Big Isle course designed for young golfers
SOUTH KOHALA » Cody Min decided two weeks ago to take up golf.
And last month, the 6-year-old Hilo boy won his first tournament.
Min and 17 other golfers ages 10 and under helped christen what many say is the state's only nine-hole golf course specifically designed for children.
The course at Mauna Lani Resort, sprouting up between the resort's award-winning Francis H. Ii Brown North and South courses, provides a place for youngsters ages 5 to 12 to learn the game. The holes are 40 yards to 140 yards in length with a par of 33. But the layout is no pushover.
The third hole, aptly named "Wipe Out" for its challenging green, is compared on the course scorecard to the "toughest wave you'll ever ride."
David Camacho was taking photographs of daughter Mari, 8, in action on the par-3, 61-yard first hole.
"This is awesome. The grass is fast just like the courses for big kids," he said. "Golf has become so competitive you really have got to start young and get good at the short game and that's what this course offers."
Min's dad, Marvin Min, who was also tournament director, said: "It's fabulous that they get to play on a resort course with professional greens and bunkers and everything."
"It's so small, it's even harder than normal," said Shon Katahira, 10, who came in second in his age group by one stroke. "It's really about the short game. I think I did pretty good."
Green fees at the Mauna Lani's children's course start at $25 for children, $35 for adults.
Players must have some knowledge of the game and be accompanied on the course by an adult.