Named after the greatest king in the history of the Hawaiian islands, The King Kamehameha Golf Club is set in the foothills of the West Maui Mountains in central Maui. Designed by Ted Robinson in 1993, it was renovated by his son Ted Jnr in 2005
The King Kamehameha GC is a private members club known world wide for its amazing clubhouse- a Frank Lloyd Wright design reputed to be originally designed for Marilyn Monroe.
The look is quite distinctive. But functionally the clubhouse has some serious benefits to offer the members- the members locker rooms have every conceivable convenience available, and the clubhouse proudly tells the history of the native Hawaiians and the native art is a feature. It is worth a visit just to see the clubhouse!
While the peach/pink coloured clubhouse does dominate the landscape, the golf course is also memorable.
It is routed mainly across the slopes (and therefore either with or into the wind). The main exception is the long downhill par 3 tenth hole which is subject to the strong cross winds, and a challenge in itself.
Robinson has done a fine job here and produced a quality course.
As a general statement the tee shots are relatively bland (although he has used some spectacular ocean views as backgrounds very well a couple of times), but on the approach to the greens he has worked overtime to create some interest.
He has done this with a combination of bold bunkering, water hazards abutting greens, rocky creeks and waterfalls, and even a couple of fountains.
Whilst some of this artistry looked a little artificial to the purist in me, I do think he succeeded in keeping my attention, as I was keen to see what was around every (dogleg) corner.
To top it all off, the course is beautifully maintained and is a joy to play
Holes worth noting:
Hole 6- it starts quietly enough- it is a short dogleg par 4 with a wide fairway to hit and no real impediments for over 200 metres.
However the second shot to the green is a different matter as you will need to negotiate a pond, some rocks, and a rocky creek and waterfall to hit the elevated green
It looks great!
Hole 10 is a longer par 3 straight downhill with a significant drop in elevation. Choosing the right club is difficult given the drop, and when you get it airborn the cross winds will knock the ball off line. It is a fine hole...
Hole 11 is a good ordinary par 5, with a lovely shaped green complex with raised green providing all the interest. It has nice bunkering and a water hazard to challenge you. Although it should only be a short shot in, the approach is a shot everyone will want to play...
Another highlight was the par 4 fourteenth hole where again the green, pond, waterfall, rocky creek, bunker combination was a real winner.
Hole 17 is a mid length par 3 with a heavily contoured green, and glorious views of Kahului, and the coast, but it is the spine diagonally down the green and the pin position that will determine whether you will be cursing the architect as you walk to the final tee.
Hole 18 is a nice par 5 with a finish that summarises the round for you.
There is a little more bunkering off the tee to make sure you are still concentrating, and a lake to stay out of with you second shot. Keep in mind everything slopes right to left and runs to the water…
Your final approach to the last green should be memorable. Lake to the left, nice bunkering, nicely contoured green, lava rock walls, waterfalls, and the famous pinky coloured clubhouse as a backdrop. Pretty much your everyday finish to a round? Not!
Maui has 9 different microclimates and whereas it can be warm and calm and dry at Kihei, or Wailea- it is cooler windier and subject to more rain on the slopes at the King K club.
It is a fun place to play and a good test of golf. And then there is that clubhouse!
Whilst this a private club there are limited opportunities to gain access and with sufficient notice The Travelling Golfer may be able to include a round at the King Kamehameha Club in your itinerary.
It is an experience not to be missed!
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to Hawaii to suit your group. For itinerary suggestions see Great Golf Destinations: Hawaii: Golf in Maui
For further information please enquire here: