Mauna Kea gets Rees Jones makeover

24 September 2007 Respond to this article

The tee-to-green upgrading of the award-winning Mauna Kea Golf Course is underway with a redesign that will produce a new standard for oceanfront golfing on the Gold Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. Led by renowned golf designer Rees Jones, son of the course’s original architect, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., the Mauna Kea Golf Course will be completely remodelled and reopened in Fall 2008.

“Mauna Kea is not only one of the premier golf courses in existence, but one that cannot be replicated. It differentiates itself from other courses because of its history, its pedigree and its setting,” said Rees Jones. “Once our work is complete, the world of golf will be reintroduced to this historic golf venue and its elite playing standards.”

Mauna Kea’s greens, tees, fairways and rough will all be replaced with new hybrids of turf that can be groomed for the skill levels of both resort and professional golfers. The bunkers will be restored to their original look with all the sand replaced. Plans include rebuilding greens to USGA standards and specifications, without changing their original strategy and challenge. Jones’ vision is to maintain the integrity of his father’s design, while utilizing today’s technology to be more efficient in caring for the course.

Prince Resorts Hawaii, owner of the Mauna Kea Golf Course, is honoured to have Rees Jones carrying on its tradition with his redesigned expertise. Known in the golfing industry as the “U.S. Open Doctor,” Jones designed more than 100 golf courses, including redesigning seven U.S. Open venues, six PGA courses and three Ryder Cup sites.

“When the work is complete, Mauna Kea Golf Course will again be the one of the finest golf experiences in the world,” said Donn Takahashi, president, Prince Resorts Hawaii. “Both returning golfers and those coming here for the first time will rediscover why this course is so revered around the world. With Rees Jones enhancing his father’s superior design, the ‘new’ Mauna Kea will truly be a joy and challenge to play.”

In addition, the clubhouse and restaurant are also being renovated. The 18-hole, par-72, 7,165-yard Mauna Kea Golf Course opened in December 1964. Recognized by golfers worldwide for its signature oceanfront #3 hole, the course offers dramatic elevation changes, large undulating greens, 120 bunkers, and some of the most spectacular panoramic ocean and mountain views found in the islands.