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MAUNA KEA PRO-AM

A Bond Forged

The aloha spirit was alive and well at Mauna Kea Resort’s 43rd annual Pro-Am.

Kohala Coast, Hawaii: A University of Arizona study estimated Americans speak about 16,000 words per day (interestingly the study showed no statistical difference in words spoken between men and women).

We are social beings who value friendship and community. Some bonds are stronger than others. Clergy to parishioner, coach to athlete, or member to golf professional create unique connecting dynamics that can last a lifetime.

The Mauna Kea Resort Pro-Am, a Big Island tradition since 1973, provides an opportunity for private club members and their golf professional to enjoy each other’s company, play oceanfront golf, luxuriate in a beachfront room, and relax on its world famous, powdery, white sand beach.

Mike Reehl, director of golf at Santa Ana Country Club in California, has been a regular at the Pro-Am since 1983. “I have been coming to the tournament for half my life. The golf course has gotten longer, if you know what I mean,” winked Reehl.

Last December, 25 teams from around the country competed for bragging rights and a cash purse. The five night, four-day event is a four-person, 54-hole tournament consisting of three amateurs and one professional. Scoring is two best balls–one gross, one net, with members playing to their low index over the past 12 months.

Fit For A Rockefeller

When the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel opened in 1965, it was the most expensive resort ever built.

Laurance Rockefeller, owner of the resort and prominent third-generation member of the Rockefeller family, produced a promotional made-for-television event with Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Arnold Palmer to quickly established the resort on the world’s stage. Rumor has it Gary Player requested for the tees not to be placed on the 3rd hole’s back tee box. He was concerned the 260-yard carry to the green perched on a rocky cliff could prove vexing.

“I appreciated Mr. Player’s uneasiness,” said Mike Rymer, director of golf at Champions Retreat in Georgia. “I tried to fire it from the tips on the 3rd hole and my ball found a watery grave among the crashing waves battering the lava rocks.”

“It’s often difficult for a PGA professional to justify travel to Hawaii. Time and cost are always a consideration,” explained Donn Takahashi, president of Prince Resorts Hawaii. “So, if club members field a team, the pro’s room, golf, most meals—and even airfare are complimentary. This is an opportunity for private club members to reward their pro with an expense paid trip to one of Hawaii’s finest golf resorts.” 

For more information on the 43rd annual Mauna Kea Beach Resort Pro-Am on December 7-12, 2016, please visit ExecutiveGolferMagazine.com or call Mark Pazdur, tournament director, at 949-933-6478.