The ocean steals the show on the South golf course at Mauna Lani Resort on Hawaii's Big Island

KOHALA COAST, Hawaii -- If you thought the oceanfront par-3 seventh hole on the Francis H. I'i Brown South Course at Mauna Lani Resort was beautiful, just wait an hour.

The 15th hole delivers a gorgeous grand finale. Stunning is the only way to describe this 196-yard par 3 over an ocean inlet where the green hugs the rocky coast.

A third scenic ocean lookout -- the 13th green along the cliffs -- makes the 6,924-yard South golf course more popular with tourists than Mauna Lani's North Course, even though most critics and locals favor the challenge and strategy of the latter.

These same views bedazzled the audience who tuned in to watch Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Hale Irwin and others compete in the Senior Skins Game from 1990-2000.

Golfers can't go wrong playing either course. In 2013, Golfweek ranked the North Course no. 14 and the South Course no. 15 among the best public golf courses of the Hawaiian islands.

Mar 11, 2014

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.