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Hitting It Off in Hawaii

by Walter and Cherie Glaser

Those who have been to Hawaii know that the islands fit every cliché in the book. The weather is perfect! The palm trees do sway in the balmy breeze! The sun and surf do seem to be there most of the time! The resorts are about as good as they can be! And the golf? You have to see it to believe it! Emerald fairways, manicured greens, incredible vistas, and unbeatable service is not the exception but rather the average in these islands. And if you are a golf fanatic but your partner prefers other distractions, the choice of activity options seem to be never-ending. So let's see where we can find some of the finest combinations of golf courses and accommodation that money can buy anywhere.

Stay and Play at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, Hawaii's Big Island
The Hilton Waikoloa Village seems to have everything going for it. Winner of the Corporate & Incentive Travel Magazine's 2001 Award of Excellence, this resort is set on what locals claim is the sunniest coast in all of Hawaii, the Big Island's Kona Kohala Coast. Combine this with great shopping, a spa complex which includes 25,000 square feet of Jacuzzis, saunas, steams baths and weight rooms, and activities including sailing, snorkeling, diving, helicopter tours and tennis. For the gourmet, Waikoloa Beach Resort has twelve restaurants with which to tempt their guests including Donatoni's Restaurant featuring renowned Italian chef, Duccio Olandini. If this is not enough, live Hawaiian entertainment is performed on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings. Waikoloa Village is also home to a $7 million collection of Pacific Rim Art.

With all this to offer, guests may not have much time to spend in their rooms. However 57 suites provide the perfect places to recover and rejuvenate from all the activity, with each room featuring a balcony (lanai) and walk-in closets. The comfortable beds will ensure any visitor a great nights sleep - which is just as well as you will need to be well rested to tackle Waikoloa Village's two world-class golf courses.

The 18-hole, par 70 Beach Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr is a breathtaking sight as vibrant greens interlace with black lava beds and the crashing surf of the Pacific Ocean. At 6,566 yards with 74 bunkers and four water holes, this course will provide a challenge to all golfers. The par-5 12th hole, in particular, at 502 yards can ruin many a promising round.

Tiger Woods, Tom Watson and Peter Jacobsen and celebrities like Clint Eastwood have all enjoyed a game on Hilton Waikoloa Village's second course - the King's Course. This par 72 championship course is over 7000 yards in length and has six major lakes. Ranked among the top 25 courses in the US by Golf Digest it also features huge lava formations. And each hole has four sets of tees to make it a challenge for serious and novice golfers alike.

Stay and Play at the Four Seasons Resort, Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu, on Hawaii's Big Island
With its landscaped walkways and lush gardens, Hualalai at historic Ka'upulehu offers private and secluded accommodation that provides a unique 'hideaway' for each guest. Set on the Kona Coast beachfront of the Big Island of Hawaii, and with five pools to choose from, the guest will find it very enticing to relax by the water and soak up the sun. If activity is what you are after, the Hualalai Sports Club and Spa will keep you occupied. With a lap pool, aerobic facilities and weight rooms the guest can exercise and then relax with various spa treatments and massage. Working up an appetite? Hualalai Resort offers a choice of five restaurants as well as in-room dining - a serious option when you see how luxurious your accommodation is. With a large lanai and private garden it may be tempting not to leave.

That is of course, unless you are a golfer! Available only to Four Seasons guests and Hualalai residents, the striking par-72 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Golf Course demands precision. Starting in lush gardens, passing through fairways surrounded by lava and ending at the ocean, this course was designed to show off the beauty of the Hawaiian landscape and offers challenges to all golfers. In particular hole 17, a par-3 partially surround by shoreline, offers a further challenge at high tide - the distraction of rolling surf. By the time you finish your round you may wish to finish the day with a visit to the Hualalai Club Grille which overlooks the 18th green. It is the perfect place to celebrate (or bewail) your game on the Hualalai Golf Club.

Play at Poipu Bay Golf Course and Stay at the Hyatt Regency Kauai, Kauai
Each November, Poipu Bay Golf Course is host to one of golf's most exclusive events - the PGA Grand Slam. At the 2001 event, Tiger Woods became the first player ever to have four consecutive wins in this competition. The course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr, is situated on the oceanfront (a 30-minute drive from Kauai's Lihue Airport) and offers magnificent views from each hole.

This 18-hole, par-72 course has putting greens of Tif grass as well as three practice greens, a practice bunker and driving range. With an in-cart hi-tech satellite navigation system you can find out the exact distance to the hole and pin placement and compare your scores to previous players on the course - Nick Faldo, Greg Norman and David Duval. Average players should arrive with adequate supplies of anti-depressants!

Adjacent to this spectacular golf course is the Hyatt Regency Kauai Resort and Spa - the perfect place for the golfer to rest after a hard day's play. Set in 50 acres of manicured grounds this luxury resort will suit you regardless of whether you are seeking adventure, entertainment or relaxation. Visit nearby Waimea Canyon, inspect dormant volcanoes, dive and snorkel off the coast or relax on the beach. If it is a refreshing holiday you are after, check out the Anara Spa where you can partake of a lomi lomi massage and calming herbal wrap. Kids will love it too! There is plenty of entertainment with swimming pools, tennis courts and a 150 foot water slide, not to mention 'Camp Hyatt' a program for children that involves games, supervised activities and craft classes.

Accommodation at the Hyatt Regency Kauai has every amenity, with each suite featuring a living room, entertainment centre and large lanai.

Play at Kauai Lagoons Golf Club and Stay at Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club, Kauai
The par-72 Kauai Lagoons Golf Club was designed by Jack Nicklaus has been described as one of the finest golf gems in the Pacific. Set against the background of Waialeale, a 5000-foot peak in the middle of Kauai Island, this course is spectacular both in scenery and in the challenges offered to the golfer. Hole 13 - perhaps the most beautiful on the course - has a view of the outer harbour and the range of mountains across the bay, and is a 188-yard par-3. Played with the prevailing wind, the tee shot should not be a difficult shot. However, beware of hole 18, played into the prevailing wind and sporting an island green. This one tends to unnerve all but the outstanding golfer.

Just minutes away from the Kauai Lagoons Golf Club is the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach club. Set on a quarter mile of white beach, water sports are popular here. Kayak through the seas off the coast, windsail, scuba dive, snorkel, fish or swim in the 26,000square-foot pool (one of the biggest in Hawaii) - or just make the most of Hawaii's beautiful climate. With all of this activity, you are sure to work up an appetite. No problem. There are six restaurants at this resort offering everything from a casual bite to gourmet meals. Shopping is also varied here, with choice ranging from resort-wear by top designers to original Hawaiian artwork and souvenirs. Worn out? That's just fine, because the large lanai of your room will be the ideal place to watch the sun set while sipping your Maitai. The perfect end to the perfect day!


1. Hilton Waikoloa Village
425 Waikoloa Beach Drive
Waikoloa, Hawaii 96738-5710, USA
Tel: ++ 1 808 886 1234
Fax: ++ 1 808 886 2901
Website: www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com

2. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu
100 Ka'upulehu Drive
Ka'upulehu-Kona, Hawaii 96740, USA
Tel: ++ 1 808 325 8000
Fax: ++ 1 808 325 8100
Website: www.fourseasons.com

3. Poipu Bay Golf Course
2250 Ainako Street
Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii 96756, USA
Tel: ++ 1 808 858 6300
Fax: ++1 808 742 7155
Website: www.kauai-hyatt/golf.html

Hyatt Regency Resort And Spa
1571 Poipu Road
Koloa, Kauai Hawaii 96756, USA
Tel: ++ 1 808 742 6227
Fax: ++ 1 808 742 6248
Website: www.kauai-hyatt.com

4. Kauai Lagoons Golf Club
3351 Hoolaulea Way
Lihue, Hawaii 96766, USA
Tel: ++ 1 808 241 6020
Fax: ++ 1 808 241 6075
Website: www.kauailagoonsgolf.com

Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club
3610 Rice Street
Kalapaki Beach, Lihue, Hawaii 96766, USA
Tel: ++ 1 808 245 5050
Fax: ++ 1 808 245 5049
Website: www.marriotthotels.com

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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