Mauna Lani Resort - North golf course - 17th
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Mauna Lani Resort - North golf course - 17th
The 17th hole on the North Course at Mauna Lani Resort sits in a lava bowl. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Mauna Lani Resort - North golf course - no. 2
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Mauna Lani Resort - North golf course - no. 2
A handful of palms sway in the breeze near the second green on the Francis H. I'i Brown North golf course at Mauna Lani Resort in Hawaii. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Mauna Lani Resort - North golf course - 3rd
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Mauna Lani Resort - North golf course - 3rd
Kick a field goal between the trees to hit the third green of the Francis H. I'i Brown North golf course at Mauna Lani Resort. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Mauna Lani Resort - North G.C. - 4th
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Mauna Lani Resort - North G.C. - 4th
The fourth is the first of many greens hard to hit in regulation on the North Course at Mauna Lani Resort on Hawaii's Big Island. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Mauna Lani Resort - North GC - 5th
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Mauna Lani Resort - North GC - 5th
It's a lovely setting around the par-3 fifth hole on the Francis H. I'i Brown North golf course at Mauna Lani Resort in Hawaii. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Mauna Lani Resort - North golf course - 6th
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Mauna Lani Resort - North golf course - 6th
Tee shots lost to the right of the sixth fairway have to contend with water and trees on the Francis H. I'i Brown North Course at Mauna Lani Resort in Hawaii. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Mauna Lani Resort - North golf course - 9th
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Mauna Lani Resort - North golf course - 9th
The surf crashes behind the ninth green of the Francis H. I'i Brown North Course at Mauna Lani Resort. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Mauna Lani Resort - North GC - 14th
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Mauna Lani Resort - North GC - 14th
The 14th hole of the Francis H. I'i Brown North golf course at Mauna Lani Resort shouldn't be hard at just 131 yards, but the pond makes things interesting. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
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A beauty and beast: The North golf course at Mauna Lani Resort on Hawaii's Big Island

KOHALA COAST, Hawaii -- The Francis H. I'i Brown North Course at Mauna Lani Resort plays considerably tougher than the prettier and more player-friendly South Course.

The North Course's elevation changes through a Kiawe (mesquite) forest provide plenty of twists of fate on the scorecard. Its moments of beauty are masked by difficult golf holes.

The par-4 ninth hole strolls toward the beach and the crashing waves, playing 455 yards into the wind. A pond and bunker right of the green gather up anything short. The 132-yard 17th hole highlights a great collection of par 3s. It plays into a bowl of black lava rock.

A 230-acre protected archaeological district lies on the northern boundary of the 6,913-yard course. Herds of feral goats sometimes play through, moving from hole to hole throughout the day. In 2013, Golfweek ranked the North Course no. 14 and the South Course no. 15 among the best public golf courses of the Hawaiian islands.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 1,000 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfadvisor and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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A beauty and beast: The North golf course at Mauna Lani Resort on Hawaii's Big Island