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Sunday, April 3, 2016

NANEA GOLF CLUB

NANEA GOLF CLUB
72-2921 KAUPULEHU ROAD
KAILUA KONA, HI  
808-930-1300

A golfers dream weekend playing Nanea, Kukio and Kohanaiki over a three day period.  We started at Nanea which is set on the slopes of Mount Hualalai on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The course was the brainchild of Charles Schwab and George Roberts who wanted their own course in the style of links courses in the U.K. and Ireland.  This is a great example of how when billionaires get together and want something they can make it happen.  Designing a world class course amidst rolling dry hills covered in volcanic rock was not a problem when you bring in Scottish Architect David Mclay Kidd who also designed the now world famous Bandon Dunes course that was the sight of the 2015 U.S. Open.  Nanea features the use of drought tolerant Paspalum grass which Kidd pioneered the use of in the Middle East. With 8000 total acres to work with Kidd manicured 1000 of those acres into a course like no other in Hawaii.  It reminded me of Scotland and transported me to another world where the blue sky and ocean were in perfect harmony with the green fairways and greens.  Getting on at Nanea can be difficult and you would think that one of the most exclusive private courses in the world would be update and stuffy.  I experienced exactly the opposite.  From the time we entered Nanea until the time we unwillingly departed the staff was amazing.  Not only friendly but professional and engaging.  From the Pro Shop to the General Manager, we were treated like Members who belonged here.  The course Pro welcomed us with a big smile, engaged us in conversation and asked questions about where we came from and what we did.  Heck, event the GM stopped to say hi and asked if we were enjoying our day.  Our Caddy (Brian) was amazing.  Truly knowledgable, friendly and professional.  Probably as good or better than some of the best caddies I was fortunate to play with during my Scotland travels.  Brian introduced us to Nanea and made the experience one to remember.
Loved the Clubhouse here with its expansive views.  Looks like Scotland I said to our group.  The interior of the Clubhouse is very simple yet elegant with rich woods.  Only wish that we could have eaten and had a few drinks here but that is reserved only for the Members.  The locker room is  simple yet refined and features an indoor/outdoor shower that I thought was very cool.  No complaints about the amenities here.  Felt right at home and wanted to stay for hours after our round.
The course for me was tough as you must hit over brush and volcanic rock on every hole to hit the fairways.  If you are not in the fairway, you pretty much lost your ball.  I was going to my bag to dig out new balls far more times than I had expected so bring a lot of balls if you play as bad as me.
The course is manicured perfectly and a joy to play.  This is one of those places where you leave knowing you have just played somewhere really special.  Special indeed for me as I don't know if I can ever get on Nanea again.  Hey I am a very happy Charles Schwab customer so maybe Chuck himself will invite me back!
Click links below for posts on the Big Island trifecta;

ARRIVED IN KONA VERY EARLY TO MAKE A 9:00 AM TEE TIME AT NANEA
THE UNMARKED ROAD TO NANEA IS ABOUT 20 MINUTES FROM THE KONA AIRPORT
A FEW MILES UP THE ROAD THERE IS AN UNMARKED GATE
ONCE PAST THE GATE YOU CAN SEE THE DOMES THAT LET YOU KNOW YOU HAVE FOUND NANEA
NANEA CLUBHOUSE
NANEA IS BUILT WITH RESPECT TO THE ENVIRONMENT
CLUBHOUSE WALL IS BEAUTIFUL
NANEA CLUBHOUSE
SMALL BAR
CLUBHOUSE SEATING AREA

SEATING AREA IN LOCKER ROOM 
OUTDOOR SHOWER

SHOWERING OUTDOORS IN KONA
CHARLES SCHWAB LOCKER
GEORGE ROBERTS LOCKER
I WAS IMPRESSED WITH THE DRIVING RANGE BEFORE EVER SETTING FOOT ON COURSE
PRO V1 RANGE BALLS - NOW THIS IS LIVIN!




































GOLFING NANEA WITH SOME REALLY GREAT GUYS!



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