Coolest spots in golf: King Kamehameha Golf Club

King Kamehameha Golf Club

Legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed a handful of clubhouses, and this one in the Aloha State is a stunner.

Courtesy of King Kamehameha Golf Club

Legendary American architect Frank Lloyd Wright was not a golfer, but he does have a distinct connection to the game. His prolific portfolio includes a handful of clubhouses — most notably, an unlikely, surreal edifice tucked into the west Maui foothills at King Kamehameha Golf Club.

Wright’s design was originally commissioned as a private home to be built in Texas, in 1949. The project was then reworked in 1952 for a Mexican businessman. Both deals fell through.

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Five years later, when Marilyn Monroe and her husband, playwright Arthur Miller, hired Wright to design their Connecticut country house, the architect had a ready set of plans. The Millers, of course, requested their own design tweaks. Ultimately, the house was never built, and Wright’s drawings were tucked away at his Taliesin West estate in Scottsdale, Ariz., until 1988, when they were sold to Japanese investors whose vision was to convert the design into a golf clubhouse on their property in Hawaii. 

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No stone went unturned when it came to incorporating Wright’s design motifs. The circular, scalloped marble perimeter of this indoor pool matches the arcing woodwork on the building’s entryway doors.

Courtesy of King Kamehameha Golf Club

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From an elevation of 750 feet above sea level, members and guests take in stunning views of the Central Maui Valley and the far-off slopes of the Haleakalā volcano.

Courtesy of King Kamehameha Golf Club

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An aerial view of the interior of the King Kamehameha Golf Club clubhouse.

Courtesy of the King Kamehameha Golf Club

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The clubhouse features cool and retro interior furnishings.

Courtesy of King Kamehameha Golf Club

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A gorgeous exterior view of the clubhouse.

Courtesy of King Kamehameha Golf Club

Though the blueprints were expanded to accommodate a larger structure, the bones of Wright’s original design are intact. At more than 74,000 square feet, the King Kamehameha clubhouse is a grand exhibit, with stunning views through its distinctive porthole windows.

The building has three levels, the lower two added underground to preserve the integrity of the original work. The attention to Wright-inspired details shines throughout and the architect’s portrait hangs in the stairwell as a tribute to the man who dreamed up the epic spectacle that the King Kamehameha clubhouse would eventually become.

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and is the staff’s self-appointed development tour “expert.”