Microsoft maestro Bill Gates brought a whole new meaning to "closing the deal" on the Challenge at Manele: on New Years Day 1994 he married his wife on the 12th tee of this Jack Nicklaus design. You might not leave the course as happy as Gates did that day this layout is called "The Challenge" for a very good reason but you'll be equally thrilled with the superb setting.
Ranked No. 33 on our Top 100 Courses You Can Play, the Challenge at Manele opened 14 years ago and is set among black lava outcroppings on a hillside above the Pacific Ocean. As Gates proved, the 202-yard, par-3 12th gets all the flashbulbs: its green and tees are separated by vertical cliff faces with the crashing surf of Hulopo'e Bay 150 feet below. But the 444-yard, par-4 17th is no less impressive and daunting. A 215- yard carry (from the tips) across an ocean inlet is the initial requirement on this dogleg right. Along your way to the green you'll also encounter blind shots, archeological sites, kiawe groves and wild ilima trees. Just a typical stroll in the park for Hawaii!
Like most courses on the islands, golf here isn't priced to sell. But even if $225 means more to you than it does to Mr. Gates and that's a safe assumption you'll be richer for having grappled with this Challenge.