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William Higgs Jr. Takes on Klipper Golf Course: An Unforgettable Day in Paradise



Aloha Ques Take on Klipper Golf Course: An Unforgettable Day in Paradise


Introduction

For a brother of the Sigma Iota Chapter of Omega Psi Phi from Oakland, CA, a recent trip to Hawaii was more than just a vacation—it was an opportunity to enjoy some of the most scenic and challenging golfing available in the Department of Defense (DoD). Recently, brothers Marquis Jones (2-12-MA), Jarrell Davis (1-22-LBB), and Visiting Brother William Higgs Jr. (11-77-Spicy Phi E) gathered their clubs and camaraderie for a memorable round at the world famous Klipper Golf Course on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Known as the "Poor Man’s Pebble Beach," Klipper offers a unique and picturesque experience that every golfer should have on their bucket list.


Sigma Iota is home to a number of dedicated and seasoned golf enthusiasts. During the initial stages of event planning, it was strongly suggested by those Bruhs that golf equipment was an absolute necessity. Phi E initially resisted this idea, questioning the expense involved, but later reconsidered his stance. To facilitate the further progress of the plan, he established contact with the Aloha Ques. Subsequently, the trusty Neophyte, Jarrell Davis, corresponded with him prior to the excursion and successfully organized a tee time.


The Game on the Course

Arriving at Klipper, Phi E was met by Jarrell and exchanged greetings with Marquis on the way to the first tee. As they teed off, they found themselves surrounded by stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and lush green landscapes that are characteristic of Hawaii. The course proved to be challenging yet enjoyable, providing a mix of wide-open drives and narrow approach shots. It was a true test of skill and strategy, but the company of fellow brothers made it all the more fun.    


The Aloha Ques were gracious hosts, welcoming Sigma Iota to their home base and providing insider tips for navigating the course. They also shared stories and history of the island and its significance to the fraternity. It was a great opportunity for fellowship and brotherhood, connecting with a seasoned Visiting Bruh from across the Pacific over a shared love of golf.


The Background Story - Reconnecting with Roots

For Phi E, this visit was more than just a golfing excursion. William Higgs Jr. reminisces about his long-standing connection to Hawaii, having honeymooned here 36 years ago. He and his First Lady, Colleen, had always planned to return at least once every decade. Supporting Colleen, who is attending Delta Sigma Theta’s 54th Far West Regional Conference being held here in Honolulu, brought back fond memories and added sentimental value to the trip.


The History of Klipper Golf Course



Course Overview

Located on the Marine Corps Base Hawaii, the Klipper Golf Course is a sanctuary for golfers seeking both challenge and beauty. Renowned as the "Poor Man’s Pebble Beach," it’s considered the best course within the Department of Defense. The Front 9 offers a balanced challenge, while the Back 9 is particularly noted for its breathtaking ocean views and lush, tropical landscapes.


Klipper was originally built in 1948 as a nine-hole golf course for the officers and their guests on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. In 1954, it was expanded to a full 18 holes by renowned architect William Francis Bell, who designed many famous courses such as La Jolla Country Club and Torrey Pines in San Diego. Klipper is known for its challenging layout, with narrow fairways lined by ironwood and coconut trees, and strategically placed bunkers throughout the course. It has also hosted many prestigious tournaments, including the Hawaiian Open in 1965 won by Arnold Palmer. It is now open to members of the military, their dependents, and DoD employees.


The Gameplay

Marquis, Jarrell, and William embarked on their golfing journey at Klipper with enthusiasm and a sense of adventure. The course’s challenging par 5s pose a significant hurdle, particularly for those who aren’t long ball hitters. However, it is the awe-inspiring beauty of the Back 9 that leaves a lasting impression.


William reflects, “The back 9 is beautiful. You have to focus on your game and not get caught up in the sights.” Despite the challenges, it was the overall experience of immersing oneself in such a stunning environment that made it all worthwhile.


Social Connections

For William, the day was as much about socializing as it was about golfing. He had planned the trip after listening to his chapter’s avid golfers, who insisted he bring his clubs. Trusty Neophyte Jarrell Davis had reached out to William before the trip, ensuring that they would make the most of their time on the course.


The Experience at Klipper Golf Course


The Aloha Spirit and Black Culture: A Harmonious Connection

As soon as the Aloha Ques arrived at the course, they were greeted with warm aloha (love) and hospitality from both the staff and fellow golfers. The Ques, being well-known for their camaraderie and friendship, fit right in with the laid-back Hawaiian culture.   


The Aloha Spirit of Hawaii and elements of Black culture share profound similarities, both deeply rooted in values of community, love, and mutual respect. In Hawaiian culture, the word "aloha" transcends its simple translation of "hello" or "goodbye." It embodies a deeper philosophy of graciousness, expressing genuine concern and affection towards others. This pervasive sense of warmth and inclusivity is mirrored in Black culture, where strong communal bonds and resilience are cornerstones.


Traditionally, Black communities have placed significant emphasis on family ties, communal support, and collective well-being, much like the Hawaiian practice of 'ohana' (family) that extends beyond immediate relatives to encompass friends and neighbors. Both cultures celebrate life through music, dance, and shared experiences, fostering an environment that prioritizes positive human connections. The intersection of these cultural values creates a uniquely harmonious experience for Black Americans, as they find familiarity and kinship in the spirit of aloha that welcomes them like family.


A Challenging Yet Majestic Course

The course itself is a perfect blend of challenging and scenic. The brothers were constantly tested by the narrow fairways and strategically placed bunkers, requiring them to use every club in their bags. However, the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean on one side and lush mountains on the other provided a serene backdrop for their round. It was an experience that allowed them to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and appreciate the natural beauty surrounding them.


The Scenic Views

One of the most stunning aspects of Klipper Golf Course is its location. Situated on a peninsula on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, the course offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding mountains. This picturesque setting made for a memorable and enjoyable round of golf. In between swings, the brothers took a moment to soak in the beauty of their surroundings and appreciate the opportunity to play on such a historic course.


Golfing Evolution

Phi E had been entrusted with his first set of golf clubs by his father-in-law in 1995. While he only began to seriously play golf during the pandemic, it was the camaraderie and friendly competition with fellow Bruhs that fueled his passion. The pandemic saw him playing three times a week. This commitment not only improved his game but also cemented his love for the sport.   The trip to Klipper Golf Course was just the latest stop on his journey as a golfer, and he looks forward to many more rounds with his Fraternity brothers in the future.


Brotherhood on the Course

The round of golf at Klipper served not only as a way for the Aloha Ques to connect with their roots but also as an opportunity for them to bond as brothers. The game of golf has always been known for its ability to bring people together and create lasting friendships. The Aloha Ques took full advantage of this, with friendly banter and shared laughter throughout the round. It was a reminder of the strong bonds formed within the Fraternity and the value of brotherhood.


The Highlights

One particular highlight of the day was when Phi E parred the par-four 16th hole with a 250yd dinger off the tree which drew around a tree landing gently in the fairway which was met with cheers and high-fives from the Bruhs.




Highlights and Reflections


The Best of Klipper

When asked about what he liked best about the course, '77 emphasized the unparalleled views and the unique experiences it offers. “The sights alone are worth it. You’ll never play like this again. For the price, it was well worth it,” he noted, encouraging fellow Bruhs to seize the opportunity whenever possible.


Challenges Faced

While the beautiful scenery offered a serene backdrop, the course itself was no walk in the park. The length of the par 5s, in particular, proved daunting for Phi E who isn’t accustomed to hitting long drives. Yet, it was these very challenges that made the successful completion of the course even more gratifying.


A Word to Fellow Bruhs

To any Bruhs reading this, '77 has one key piece of advice: “Bring your clubs regardless of where you play.” The sentiment echoes the collective wisdom that the experience of playing on such a unique course like Klipper is invaluable, blending camaraderie, competition, and stunning natural beauty into one unforgettable day.


Conclusion

The day at Klipper Golf Course was more than just a round of golf for Spicy Phi E. It was a journey of camaraderie, nostalgia, and breathtaking beauty. From the challenging holes to the stunning vistas, every moment spent on the course was a testament to the joys of golfing and the bonds of brotherhood.


For Bruhs who find themselves in Hawaii, make sure to carve out time to play the Klipper. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting to swing your clubs, the experience is bound to be memorable. And as '77 aptly put it, “For the price, it was worth it!”


To our fellow Golf Bruhs, may your travels be filled with as much joy and adventure as ours.


Aloha Ques, and happy golfing!





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