Hawaii isn’t exactly known as a buddy’s trip destination among golfers.
It’s a long haul from the U.S. mainland and flight costs alone are enough to dissuade most golfers from lumping in Hawaii with places like Myrtle Beach, Pebble Beach, Pinehurst, Bandon Dunes and, well, much of Florida. The Aloha State is more frequently a spot for family vacations, honeymoons, romantic getaways, destination weddings or corporate getaways.
But there is a plethora of spectacular golf in Hawaii, from resort courses and high-end private clubs to picturesque and lush public layouts. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise given the pervasive beauty in Hawaii, which is home to waterfalls, volcanoes, rainbows, multi-hued beaches, soaring cliffs and landscape that ranges from vibrantly-green tropical jungles to stark expanses of lava rock.
With so much to see and do in Hawaii, it’s not always easy to prioritize golf. But golfers visiting the 50th state will be well-served when they find time to fit in some time on the links.
Following is a list of five of the best public or resort golf courses on Oahu, Hawaii’s most populous island and home to Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach.
So strike a balance with family responsibilities — there are endless activities to keep kids or spouses entertained if they don’t golf — and snag an early-morning or late-day tee time to ensure it doesn’t eat into too much of the sunlight hours. Okay, golf on a honeymoon and romantic getaway might be a little tougher to work in, especially if your significant other prefers beach sand to bunker sand. But you won’t be disappointed if you add one of these Oahu courses to your island itinerary.
Ko Olina Golf Club
Ko Olina Golf Club is situated in the 642-acre Ko Olina Resort & Marina, Oahu’s premier ocean front resort community. The championship course, which is home to a LPGA Tour event, sits on the sunny west coast of the island, about a 45-minute drive from Honolulu and Waikiki (depending on traffic). The challenging and immaculate layout, designed by architect Ted Robinson, features eye-catching water features, multi-tiered greens, and generous landing areas. It’s been ranked among the top 75 resort courses in the country by Golf Digest and if you’re looking for a great 19th hole, it features an award-winning restaurant from chef Roy Yamaguchi.