Widely considered one of most dramatic golf courses ever created, The Prince Course is a marvelous blending of natural beauty and architectural themes. As much as any course, it presents strategic shot values set into a majestic site. Named after a Hawaiian kinsman of King Kamehameha who once owned the land upon which it’s built, the 7,309-yard course (with a slope of 145 and a 75.3 rating) plays through jungles, across ravines, over mango forests, and along green bluffs while offering views of the blue Pacific. Of the more than 200 courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the Prince consistently ranks among his favorites. Five sets of tees provide golf experiences of varying difficulty, while the undulating greens challenge all comers.
The Prince makes a royal impression from the very start. The opening hole on this continuous routing unfurls across 448 yards from the elevated back tee. Drives must carry to the narrow fairway without traveling through the fairway to a stream-filled gully which must be carried on the second shot to a green tucked into the jungle. The par five second hole, at 597 yards, requires a sturdy drive short of another flora-filled chasm. The sixth hole has been described as a Hawaiian version of number sixteen at Cypress Point: it plays 205 yards dead into the wind, with crashing ocean surf stretching beyond Anini Beach along the entire left side.
The back nine displays equal degrees of beauty and artistry. Number twelve, called “Eagle’s Nest,” soars for 390 yards from the aerie-like tee box, dropping more than 100 feet to a fairway hugged by lush vegetation. Number thirteen—a long, difficult 418-yard challenge—soothes golfers with a tropical waterfall and hanging garden at the back of the grotto containing the green.
Princeville is also home to the renowned Robert Trent Jones II-designed Makai Course—three nines (Ocean, Lakes, Woods) that extend like spokes from the clubhouse and combine in pairs to a maximum length of about 6,900 yards. The habitats of three endangered species were preserved here. The Princeville Hotel spills down a nearby hillside in luxurious tiers, providing the perfect place to regain your strength for tomorrow’s round.