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Maui: King Kamehameha Golf Club, Part 3

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the clubhouse but what about the golf course itself? The following is from their website.

"Working in partnership with nature, a course befitting this special site was crafted. Originally designed by Ted Robinson Sr. in 1991 and refreshed in 2005 by Ted Robinson, Jr. The King Kamehameha Golf Club will test each club in your arsenal. Enjoy a pure golf experience with no surrounding homes or traffic to break your concentration. According to the Robinson philosophy, the golfer attacks, the designer defends. The overriding objective of good course design is a balance of these extremes, creating an effective and rewarding experience for golfers at all levels of play."

The panorama shown here is the view of the valley (remember Maui is nicknamed "The Valley Isle") from Kahului on the left to Kihei on the right — cloud-shrouded Haleakala in the distance and the West Maui Mountains behind us. Click here to see a larger version.

Zooming to the extreme longest focal length on my lens, we get a good view of the Puunene Sugar Mill — the last operating sugar mill in Hawai`i. Much of the valley is planted in sugar cane which is partially refined here on Maui then shipped to California for final processing, packagine and distribution. More on Puunene is coming up next week.

There are many beautiful views of the course and Maui locations beyond from various vantage points at the clubhouse. This is from the terrace where golfers often enjoy a drink and, perhaps lunch after a challenging round of golf.

The grounds and the course itself is beautifully landscaped including hardscaping that complements the FLW design of the clubhouse.

A surprise to me is a hedge of honeysuckle along the entrance road. I think of honeysuckle as a plant from a temperate clime such as my growing-up area of Maryland — although I do see it at Ocotillo Golf Course in Chandler, not far from my townhouse. I guess if it will grow in the Valley of the Sun, it should survive on The Valley Isle too.

Another landscape plant that Hawai`i and Arizona share is Bougainvillea. Used extensively in both locales, it brings a year-round splash of vivid color to any landscaped area.

Of course, how could you have a luxury golf course without a nice planting of Cook's Pine (sometimes erroneously identified as Norfolk Island Pine)? Originally brought to the islands to be used as a windbreak between fields of other crops, many people think of them as an endemic species, even though you now know better.

Another beautiful spot overlooking a water hazard which protects the green just beyond the landscaped wall — with views of Wailuku and Kahului below.

Not only is there beautiful flora, the landscapers have added water elements (including koi) that really add to the ambiance.

Nothing like a waterfall to provide the icing on the cake.

Few and far between, there were golfers on the course the day I visited. It looks so inviting.

In closing, this hole is nicely planted with Cook's Pine but I especially love the view of South Maui — Kihei, Wailea and Makena even to the Pu Ľu Olai cinder cone at Big Beach at Makena. Spectacular! With such views, it would be hard to concentrate on your golf.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com