The Hualalai residential resort extends to over 850 acres within the Kona district on the northwestern coast of Big Island and the sporting amenities at this upmarket retreat include tennis courts, volleyball and basketball courts, an outdoor lap pool and two 18-hole golf courses, a Jack Nicklaus Signature track (Hualaiai) and a Tom Weiskopf-designed layout (Ke’olu).
The Nicklaus course debuted in 1996 and it hosts the Mitsubishi Electric Championship Champions Tour event every January, when senior major champions from the previous five years and other tournament winners from the last two years compete in a 54-hole stroke play competition with a prize purse of almost two million US dollars.
Visiting golfers from the on-site hotel and nearby resorts can play the Hualaiai course but only Hualalai Club members and their guests can tee it up at the private Ke’olu course, which was unveiled in 2002. Ke'olu translates as “gentle breeze” and it lies on higher ground from its older sibling, where both the temperature and humidity are a little more pleasant.
Michael Hiller, travel editor at Avid Golfer had this to say about Weiskopf’s rather exclusive design: “I love the way he used lava spires and palm trees as target lines and wraps greens around collapsed lava tubes. I didn't spot another soul on the course until deep into the round, which I'm told is not unusual on the course.”