A tropical vacation is almost always about water sports and beach time. But what if you could do more? Your vacation in Hawaii is a great opportunity for you to do something that you wouldn’t typically do on a tropical getaway.
Hawaii is home to some of the best golf courses in the world. There are public golf courses as well as private ones; most belong to resorts. What’s more, Hawaii golf courses are excellent vantage points!
So, here are 20 golf courses we think will guarantee you a memorable golfing experience.
Mauna Kea Golf Course
Sitting on the Kohala Coast, the 18-hole Mauna Kea Golf Course is part of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. The first golf course built on the Big Island, Mauna Kea Golf Course, brings amazing coastal views.
The famous third hole, gorgeous views, and changes in elevation make Mauna Kea Golf Course a standout among the other Big Island golf courses.
Hualalai Golf Course
Another resort golf course on the Big Island – Four Seasons Resort – Hualalai Golf Course is only accessible to resort guests. This golf course is known for the famous PGA Tour Champions, which is an annual event.
The stunning lava landscape that spans over to the edge of the Pacific Ocean and the 12-hole fairway are the two main features of the Hualalai Golf Course.
Mauna Lani Golf Courses
Mauna Lai Resort offers two golf courses: North Course and South Course. Both features 18 holes with beautiful views. The North Course sits on a lava bed, while the South Course is built on a lava rock that also serves as a great lookout point.
The 15th hole over the water is the highlight of Mauna Lani Golf Course.
Makani Golf Club
Located at an elevation of 2,000 feet, Makani Golf Club is a public golf course sitting on the slopes of Mauna Kea. Wildlife, lakes, streams, and stunning views are some of the highlights of playing golf here.
Extensive fairways and the nine holes with water hazards are the two main highlights.
Hapuna Golf Course
Guests at Westin Hapuna Beach Resort are in for a treat. Hapuna Golf Course is located parallel to Kohala Coast and offers gorgeous vistas. The not-so-smooth terrain with elevation changes is sure to work you up for a challenge.
The 12th hole brings distant yet stunning views of Maui.
Ko Olina Golf Club
A breathtakingly beautiful resort golf course in Oahu, Ko Olina Golf Club has been ostentatiously designed for the discerning traveller with a thirst for adventure.
Expansive fairways, water features, undulated greens, and the two holes featuring waterfalls are the highlights of this golf course.
Turtle Bay Golf
Part of Turtle Bay Resort, Turtle Bay Golf Course is the makeup of two golf courses with 18 holes: the George Fazio Course and the Arnold Palmer Course.
The Palmers Course has a Scottish-style link set up with a jungle backdrop. Bunkers and water features add to the challenge of playing golf here. The George Fazio Course, on the other hand, brings stunning ocean views and offers an expansive walkable field with outspread fairways.
Hawaii Prince Golf Club
This is one of the places where you can experience a variety of golf challenges.
Bordering Ewa Beach, Hawaii Prince Golf Course is a 27-hole golf course. The designers of the course were Ed Seay and Arnold Palmer. This is the coming together of three nine-hole golf courses, offering wide fairways, lakes, and bunkers.
Royal Hawaiian Golf Club
A 20-minute drive from Waikiki will get you to Royal Hawaiian Golf Club. Located in a gorgeous valley and bounded by Ko’olau Mountain and Mount Olomana, Royal Hawaiian Golf Course expands over a lush green terrain with banana trees, royal palms, and koa trees.
The main feature is the second hole with a stunning pond.
Kukuiula Golf Course
Guests at The Lodge at Kukuiula can enjoy this beautiful oceanfront golf course. There’s a golf club as well as various other amenities.
The famous 14th hole is the most challenging, not least because of the stunning ocean views. This golf course stretches over 15 acres and features a variety of hazards, including bunkers. There’s also a driving range and two greens.
Poipu Bay Golf Course
Occupying a gorgeous spot on the island’s southern shore, Poipu Bay Golf Course sits beside Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. This is rather a challenging course with various obstacles.
The course rewards its golfers with beautiful views of Poipu Bay, the ocean, and the mountains. You’ll also see ruins of ancient temples scattered alongside the course.
Princeville Makai Golf Club
For a challenging session of golf and stunning views, you should head to Princeville Makai Golf Course. The course is perched over a bay on the northern coast of the island. The verdant greenery is one of the main drawcards for tourists.
Ocean Course – Hokuala
The only Jack Nicklaus design on Kauai, Ocean Course at Hokuala, is fronted by stunning ocean scenery. The course sits beside Kalapaki Beach and is part of Timbers Kauai Ocean Club & Residences.
The front of the golf course is adorned by mountain views, and the back gives way to beautiful mountain scenery. Also, the course is served by a team of friendly people, and you’ll find excellent on-course amenities here.
The Bay Course
One of the most picturesque golf courses in Hawaii, the Bay Course, is the work of Frances Duane and Arnold Palmer. The coastal views are the best thing about playing on this golf field.
The 17th hole on the Bay course is the only over-the-ocean hole in Maui.
The Plantation Course
Known as one of the best golf courses in Hawaii, the Plantation Course was renovated in 2019. The course is the host to PGA TOUR’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, an annual event.
The gorgeous ocean views coupled with mountain scenery is one reason why this is one of the sought-after golf courses in the state. Elevation changes and picturesque holes are bound to give you an experience of a lifetime!
King Kamehameha Golf Club
This is a private golf course, but there is a programme, Guest for a Day, that allows non-members to enjoy golfing here.
King Kamehameha Golf Club is a tiered golf course located on mountain slopes. The view of Mt. Haleakala is one of the best things about this place. Dramatic elevation changes, lakes, coastal scenery, and water features are among the reasons to visit.
The Royal Kaanapali
With a history going back to 1962, The Royal Kaanapali is known for its expansive field stretching from the coast to the mountains of West Maui. The outspread fairways and the dramatic slopes, coupled with gorgeous scenery, offer a scenic golfing experience.
Wailea Golf Club
With three different courses, steep slopes, lava rock walls, rugged terrain and a total of 54 holes, Wailea Golf Club offers a variety of unforgettable golfing experiences. The player-friendly course brings you unmatched views of the ocean and the mountains.
The highest elevation of this course is 300 feet. If you are an experienced golfer looking for a challenge, you will enjoy your time at Wailea Golf Club.
Manele Golf Course
If you decide to stay at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, you should definitely enjoy some golf at Manele Golf Course. With smooth undulations, beautiful ravines, lava rocks, mountain greens and an oceanfront, this golf course offers an 18-hole playing field ideal for those who crave a challenge.
Cavendish Public Golf Course
This beautiful golf course is a free attraction in Hawaii. With nine holes and beautiful expansive greens, Cavendish Public Golf Course offers some of the best golfing in the state.
The maintenance of the Cavendish Public Golf Course is mostly done by locals, so don’t expect perfectly contoured greens or ocean views, but there are plenty of hazards to make it challenging.
This is a public golf course, so the only golfing carts you’ll see belong to locals, and the place isn’t very crowded, but the weekends can be a little busy.