Robert Trent Jones II added nine holes to each side of our original layout at Makena to create a pair of carefully crafted courses sculpted on the seaside flanks of 10,000-ft Haleakala, a dormant volcano. Design challenges were abundant. Many of the holes are terraced across sloping ground and play over lava rock and through native kiawe trees. As Robert Trent Jones, Jr. says of Makena, "Through careful planning and attention to some technical engineering principles we were able to present many of the holes separately and apart from all others. This creates a very special feeling for the golfer-almost like this tiny little part of the world was created just for you." Jones also mentions "commanding views of what seems to be the entire Pacific Ocean."
The delightful 6,914-yard North Course entertains with mountain and crater views, rock walls, and natural gullies and streambeds. Most fairways slope back toward the center, giving even less-skilled players a fair chance. The sixth hole presents a choice of fairways, each of which eventually crosses a steep ravine. From the scenic fourteenth hole you can see four islands floating in the watery distance-one for every shot you'll hope to take on a 620-yard hole that drops 200 feet in elevation from tee to green. To maintain the natural scenic values of the property, the Jones II team hid the cart paths from view.
Makena's South Course is a more open design with rolling fairways stretching to 7,017 yards. Members of the Aloha Section of the PGA chose the 502-yard par-five tenth here as one of the best par fives in Hawaii. The par-three fifteenth hole plays downhill straight toward the ocean, where humpbacked whales roll and tumble in their annual passage. The sixteenth hole, a 390-yard dogleg right, plays over a ravine and parallels the ocean on its way to a two-tiered green that kicks shots toward the water. As on many Scottish golf holes, hit short here and let the topography move your ball toward the flag.