‘There is nothing like this in Hawaii:’ How to pamper your swing in paradise


Hualalai's $5 million enhancement is complete.

Left: Courtesy. Right: Evan Schiller

Most golf-loving tourists visit Hawaii to escape work.

But what if they had a place to work on their games?

That’s the thinking behind the new teched-out luxury practice facility at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, on the Big Island, home to the Jack Nicklaus-designed Hualalai course and a members-only Tom Weiskopf design, Ke’olu.

As part of $5.25 million upgrade — which included enhancements to the Hualalai course — the resort has added enough game-improvement technology to make Bryson DeChambeau’s head spin.

The new-look Hualalai course. Evan Schiller (both)

Called the Hualalai Golf Hale (hale is Hawaiian for house), the facility originally opened in February 2020 but was shut down a month later by the pandemic; it reopened in December and has been going strong since.

“What I wanted to do was put Hawaii golf instruction on the map,” says Brady Riggs, the resort’s director of instruction and a GOLF Top 100 Teacher. “I wanted to take the best golf technology here along with a practice range where we can lay out 18 holes for a par-3 short course, have music and food, like The Cradle at Pinehurst.”

Housed in the Golf Hale, which is adjacent to Hualalai’s range, are three indoor hitting bays, which can be opened or closed; TrackMan launch monitors, along with flight simulation cameras; and a SAMS putting lab. All videos and swing instruction are captured on a computer system and can be emailed to resort guests. The entire practice area is also wired with TrackMan Range, allowing golfers to monitor their own stats through an app.

If all the tech isn’t fun enough, there is also a Topgolf Swing Suite, where guests can play a deep roster of famous courses, day or night. The building’s lounge and comfort station boast a full kitchen, beverages, snacks and various sitting areas with large-screen TVs, making possible a full range of activities from business meetings, to team bonding, to golf-themed birthday parties.

The indoor space in the Golf Hale includes a Topgolf Swing Suite (right). courtesy

“There is nothing like this in Hawaii or anywhere close,” said Brendan Moynahan, Hualalai’s director of golf.

He should know. While the concept was in the formulation stages, Moynahan toured resorts all over the mainland at the request of Hualalai owners, looking for properties that offered a combination of top-shelf golf, lodging and high-tech instruction. Moynahan says the best all-in experience he identified was at Reynolds Lake Oconee, outside Atlanta, home to the TaylorMade Kingdom fitting facility.

Now, for golfers who want to pamper not only themselves but also their swings, there’s another option.

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Art Stricklin