KONA, HAWAII: My recent travels to The Club at Hokulia marked my 50th business trip to the Big Island. Much has changed over the decades, including excellent cell phone service and the opening of a giant Costco (a game changer for locals). What hasn’t changed is the stunning scenery, warm ocean waters, and aloha spirit.

At the core of Hokulia is its Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. Stand anywhere. Look in any direction and you can’t help but be overcome by the magnitude of its beauty. Its mission is threefold: (1) honor local culture, (2) preserve the archaeology, and (3) deliver one of the world’s preeminent residential golf lifestyles.

If you are a frequent visitor to Kona, you are familiar with the airport’s exit that requires you to make a left turn toward the famous resorts that dot the Kohala Coast or take a right turn toward downtown.

“There are eight out of thirteen climate subzones on the Big Island of Hawaii,” expressed Carrie Nicholson, sales and marketing director, Hokulia-Hawaii Life. “Hokulia is a large parcel of land that stretches from the coast up to an elevation of 1,250 feet. The club is set among the rich soil in the ‘coffee belt’ known for its world famous Kona coffee beans. The rugged topography, lush landscape, and proximity to all the services of town create an appealing choice. Add the fact that most homesites range from one to two acres, providing space to gather, celebrate, and unwind.”

Oh, Those Views

Instead of one large clubhouse, Hokulia features nine interconnected pavilions designed by architect Mark De Reuss with De Reuss Architects, a peaceful 3 miles of shoreline park, and a Jack Nicklaus designed 18-hole signature golf course that features ocean views from nearly every hole. “Two mountains protect us from the trade winds creating a tropical paradise that maximizes open-air living,” stated Nicholson.

A Symbiotic Partnership

The Club at Hokulia is controlled by club members, and the developer is Sunchase Holdings, a privately held, debt-free investment company with significant real estate holdings. The capital investors are William Pope and Rob Walton (the family behind Walmart).

“Our positive momentum is encouraging in every aspect of the club. Considering the dwindling inventory of high-end properties on the Big Island, our wide selection of real estate and investment in club improvements, I think we are the best deal in Hawaii,” expressed Bruce Totten, president of Hokulia’s board of directors.”

No Corners Cut

Ryan Coyle, head golf professional, recently celebrated his eighth year at Hokulia. “We are sheltered from the strong trade winds that affect golfers in many areas across the island chain. Hokulia enjoys gentle ocean breezes and warm, sunny days year-round,” said Coyle. “I have overseen roughly 400 men’s day outings, and can you guess how many we had to cancel because of inclement weather? The grand total: one. Our climate is so predictable, I’m not sure why there’s a need for a local weather forecast.

“Every golf course architect understands the importance of quality soil for both drainage and supporting plant life,” detailed Coyle. “Our property rests on some of the most fertile soil in all of Hawaii. During our course renovation, I was pleasantly shocked at how quickly the grow-in process evolved. We didn’t cut any corners. In order to guarantee the best playing conditions possible, our bunkers now feature sand that was barged in from Vietnam. While there were cheaper and more expeditious options, we wanted our membership to be ‘wowed’ by the improvements.

“Early each morning, when I arrive on property and make the first turn down the hill toward the golf shop, I hit the ‘pop’ of Pacific Ocean views,” concluded Coyle. “The moment never gets stale and reminds me of our special ‘corner of the world’ in which we live.”

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