Carved out of the rugged coast, the Challenge at Manele sprawls across ancient lava fields, with 180-degree ocean panoramas from every hole. A theater of color unfolds: red cliffs plunging down to blue sea, green fairways engulfing white sandtraps, and blossoms from fissures in the black lava rock. This was the palette of designer Jack Nicklaus, who shaped the 7,039–yard, par 72 championship course, carefully protecting and preserving the archaeological ruins within its borders.
Teeing off from the cliffs at Hulopoe Bay with the Pacific surging below, you face perhaps the world's most unforgiving water hazard. The twelfth hole is nothing short of a leap of faith, with 200 yards of churning waves to cross. Other holes demand shots over yawning ravines. Fortunately, the five-tee concept - with courses of shorter yardage mapped in red, white, blue, gold and "Nicklaus" - allows golfers of all levels to emerge unscathed.