FrontRunners: Royal Tee

Golf trails have become as commonplace as wine trails, but no other U.S. golfing route has the pedigree of the Kings’ Golf Trail on the Big Island of Hawaii. The path’s six spectacular layouts—the Mauna Kea and Hapuna Beach Prince at the Mauna Kea Resort (www.princeresortshawaii.com), the Francis H. I‘i Brown North and South Courses at the Mauna Lani Resort (www.maunalani.com), and the Beach and Kings’ Courses at the Waikoloa Beach Resort (www.waikoloabeachresort.com)—all play along the Kohala Coast’s historic Kings’ Trail trading route, which is lined with ancient ruins and petroglyphs. None of the six courses along the 20-mile path is new— only their branding as a golf trail is—but even the historians who dubbed the original route were guilty of a bit of marketing gimmickry. “Regular Hawaiians took the trail,” observes Dennis Rose, director of golf at the Mauna Lani, “but the kings always went by canoe.” . . .

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