Big Island, Big Fairways

April, 15, 2021

Where most people might think of California, Florida or even Scotland as the world’s mecca of golf, true believers keep coming back to hit the links right here on the Big Island.

Some of the world’s top course designers have made their mark on the Big Island. And why not? It’s a unique opportunity to do so on one of the world’s greatest natural settings. Carving out both championship-level fairways and humble municipal sites from the local lava rock has inspired fantastic runs. And being that there are all sorts of terrain and climates here, it could be teeing off a volcano one day and being sprayed by ocean winds the next. If you’re serious about golf, you’re seriously going to love your golfing options here. Ready to get into the swing of things? Here are a few of the best golf courses you will find on the Big Island.

Oceanic Adventure 

Image Courtesy of Mauna Kea Resort

If you think that teeing up next to the Pacific Ocean and enjoying a full day of waterfront views as you make your way down the green sounds like a day well spent, you may want to check out the Mauna Kea Golf Course. Here you will enjoy stunning vistas of nearby coves and resort beaches while you try to beat the par. Recent modernizing efforts mean that the championship course isn’t quite as hard as it was back when it debuted in 1964, but it’s still quite challenging. And if it all looks familiar, don’t be too surprised. This is one of the most widely photographed courses in the world thanks to its unbelievably picturesque setting.

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Lavas to Love 

Image Courtesy of Mauna Lani Golf

The whole mystique of Hawai`i is the world’s largest mountain, bubbling up from the seafloor as a massive mound of volcanic rock gets its own evocation here in golf form. The Mauna Lani Resort South Course has loads of stunning views like many courses around it — but expect a little something more special. Some of the holes actually end up against black lava rocks sticking out of the sea. You don’t see that every day on a back nine! Regardless of the sometimes surreal landscape, it’s a relatively easygoing course to enjoy. You’ll see plenty of ocean blue coming up against the deep green, quite an eyeful you won’t soon forget.

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Classic Pedigree 

Image Courtesy of Four Seasons Hualalai

One of the more storied golf courses here on the Big Island would be Hualalai. This is the very first one that legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus ever designed, and it has truly stood the test of time. Expect some of the more dramatic terrains you will find while swinging clubs on Hawai`i, as jagged black lava flows cut through the green. We won’t blame you if you feel like you’re teeing up in a Lord of the Rings movie!

It’s over 7,100 yards of impeccable play with a nice mix of challenging holes and free and open fairways. It’s a truly unique experience for even the most seasoned of players to enjoy. Another nice perk: exclusivity. If you want to play here, you need to be a local resident or guest of the hotel on the grounds. Once you make it, you’ll have some serious bragging rights!

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Getting Away from it All

If you’re the sort of person who wants to avoid crowds and proximity to more populated areas, then hit up the Makani Golf Club. High up at 2,000 feet of elevation, this is the only place here in Hawai`i that features bentgrass greens thanks to the cooler air. Expect to share your excursion with loads of wild birds and beautiful water features. Created by legendary course designer Perry Dye, it’s one of the loveliest settings to accompany your strokes with amazing views of the neighboring Mauna Kea Volcano, as well as the coastline far down below. Exhilarating and inspiring, this is one of the best golfing experiences you will have on the island, as sublime as it gets!

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For a full list of golf courses on the Big Island visit:

Live On The Slopes Of Hualalai | Big Island Real Estate

January, 12, 2014

Hale Papa Lani, North Kona

The Maluhia Mauka private preserve offers 44 acres of lush vegetation and indigenous wildlife.  Located on the slopes of Hualalai this serene area has dazzling coastline views, spectacular vistas, and undisturbed tropical forest.

Within the preserve you’ll find an exclusive residential enclave and within this private community you’ll find Hale Papa Lani or the House at the Highest Level of Heaven.  This Hawaiian retreat, renowned for its charm and character, sit on 6.27 acres of forested and landscaped land.  The main house, a 5 bedrooms/ 5 bath plantation-style home, has been meticulously crafted to seamlessly merge with the surrounding gardens.

Inside you’ll find vaulted-wood-beam ceilings, antique hardware and architectural details, faux-finish walls, as well as tile and oak floors.  Throughout the house there are a number of custom-built cabinets perfect for book lovers and collectors.

Hale Papa Lani, North Kona
Hale Papa Lani, North Kona

Besides the main house the property includes two studio cottages built in the same 20th century plantation-style.  Both are great spots for the artist or writer in the family.  Near the cottages you’ll pass a hexagonal gazebo, the center piece of the lavishly planted, award-winning grounds.

Hale Papa Lani is all about comfort and seclusion.  Enjoy a lazy Sunday sitting on the covered lanai, or take a swim in the pristine pool.  A short drive away in the town of Kailua-Kona there’s an array of boutique shops, galleries, and exquisite restaurants and cafes.

If you’d like more information about this estate or our other luxury real estate listings, please get in touch with us at MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty.

Hualalai Parade of Homes and Iron Chef Competition

August, 18, 2011

Samples by Chef Katherine Louie

Ever thought there should be gourmet food offered at an open house? Maybe a glass of wine would be nice while you’re touring a home. Our agents at MacArthur & Company Sotheby’s International Realty thought it would be a great idea.

Recently we brought together five cutting edge chefs and put each of them in the kitchens of one of our listed properties at the Hualalai Four Seasons Resort. Then we sent out invitations asking people to come parade from one property to the next while sampling each of the chef’s signature pupus which featured four key ingredients. At the end each guest was able to cast their vote to determine who Hawaii’s top private chef was.

The Iron Chef competition included: Bonita Lao, Katherine Louie, Rio Miceli, Stavros Petrakis, and Cy Yamamoto. Each chef was from a different cooking background with the one similarity being that they all are all Private Chefs. Over the course of the competition they all created some exquisite hors d‘oeuvres for the guests to try.

Chef Katherine Louie

We are pleased to announce that Chef Katherine Louie was the winner of the Hualalai Parade of Homes Iron Private Chef Competition. Katherine mentored under various celebrity chefs before starting her own catering and event planning company the Outrageous Gourmet ( Based in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Katherine creates dishes that are a fusion of beauty and flavor. The typical response of people who try her food for the first time is, “That’s Outrageous.”

If you’re interested in seeing some of the properties that were shown during the event, have a look at these homes: 72-145 Lipoa Place, 72-170 Ke Alaula St, 72-234 Kahikole Street, 72-125 Kaimupulehu Place.

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