap: 1

The 17th hole begins with a drive over the historic donkey corral onto a wide fairway. Aiming left of center on the fairway is your best bet. A poor drive will require a lay up short of the lava area. Enjoy the spectacular ocean views on this hole but stay focused to avoid the bunkers to the right of the green on your approach.

Hole 18

 

Par 4 | 411 Yards
Course Handicap: 9

The final hole is the perfect home stretch, with the Kohanaiki clubhouse as your backdrop for the green. Keep right of center off the tee and avoid the course’s only pot bunker. Avoiding the bunkers to the left of the green is key to finishing strong and most members will tell you that if you haven’t hit a ball into “mochi valley” on the right side of this hole, you haven’t played at Kohanaiki. Finish with a strong up and down in front of the audience at the Members Shop above.

Golf Team

MARTY KEITER

MARTY KEITER

DIRECTOR OF GOLF

Marty Keiter has been a PGA member for 32 years, and played an integral role at esteemed golf clubs on Kaua‘i, Moloka‘i and O‘ahu. Marty was at Maui’s Kapalua Resort for 22 years, where he was intimately involved in planning and building the Plantation Course, the golf academy, and played a key role in The Mercedes Championships. Marty is particularly proud of his work with junior golf programs in Hawai‘i throughout his career. When asked about his favorite thing at Kohanaiki, he says, “I get a lot of ‘wows’ on this course…a lot.”

JOSEPH PRZYGODZINSKI, V

JOSEPH PRZYGODZINSKI, V

AGRONOMY MANAGER

Joey brings over 20 years of landscaping and agronomy experience to Kohanaiki. He has worked at golf courses in California and Hawai’i in every aspect of golf course maintenance and landscaping. A graduate of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, with a degree in Environmental Horticultural Science, he’s self-described “turf-nerd.” Joey has worked at Kohanaiki through construction, grow-in, and opening of the golf course, serving as Landscape Manager, Superintendent of Landscaping, Director of Landscape Installation and now, Agronomy Manager.

PATRICK CLARY

PATRICK CLARY

HEAD GOLF PROFESSIONAL

Head Golf Professional and PGA member, Patrick has been an asset to Kohanaiki’s Golf Team since 2012. Prior to returning to the Big Island, Patrick served as Head Golf Professional at Northern Pines Golf Club in Montana, Brookridge Golf & Country Club in Kansas City, and as Assistant Golf Professional at Castle Pines Golf Club in Colorado. Patrick received most of his teaching experience at Maui’s Kapalua Resort, mentored by some of the country’s top 100 Golf Instructors, including Jerry King, Jim Flick and Mike Adams. During his tenure at the Kapalua Golf Academy, the Academy was named one of the “Top 25 Golf Schools in America” by Golf Magazine.

HUNTER LARSON

HUNTER LARSON

ASSISTANT GOLF PROFESSIONAL

Hunter Larson has been part of the Kohanaiki team since the property opened its doors in April 2013. Hunter, born and raised in Kona, brings a unique skill set and perspective to the golf operations of Kohanaiki. A degree in Hawaiian Language helps Hunter tie the surroundings and history of Kohanaiki to its world-class golf and amenities. As a top-level amateur player, he enjoyed a successful playing career. Hunter also enjoyed a brief Professional playing career, earning a spot in the Final Stage of the 2012 Asian Tour Qualifying Tournament. Before his return to Kona, Hunter was Assistant Golf Professional at Ko`olau Golf Club in Kāne`ohe.

RYAN MASUDA

RYAN MASUDA

ASSISTANT GOLF PROFESSIONAL

Ryan is a lifelong golfer who has turned his passion for the game into a profession. Raised in Hilo, he was part of the area’s Junior Golf program through high school and earned a golf scholarship to Purdue University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Management. His golf career has taken him from CordeValle, where he worked from 2005 to 2014, back to the Big Island where he joined Kohanaiki as an assistant golf professional. In addition to golf, Ryan enjoys music and spending time with his friends and family

CHRIS WHITWORTH

CHRIS WHITWORTH

ASSISTANT GOLF PROFESSIONAL

Born and raised in Arizona, Chris has spent the bulk of his life around golf. At age 16, Chris began his career in the business of golf working as an assistant for his dad, a PGA professional. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Management at Northern Arizona University and before finding his way to the Big Island, worked as an assistant golf professional at Forest Highlands and Torreon in northern Arizona. When not golfing, Chris enjoys basketball, tennis, bowling and of course, the ocean.