Getting To Know: Princeville Makai Golf Club
An Insightful Interview With Eric Belmonte, Head Golf Professional
By Brian Weis
Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Eric Belmonte who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.
Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Princeville Makai Golf Course sits on a bluff overlooking the deep blue pacific ocean. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. the Makai opened in 1971and has been ranked as one of Hawaii's top golf courses in Hawaii, appearing on numerous "Top 100 Lists". Princeville Makai Golf Club is managed by Troon Golf, the largest golf management company of golf and Club operations in the world managing courses in more than 29 countries and 34 American states.
Originally designed as a three nine-hole course, Ocean, Lakes and Woods. In October 2008, the course closed for extensive renovation and reopened in January 2010 featuring The 18-hole Makai Course incorporating the original Ocean and Lakes nines. The 9-hole Woods course reopened in April 2010.
If Someone Was Looking To Golf on the Island, Why Should They Play Your Course?
Golfers should play the Makai Golf Club due to the surrounding beauty, well manicured fairways and greens and the ocean front golf holes. We offer golfers a variety of golf packages to fit their needs. Golfers have a choice of playing 9 holes or 18 holes.
Makai also offers our popular Sunset Golf Cart Tour - it's a self guided tour on Makai's 18-hole course. A great way for non-golfers to enjoy the course. Before heading out on the tour, stop by our famous Makai Grill to pick snacks, soft drinks or an adult beverage.
You'll see different flowers, trees and during seasons, you'll get a chance to see whales breaching out in the pacific ocean and the Laysan Albatross and its baby nesting.
What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
The wind condition plays a big part in club selection. On a normal day with 5-10 mph wind, choose 1-1.5 club difference than what you would normally hit. On a lot of the holes, it's better to be long than short. Play Well!!
Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
I am most proud of the condition of the golf course and all the compliments on the renovation we've received from guests that has been coming here for years, some over 20-30 years.
Here are a few Makai Awards.
2015/16 Golf Digest, Makai Course #65 on "America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses"
2015 Golfweek, Makai Course #42 in "Top 100 Resort Courses" and #4 in Hawaii's "Best Courses You Can Play"
2014/15 GOLF Magazine, Makai Course #5 in "Best Public Courses in Hawaii"; "Premier Golf Resorts in North America," Gold Medal for The St. Regis Princeville Resort
2014 Golfweek, Makai Course #86 in "Top 100 Resort Courses" and #4 in Hawaii's "Best Courses You Can Play"
What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
Princeville Makai Golf Club has four signature holes, Makai Course #3, #7, #13 and #18. The most photographed signature hole is #7, a par 3 one must carry nearly 200 yards from the back tees over a ravine and the ocean to a green fronted by a cliff with tropical vegetation and trees. It is also the most photographed hole because of the famous back drop of Bali Hai (Mt. Makana) in the movie South Pacific.
What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
My favorite is the par 5, 18th hole. With a well placed tee shot, golfers are able to go for the green in two over the lake and make a birdie and possibly an eagle. On the other hand, a bad second shot can cost you a few extra strokes. It's a risk/reward hole.
On your tee shot, aim a little left of the bunker that is well placed in the middle of the fairway and you'll have a shorter approach to the green.
Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
We have a great selection of Breakfast and Lunch items at the Makai Grill. A must have are our favorites the Turkey Wrap and Chicken Panini. Wash it down with our original Makai Tai drink.
Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
There is a tie for the course record. Record came during the Collegiate Golf Tournament here at Princeville Makai Golf Club hosted by the University of Hawaii.
Chad Ramey from Mississippi State 63
Frederick Wedel from Pepperdine 63
Back Tee Stats
Princeville Makai Golf Club
4080 Lei O Papa Road
Princeville, Hawaii, 96722
Revised: 05/07/2015 - Article Viewed 19,967 Times - View Golf Course Profile
Written By: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler