Situated on the Kohala coast of the Big Island, the Mauna Kea Golf Course is the original layout of the island of Hawaii.
Alfred Cazimero, or "Buzz", as he is known to those around the clubhouse, has been the embodied the spirit of the Mauna Kea for 39 years. Buzz knows everyone here, greeting guests, shining shoes, and making everyone he comes in contact with feel welcome.
"I worked here nine years after the hotel was built," says Buzz. "I see all my friends come back every year."
"What i like to say is, he's my 'ambassador of aloha', says director of golf, Josh Silliman. "He makes everybody feel at home."
Buzz is just one part of the experience here at one of the most beautiful spots on earth. The 7,300 plus yard layout is as challenging as it is breathtaking. The deep blue Pacific serves as the backdrop for the majority of the holes, including the par-3 third hole, where an errant shot could find your ball swimming with the sea turtles and tropical fish.
"It really has held it's stature throughout all the years," says Silliman. "And is one of the best out here in the islands, certainly."
A 2008 renovation freshened up the layout, and added even more character with updated bunkers and the like, so if you make it to the big island, a visit to Mauna Kea is definitely a must.--and you've gotta stop by and say hi to Buzz.
"I try to make them feel at home," says Cazimero. "That's why they come back....and they're real nice. I love them."
From what I could tell, the feeling is certainly mutual.