Tips for Golfing in Hawaii

Hawaii attracts golfers of all levels from all over the world due to its magnificent landscape, one-of-a-kind signature holes, and championship-caliber course designs. There are a variety of best golf courses in Hawaii, ranging from greens surrounded by black volcanic rough to picturesque beachfront water hazards. 

According to a recent poll of professional golfers, Hawaii is their preferred vacation destination. It’s incredible how the top golf course designers in the world — Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones, and Arnold Palmer — were able to envision and design courses that ran up, down, and around cliffs, beaches, rolling hills, and lava fields.

So, do you have any plans to swing your way through any of Hawaii’s stunning fairways? Make the most of your golf outing in Hawaii by following these helpful tips! 

When To Go

The weather on all Hawaiian Islands is relatively stable throughout the year, with only minor temperature variations. This is due to the warm sea surface temperatures that persist throughout the year, keeping the overlying atmosphere warm. In practical terms, there are just two seasons: summer (named Kau in Hawaiian), which runs from May to October, and winter (called Ho’oilo), which runs from November to April. 

Leave The Clubs At Home

golf clubs, various clubs, metal clubs

You can play without them. Rental clubs are available at most resort courses and many daily fee courses, and they’re usually the latest models from Titleist, Ping, Callaway, TaylorMade, Tommy Armour, or Cobra. Both men and women and left-handed people can benefit from this. This means you won’t have to lug your clubs across the Pacific and will be able to try out the newest clubs. Of course, call ahead or check online to see what each course provides before you go.

No Metal Spikes

Metal spikes are generally not permitted on Hawaii golf courses. So, if you’re bringing your golf shoes, make sure they’re the rubber sort that’s good for the greens. The majority of courses also include shoe rental. Make a reservation in advance.

Wear Sunscreen

a man playing golf, green grass, sunset view, orange sky

Even in December and January, the subtropical rays are intense. As a result, sunscreen has become your new best buddy. Purchase it and apply it with a minimum of 30 SPF. Real men, believe it or not, use sunscreen. It’s a good idea to use it at least on the first and tenth tees. Yes, it can get a little greasy, but that’s why the gods of golf developed handi wipes. Fortunately, most pro shops sell sunscreen if you forget to bring it.

Get Ready For The Kona Winds

The Hawaiian archipelago is blessed with cooling trade winds from the northeast, as intense as the sun can be. As a result, the wind is nearly always a challenge for golfers. Because most courses are routed to take advantage of the prevailing trade winds, southwestern Kona winds can entirely turn a course around. 

When playing into the wind, Hawaiian pros recommend taking an extra club or two or three and swinging lightly – the harder you hit, the more spin you give to the ball, which is amplified by the wind.

Wear Wide Brim Golf Hat

Hats are excellent in keeping your nogging from getting too hot. The wider the brim of the bonnet, the better. Caps and hats with the logos of Hawaii’s courses are excellent souvenirs.

Stay Hydrated

You’ll lose a lot of fluids and energy if you spend four hours or more in the heat and humidity. As a result, it’s critical to consume enough water or sports drinks. Many courses include water coolers and refreshment carts. Consume more beverages than you believe you should.

Loosen Up

Arrive early at the golf course to provide time to warm up at the driving range before your play. This can help you enhance your round while also lowering your chance of injury. Some golf facilities charge a small fee for a bucket of range balls, while others, such as the Wailea Golf Club, will supply range balls for free if you’re warming up for a round on one of their courses.

More Courses Are Emphasizing Teaching

More courses and pros are prioritizing teaching, which is a positive development in Island golf. Many visitors also find that when on vacation, they are more calm and open to training. 

On Maui, places like the huge Kapalua Golf Academy and the David Leadbetter Golf Academy at Wailea (both on the island of Maui) provide everything from half-day to multi-day lessons, as well as video analysis and personalized golf-specific workouts. 

Every resort course has similar programs, such as “playing lessons,” which entails going out on the course with a teaching professional. Make an appointment ahead of time to take advantage of the Golf lessons.

Design Your Course

Resort courses, for instance, often have four or five sets of tees in addition to the standard three. So take as much or as little of a challenge as you like. You’ll play a couple of 600-yard par-5s and witness a few 250-yard forced carry if you tee it up from the tips.

Bargain Hours

Most courses provide “twilight” rates, which are usually cheaper than morning rates and are popular because the sun is less harsh and the wind picks up in the afternoon. When twilight begins varies per course, although it usually occurs between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Snap Away

While some golf clubs in the United States prohibit or restrict the use of mobile phones on their premises, most courses in Hawaii allow it and even urge you to use your phone’s camera to record the breathtaking views you’ll witness on the course. Please, however, follow proper etiquette by turning off your phone and not using it for chats throughout the round. Finally, feel free to show the golf course your most incredible shots.

Make Time For The 19th

Time your golf round to arrive at the 19th on time for happy hour when you can enjoy beautiful open-air vistas, a refreshingly chilled drink (think local brewers or topical cocktails), and delicious pu pu (hors d’oeuvres).

Conclusion

With enough preparation, you can prioritize and maximize your golfing experience in Hawaii.  You tee off on courses lined with guava, mango, and bougainvillea, surrounded by spectacular, rainforest-covered mountains and breathtaking ocean views.

As the light glints off the Pacific waters, native birds flutter across the fairway. Heaven must like a Hawaiian fairway for golfers!