Scoring on and off the golf course: Sexy places for couples to play and stay in Hawaii
Who said golf and romance don't mix? It happens. You're smitten with each other, and you're both, miraculously, hooked on golf - or, at least, one is over the moon while the other is trying. Where can you go for a wonderfully seductive experience, combining both passions?
Hawaii. Ah laki-laki lovu. And everything they say about Hawaii is true. Weather? Perfect. Golf, hammocks, Mai Tais, luaus, seafront balconies. Perfect.
Whether you choose the Big Island, Oahu, Maui or Kauai this is one getaway you will savor for years. With the sea hardly ever out of sight and the towering mountains and lush ferns, palms and bright, fragrant flowers all around, Hawaii gives couples a great day of golf with plenty of rewards to anticipate at the end of the day.
Couples golf on Oahu
On Oahu, Honolulu, our country's 11th largest city buzzes with action. Home of Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor and outrigger canoes, Oahu is a complex island with something for everyone including golfers and lovers.
Celebrity hounds should know it's on this island where President Barack Obama sometimes tees up at Olomana Golf Links in Waimanalo when visiting his home state.
Only 45 minutes from Honolulu, Turtle Bay Resort, set on 880 acres on the north shore with five miles of beach front, has the golf-romance combo perfectly aligned. Wake up with a view of the sea, then after a breakfast in bed, hit the fairways of the Arnold Palmer Course or George Fazio Course.
Later pamper yourselves with an Ali'I Couples Massage at the Spa Luana and arrange a private dinner on the beach.
Couples golf on the Big Island
With vast fields of dark lava all around, the sunny Kohala Coast, a ribbon of white shell-strewn beaches and tropical greenery features more than 20 superb golf courses. For a good deal, tee up at Makalei Hawaii Country Club in Kailua Kona. With four sets of tees, it's playable for all levels, and the green fee is more modest than some of the other Big Island tracks.
Other public golf courses worth playing are the two well-maintained layouts at the Kona Country Club in Kailus Kona. The sea is seldom out of sight on Kona C.C.'s Ocean Course, designed by William Bell, which plays 6,613 from the tips, while the shorter Mountain Course climbs into the hills.
Or pair up at Waikoloa Beach Resort where you have two golf courses, two beachfront hotels and a load of places to eat and drink. The narrow, lush fairways of the Waikoloa Resort Beach Course, created by Robert Trent Jones Jr. (1981), snake in and around dark, formidable lava fields. Look for ancient stick-like Hawaiian petroglyphs, a reminder of the Island's heritage.
Set against a backdrop of the stunning snow-capped Mauna Kea mountain and the Pacific Ocean, the Waikoloa Kings' Course, a Tom Weiskopf/Jay Morrish design, tempts you with some tricky risk and reward holes including carries over scary lava mounds, but, hey, if you hit into the lava, you can play it as a lateral.
Check into The Hilton Waikoloa Village. It's one Big Kahuna conjuring up waterfalls tumbling into sprawling lagoon pools, dolphins leaping into the air and more than $7M in Asian and Polynesian art showcased along a walkway.
If behemoth isn't your style, there is the more modest-sized, newly upgraded Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa.
For pure romance, you've got to love the Kona Village Resort for its Gauguin-like, funky, thatched, beachfront cottages. Just roll out of bed and you're almost in the sand and the Hualalai golf course. The first Nicklaus design on the Big Island awaits a short golf-cart ride away.
Couples golf on Kauai
Kauai is known as "The Garden Isle" for good reason: steep mountains plunging into the sea serve as a dramatic backdrop for exuberantly growing flowers and lush greenery.
Not as busy Oahu or Maui, Kaua'i is one of the quietest Hawaiian islands and also one of the most romantic with lots of places to find alone time including small coves tucked into the rocks. If you saw Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" or Elvis Presley's "Blue Hawaii" you'll get the picture.
Located within the 800-acre Kauai Lagoons Resort is the newly renovated Marriott Resort & Beach Club and a Jack Nicklaus-designed course is adjacent to the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club.
For a thrilling ride, tee up at Robert Trent Jones Jr.'s "wild child," the highly acclaimed Prince Golf Course at The St. Regis Princeville Resort, which careens up and down the hills. Higher handicappers should not shy away from playing the Prince, however. With five sets of tees along with up to nine different teeing areas, you can choose your own cocktail of trick or treat.
The Makai Golf Club at Princeville just reopened after a multi-million renovation provided more great golf.
For luxury accommodations check, into the creamy super-lux St. Regis Princeville.
Couples golf on Maui
Maui is a golf-rich island with more than 10 major golf courses including the Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course. Opening in 1999, this track is rare among Hawaii courses in that it is built into dunes created when the ancient seas receded.
Ka'anapali, the largest of Maui's resort areas has, two championship golf courses. The Royal Ka'anapali (North) Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. (1962) is a must-play for serious golfers while Ka'anapali Kai (South Course) located on a former sugar plantation, is a more forgiving play. Ka'anapali has several major hotels and a boatload of places to eat, drink and shop.
The Wailea Golf Club set on the southwest shore of Maui, has three 18-hole layouts: Wailea Old Blue Course, a classic resort layout; Wailea Emerald evoking the fragrance, color and soft sensuality of Hawaii – very woman friendly; and the more rugged Wailea Gold Course. Here you'll be hitting shots against the formidable backdrop of the sea and the towering 10,023-foot dormant volcano, Mt. Haleakala. Watch for glimpses of humpback whales spouting.
Right across the street is the stunning Four Seasons Wailea. Think spritzers by the pool, massages for two by the sea, balconies by the sea.
March 9, 2010