Hawaiʻi County to host inaugural ground golf Mayor’s Cup this summer

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A new sport direct from Japan is taking hold on the Big Island and Hawaiʻi County is hosting a landmark event this summer to highlight its growing popularity.

The inaugural Hawaiʻi Island Ground Golf Mayor’s Cup Tournament is planned for this June in Kailua-Kona. Mayor Mitch Roth, center, poses for this photo with several ground golf players. (Photo courtesy of the Hawaiʻi County Office of the Mayor)

Mark your calendar now for the inaugural Hawaiʻi Island Ground Golf Mayor’s Cup Tournament on June 21 at the baseball field at Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area in Kailua-Kona.

“We’re thrilled to host the inaugural Mayor’s Cup ground golf tournament, celebrating the growing popularity of this sport on our island,” said Hawaiʻi County Mitch Roth. “Having had the chance to play, I can personally attest to the skill and precision required to succeed. We eagerly anticipate testing our abilities together in a few weeks.”

Ground golf combines elements of golf and croquet and originated in Hawaiʻi County’s sister city of Yurihama, Japan. It is a club and ball sport based on the rules of traditional golf, but only requires one club and one ball per player.


It’s a low stress sport meant to be simple to play, which made it popular among elderly people in Japan. The sport has since become popular on the Big Island, especially among kūpuna.

The tournament promises a day of friendly competition, community building and physical activity in a beautiful outdoor setting. Check in will be at 9:30 a.m. with playthrough starting at 10 a.m. at the park baseball field located at 75-5560 Kuakini Highway in Kailua-Kona.

Lunch is planned for noon.


Anyone age 18 and older is welcome to participate. The registration fee is $12, which includes lunch. Because of limited space, registration closes May 30.

Participants can register in person at the Hawaiʻi County Parks and Recreation Department Elderly Recreation Services Division office, located at 127 Kamana St. in Hilo; the West Hawaiʻi Coordinated Services for the Elderly office, located at 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway in Kailua-Kona; or online.

The Mayor’s Cup is possible because of a partnership between the Elderly Recreation Services Division, Roth’s office and Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaiʻi.


For more information, including registration details, click here or contact the Elderly Recreation Services Division at 808-961-8710.

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