Nanea Golf Club

Category18 hole
Status Open now

Opened in 2003, Nanea Golf Club is probably one of the most exclusive golf clubs in Hawaii and probably in the USA. Membership is by invitation only. No ad, no website, no commercial action… A typical inaccessible golf course for the common golfer! Nevertheless, this secluded golf community allows the nearby golf team of Kealakehe High School to practice and play on the golf course. A hope for some happy few!

Located on the slopes of Mount Hualalai, Nanea Golf Club is Hawaii’s version of a Scottish links that came about when billionaires Charles Schwab and George Roberts partnered up to create the club by leasing 8,000 acres of property and hiring Scottish architect David McLay Kidd to design the links.

The terrain features plenty of elevation changes, variety in the design, and the mountainside location lures putts down the hill towards the ocean no matter what you are reading in the green to the contrary. The course is completely covered in player friendly paspalum grass and was the first course in North America to do so. As a side note, Kidd’s father Jimmy pioneered the use of paspalum in the Middle East. Bring plenty of balls on your visit to Nanea Golf Club because any ball that leaves the fairway will likely be lost or at a minimum sliced up from the lava rock. That being said, the fairways and greens are plenty generous so players enjoy forgiveness throughout the round. Putts that head toward the peak of Mount Hualalai roll quite a bit slower than you would think and the putts going to the ocean race at an Augusta National like pace.

You wouldn’t expect the tropical islands of Hawaii to enjoy a golf course with firm and fast conditions but the city of Kailua-Kona gets less than a foot of rain a year which allows Nanea to generate a firm links like experience despite the lack of natural links soil. Though the club is ultra exclusive, the membership and staff couldn’t be less stuffy and are very welcoming to all that are privileged enough to tee it up at Nanea.

View of the Clubhouse at Nanea Golf Club, Hawaii

The clubhouse was designed to resemble the island’s five volcanoes and the course itself was laid out on a thick lava mantle with the heart of British seaside links at its roots. The clubhouse enjoys stunning views from the panoramic windows which put the golf course and ocean on full display while the locker rooms feature outdoor showers enclosed by a lava rock wall. The turn into Nanea doesn’t feature any signage and don’t trust your GPS to get you there; just turn on the unlabeled road across the highway from Kukio’s entrance before entering the gate and driving two miles to paradise.

Practice Facilities

Driving range
Putting green
Golf academy

Golf Club Amenities

Credit card accepted


Electro-cart for hire

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