With its picturesque scenery and world-beaches, Hawaii surely has enticed a lot of travelers who want to relax or enjoy a tropical vibe. Yet, not all are aware that the islands are also a haven for golfers around the world, regardless of their expertise level. No surprise as Hawaii is also home to a plethora of golf destinations, from high-end private clubs to resorts and public courses.
Add the stunning view that ranges from verdant peaks to volcanic landscapes, rugged cliffs, and azure waters, golfing becomes an extraordinary experience when done in the Aloha state. Here, discover the top golf courses in Hawaii that will make your trip even more enjoyable.
Kapalua Golf – The Plantation Course
Consistently hailed as the top golf course in Hawaii, The Plantation Course is every golfer’s dream playing grounds. Situated on the West Maui Mountains slopes, it offers a magnificent view of the ocean from nearly all parts of the field. It has a 7,411-yard par 73 layout, accentuated by pronounced changes in elevation that often poses challenges to pros. Yet, the course also possesses lavish greens and broad fairways and provides ample opportunities for downhill tee shots. Thus, making it an amusing time even for average golfers.
Princeville Makai Golf Course
Ranked among the best 100 public courses across the globe, there’s no reason why you should miss the Princeville Makai Golf Course. Built in 1971, it underwent a six-million dollar renovation, which made it a genuine world-class golf location. It features impeccable ground conditions, oceanfront holes, and amenities and activities, such as sunrise yoga, cart tours, a tennis facility, and elegant sites for different types of celebrations, which all give golfing a unique Aloha spirit.
Turtle Bay Palmer Course
Lying on Oahu’s popular North Shore, the Turtle Bay Palmer Resort features an 18-hole and 72 Par layout, which includes practice and chipping areas, putting green, and bunkers for a total experience. What draws golfers into this top-notch course just 45 minutes away from Honolulu is its blend of Scottish ambiance and Hawaiian jungle makes each visit a great moment.
Wailea Golf Club
Located on Maui’s south shore, Wailea Golf Club has a Jack Snyder-designed Bue course, and Robert Trent Jones Jr.-conceived Gold and Emerald courses. Regardless of which course you prefer, all offer magnificent views of mid-Hawaiian islands and the Pacific Ocean from every hole. Plus, get to enjoy the 19th hole option, driving range, golf shop, locker rooms, and chain of elegant hotels.
Nanea Golf Club
Nanea Golf Club was built through the partnership of two billionaires George Roberts and Charles Schwab. They leased an 8,000-acre property and transformed it into a club and teamed up with David McLay Kidd. Thus, the result is a Scottish link golf course that perfectly complements its tropical and lava rock Hawaiian surroundings. It features great elevation changes, paspalum grass, and generous greens and fairways, and Augusta-like feels, making it one of the top offerings in the islands.
Ko’olau Golf Club
Just 30 minutes away from the Waikiki sits Ko’olau Golf Club, which is deemed as one of the most difficult golf courses in Hawaii, with a 152 slope rating. On its opening in 1992, the play was characterized by rigid corridors, barging jungle, and labored carries. Though the par 72 18-hole course’s hilly terrain, surrounding rainforests, and steep sides still pose some challenges, the dramatic views it offers, seemingly straight from a Jurassic Park flick, make all rounds worth it.
Ko Olina Golf Course
Designed by Ted Robinson, the exceptional Ko Olina Golf Course is brimmed with multi-tiered greens, rolling hill fairways, wide landing areas, and striking water features across its area, sitting on Oahu’s sunbaked west coast. It’s simply one of the best in the islands and rated in the Golf Digest’s Top 100 golf courses.
Hawaii Prince Golf Club
Another golf oasis, the Hawaii Prince Golf Club sits on Oahu’s Ewa Plain and features a 27-hole layout in immaculate shape. It is divided into three nine-hole courses, which overlap and create challenging combinations, making it more exciting on every play. With lots of downhill, uphill, and sidehill lies, you can swing a variety of shots while relishing the picturesque view of the Waianae Mountains.
Mauna Kea Golf Course
A former barren black lava field, Robert Trent Jones Sr. transformed it in 1964 into a golf course that has become the epitome of Hawaiian golf for many decades. Today, the award-winning Mauna Kea Golf Course is both dramatic and exquisite. It combines coastal winds and elevated rippling greens plus an epic view of rocks, crags, trees, and the ocean, ensuring a memorable day of play.
Poipu Bay Golf Course
Poipu Bay Golf Course was the PGA Grand Slam of Golf’s site from 1994 to 2006, proving its place as one of Hawaii’s top golf courses. Yet, it is a golf course for all players regardless of experience, which makes it a lot of fun to play. Add to that, waterfowls frequently visit the course’s lakes while seals, whales, and turtles are often seen along the shore, providing a distinct wildlife encounter whilst playing the sport.
That’s the rundown of some of the top golf courses in Hawaii. Make sure to add a visit to one of these courses into your itinerary by choosing which suits your preference. Nevertheless, you can expect to have an awesome golfing adventure – the Hawaiian style.