Kamehameha Schools in negotiations with potential operator for Volcano Golf Course

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VOLCANO, Hawaii (KHON2) — The Volcano Golf and Country Club is a golf course unlike any other.

“As you can see by the scenery, it’s just pristine,” said Kahu Kaunaloa Boshard, the Hawaii Chaplain for Kamehameha Schools.

However, it’s not just the scenery that makes the Volcano Golf Course spectacular. It’s the fact that it is located directly across the street from Halemaumau Crater.

Golfing that close to an active volcano comes with some added challenges since players are some 4,000 feet up. One second it’s sunny, and the next it is cold, windy and misty.

“There are times when you can’t see your ball after you’ve hit it, and so you just have to wait for the wind to move the clouds or mist away,” Boshard explained.

However, no one has been able to enjoy the course’s unique features since 2020. The Volcano Golf Course closed in May 2020, but not because of COVID-19.

The previous operators abandoned the lease, and the course never reopened.

That caused rumors to swirl about what would happen to the golf course.

Now the property is back in Kamehameha Schools’ possession.

Kilohana Hirano, the Regional Director for Kamehameha Schools, can confirm that it will be staying a golf course.

Hirano said Kamehameha Schools is in negotiations with a new golf operator, and it hopes to continue the courses’ 100-year history.

In the beginning, the course looked very different. There were just a few holes marked by stakes in the middle of a cattle pasture.

“The golf course here itself started 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 2018 eruption of Kilauea. Then in 2019, a fire destroyed the golf shop, and 2020 brought the coronavirus.

Looking forward, Kamehameha Schools has big plans for the future of this majestic parcel of land.

“We’re looking forward to how do we use this particular site to get additional educational gains for Kamehameha Schools,” Hirano said. “With its proximity to the Volcanoes National Park, some environmental restoration projects just mauka of here, and just the proximity between Hilo and Ka’u, and how we can use this as a staging area for students.”

Kamehameha Schools can’t say yet who it is in negotiations with to potentially operate the property, but said that it hopes it will be able to reopen to the public soon.

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