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Mancations: Bogie and Birdie on the Big Island

Photo Credit Evan Schiller

Photo Credit Evan Schiller

Men—it’s your month.  Celebrate being king of everything. Life is good, but sometimes it takes getting away with the boys to appreciate every realm of your life.  Go crazy. Get manly. Toss the cologne. When you cavort with cronies nobody cares. Here are three macho mancations to make sure you respect the rest of your life.

Photo Credit John DeMello

Photo Credit John DeMello

Some say the Hawaiian Islands were created for golf.  It shows up in the beguiling details: rugged coastlines, crashing cobalt waves that lick the shore, mountains hovering, lush, long fairways and black as coal lava beds.  Such a landscape begs to be sculpted into golf courses: adult playgrounds that excite the senses.  Indeed, Hawaii has over 75 such courses– many of them award winning– spread out over its six utterly distinctive islands.  They are some of most highly touted and most famous courses in the world.  Such courses call out to hardworking men and their cadre of comrades.  They attract duffers and semi pros alike with promises of paradise.  Imagine this sort of golfing nirvana: a long drive off a tee that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, the anticipation as you watch that ball fly across the orchid fairway that is the churning sea, the exhilaration when it hits land again—hopefully—on the green.  And the horror when it drops dead into a lava trap or takes a plunge in the water.  Ah, the thrills of the game.

Photo Credit Don Riddle

Photo Credit Don Riddle

While every island promises golfing heaven, guys in getaway mode ought to consider an outing to the riveting world of the Big Island, the largest and youngest island of the chain.   Not the beach boy world of Waikiki or hula haven of Maui, not the garden green of Kauai, the Big Island looks a bit like Mars at first glance.  That’s right, landing in Kona on the Kahala Coast, the first thing you’ll notice is a mystical world of black lava rock, punctuated by bits of white coral washed up from the sea.  This inky expanse once flowed from the island’s seven volcanoes, and now, petrified it paves the way from the snow capped peaks to the shore.  There, like an oasis in the desert, palm trees, fruit trees, and gardens grow—and a resort world thrives. Here, the golf courses of the Big Island shine, pieces of art so well built that they enhance, rather than detract from the landscape. Perfect for a mancation.

Photo Credit Don Riddle

Photo Credit Don Riddle

Check into the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai with the lads for some luxury.  Consistently rated one of the world’s most satisfying hotels, this resort conjures versions of old Hawaii, but in a contemporary way.  Intimate, it’s a compound to carouse in and the hotel’s Alaka’I Nalu (or wave leaders) will take you for some shore fishing, outrigger canoe riding, or help you train for an Ironman ocean swim.  Still, you might rather take a nap in your hammock in preparation for you day on one of Hawaii’s top rated courses, the Hualalai, designed by Jack Nicklaus and well known to viewers of golf championships on television. Beginning in a grotto-like area, it takes players through precarious black lava formations (conceived by Nicklaus to contrast with the green) then ends in an area so close to the ocean it seems to float above it.  Veterans of the course can’t decide which Par 3 hole intrigues them the most, agreeing that all give a thrill that brings them back year after year.  Take advantage of the resort’s current Unlimited Golf Course Package, which does what it says—allows you and your buddies to play endlessly.  Just be sure to stop in time for the sunset—yes, even the manliest of men can enjoy a Big Island sunset.

www.fourseasons.com

Mancation Bermuda: Reeling It In

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Just because Bermuda has beaches the color of pink ballet tights does not mean it is not a manly enough place for the guys to gather for a fishing getaway.  Okay, but they wear Bermuda shorts and knee socks, too, you say.  Granted, but Bermudians  also drive on the wrong side of the road (that’s the left side if you’re wondering) which is a pretty macho thing to do—not to mention the male factor manifested by their serious love affair with motor scooters and really big boats.

Take Skipper Peter Rans, one of Bermuda’s most storied fisherman..  Men like him have known for centuries that the warm waters surrounding Bermuda harbor a hoard of hearty sea creatures from wahoo to shark.  While hook and line aficionados can shore fish or reef fish along Bermuda’s twenty- one miles of coastline, most fun is a day or two on the high seas in pursuit of the Blue Marlin and other giants of the sea.  Dauntingly big, these immense fish are best caught under the watchful eye of a seafaring professional.  So, book a captain like Rans and  a boat, like his 41 foot Overproof, and you’ll find snagging a Blue Marlin as easy as catching a goldfish in an aquarium with a scoop. Costing around $1000 for a half day or $1400 for a full one, these boats are big enough for all the boys.  ( www.overprooffishing.com or www.bermuda4u.com for more information.).

While some men fish to relax, others tune into their primal inner man and see the sport as a competition.  So, if leisure isn’t what comes to mind when you put some worms on a hook (or more expensive lures of course), if the stress of waiting for the big one drives you and your posse of pals completely—well,–fishy,  consider entering a fishing contest.  Prestigious, geared to the more experienced deep sea fishermen, Bermuda’s annual Big Game Classic, a three day big fish team challenge will channel Captain Ahab in every guy.  The country’s largest billfish event, and the centerpiece of Bermuda’s sports fishing triple crown, the Classic takes place next year July 12-16, 2017.  Why not bring your buddies and compete for prizes and prestige? www.bermudabiggameclassic.com

Photo Courtesy of Gour Seasons Resort Hualalai

Photo Courtesy of Gour Seasons Resort Hualalai

When not fishing, sporty men can play a bit of tennis, dive or snorkel (Bermuda’s reef is over two hundred square miles long, the northernmost in the world, and boasts an abundance of easily accessed ship wrecks).  Lazier types can gad about in spas, lounge by the pools, read that sport’s biography they’ve been carrying around since the holidays or enjoy a beach with sugary pink sand.  Outstanding food reflects the diverse culture of Bermuda and ranges from continental style to Caribbean influenced dishes.  And don’t’ forget the island’s signature drink, the Dark and Stormy.  This spicy blend of Black Seal rum and ginger beer makes the perfect toast to honor the catch of the day.

Becca Hansley

Becca Hansley

Austin-based Becca Hensley has never met a stranger. Award winning, this travel and lifestyle writer, poet and essayist can't resist the unexplored alley, that glass of champagne in an unknown bar or taking the train far beyond her planned destination.

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