VOLCANO, Hawaii (KHON2) – The Volcano Golf and Country Club is a golf course like no other.
“As you can see from the scenery, it’s just pristine,” said Kahu Kaunaloa Boshard, Hawaii’s chaplain for Kamehameha Schools.
However, it’s not just the scenery that makes the Volcano Golf Course spectacular. It is the fact that it is located right in front of the Halemaumau crater.
Golfing this close to an active volcano comes with additional challenges, as players are located around 4,000 feet above sea level. One second it’s sunny, and the next it’s cold, windy, and foggy.
“There are times when you can’t see your ball after you hit it, so you just have to wait for the wind to move the clouds or the haze,” said Boshard.
However, no one has been able to enjoy the unique features of the course since 2020. The Volcano Golf Course closed in May 2020, but not due to COVID-19.
The previous operators abandoned the lease and the course never reopened.
This sparked rumors about what would happen to the golf course.
Now the property is once again in the possession of Kamehameha schools.
Kilohana Hirano, the regional director of Kamehameha schools, can confirm that there will remain a golf course.
Hirano said Kamehameha Schools is in negotiations with a new golf operator and hopes to continue the centuries-old history of the courses.
At first, the course looked very different. There were only a few holes marked by stakes in the middle of a cattle pasture.
“The golf course here itself began as a three-hole golf course in the early 1920s, eventually becoming a nine- and 18-hole golf course,” Hirano said.
Over the years the course has seen a lot like the Kilauea eruption in 2018. Then in 2019 a fire destroyed the golf shop and 2020 brought the coronavirus.
For the future, Kamehameha Schools has big plans for the future of this majestic piece of land.
“We are eager to know how to use this particular site to achieve additional educational gains for Kamehameha schools,” Hirano said. “With its proximity to Volcanoes National Park, some environmental restoration projects are just mauka from here, and just the proximity between Hilo and Ka’u, and how we can use it as a staging area for students. ”
Schools in Kamehameha cannot yet say who they are in negotiations with to potentially exploit the property, but have said they hope they can reopen to the public soon.