Exploring 20 Best Golf Courses in Hawaii: A Comprehensive List

Welcome to the enchanting golfing paradise of Hawaii, where 20 of the best courses await amidst emerald landscapes, turquoise waters, and warm tropical breezes. From championship layouts with ocean backdrops to hidden gems in lush valleys, join us on a memorable golfing journey through this idyllic archipelago, where every swing is embraced by the spirit of “Aloha.”

 

Nanea Golf Club

Nanea Golf Club
Nanea Golf Club

Nanea Golf Club, situated on the slopes of Mount Hualalai, is a remarkable architectural masterpiece crafted by renowned architect David McLay Kidd. This prestigious golf course is the first in North America to utilize Paspalum grass from tee to green, setting new standards for turf excellence. Designed with a deep respect for the natural surroundings, the course seamlessly blends into the thick lava mantle and volcanic rock formations, creating a captivating and unforgettable experience for golf enthusiasts.

The routing of Nanea Golf Club takes players on a delightful journey, meandering among the native grass meadows and volcanic outcroppings. With the front nine featuring just one par three, golfers are treated to a variety of challenges and strategic opportunities. As players navigate the undulating fairways, they are greeted by topsy-turvy greens that add excitement and unpredictability to every round. To further enhance the experience, the low-slung clubhouse boasts magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean, providing a picturesque backdrop that adds to the allure of Nanea Golf Club.

Location: 72-2921 Kaupulehu Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

 

Manele Golf Course

Manele Golf Course
Manele Golf Course

Manele Golf Course, formerly known as The Challenge at Manele, captivates golfers with its stunning Nicklaus design. This championship course is strategically designed to embrace the raw ruggedness of the terrain, combined with the natural beauty that Lanai Island has to offer. With a unique five-tee concept, it challenges the skills of even the most accomplished golfers, ensuring an engaging experience throughout the game. The course’s highest elevation at the 5th hole offers a breathtaking view of the surroundings, surrounded by natural gorges and ravines that add to its allure.

Located on the picturesque southern coast of Lanai, Manele Golf Course is recognized for its excellence and has earned eligibility for prestigious rankings such as the 100 Greatest and Second 100 Greatest. Its innovative layout features three ocean-cove holes that provide a refreshing coastal experience. Not to be outdone, the back nine holes hug the shoreline, offering unparalleled scenic views while incorporating challenging elements like lava outcroppings, ravines, and cliffside greens. As the only 18-hole championship golf course on the island, Manele Golf Course is an exceptional destination that promises an unforgettable golfing experience amidst the enchanting beauty of Lanai.

Location: One Challenge Dr, Lanai City, HI 96763

 

Kapalua Plantation Course

Kapalua Plantation Course
Kapalua Plantation Course. Image Source: golfatkapalua.com

Kapalua Plantation Course in Hawaii, home of the PGA Tour’s opening event each year, was meticulously designed on a grand scale. Nestled amidst the majestic slopes of the West Maui Mountains, this course offers golfers a breathtaking experience. With its dramatic ocean views, expansive 7,596-yard par 73 layout, and challenging design, the Kapalua Plantation Course is a true test of skill and precision.

The course features wide fairways that wind through open, windswept pineapple fields framed by tall native grasses. Its generous greens provide ample opportunities for players to showcase their putting prowess. Moreover, the course boasts dramatic elevation changes, adding an extra layer of excitement to each hole. One particularly impressive feature is the aggressive slope of the 18th fairway, demanding strategic shot placement. And let’s not forget the string of bunkers that stagger up the right side of the green, making precision and accuracy essential for any golfer vying for success at this Hawaii Course.

Location: 2000 Plantation Club Dr, Lahaina, HI 96761

 

Gold Course at Wailea Golf Club

Gold Course at Wailea Golf Club
Gold Course at Wailea Golf Club. Image Source: waileagolf.com

The Gold at Wailea Golf Club offers a challenging and exhilarating golfing experience. With 54 holes spread across three courses, including the Gold, Blue, and Emerald courses, the Gold stands out as the most demanding of the trio. Its reputation is built on its stunning ocean backdrops, vibrant flowers, and a layout designed to maximize player enjoyment and engagement. The course features plenty of elevation changes and ocean vistas, creating a captivating and scenic backdrop for every swing. 

Well-placed fairway bunkers and sloping fairways test players’ skills, while deep ravines and centuries-old lava rock walls add to the course’s natural beauty and challenge. The Gold at Wailea Golf Club is an ideal destination for golfers seeking a blend of sunshine, breathtaking scenery, and the thrill of conquering a truly unique terrain. Throughout the course, players have the option to choose from five sets of tees, providing suitable challenges for golfers of all skill levels. The course’s layout leverages the terrain’s natural undulations, offering a dynamic and engaging golfing experience from start to finish. 

Location: 100 Wailea Golf Club Dr, Kihei, HI 96753

 

Princeville Makai Golf Club

Princeville Makai Golf Club
Princeville Makai Golf Club

Princeville Makai Golf Club, nestled on the rugged Na Pali coast of Kauai, is a remarkable destination for golf enthusiasts. Featuring six oceanfront holes and a signature hole known for its amazing “Aloha Spirit,” this course offers a unique blend of natural beauty and engaging gameplay. The landscape is adorned with lush greenery, serene lakes, and enchanting woods, providing a visually stunning backdrop for a round of golf. With multiple tee boxes and a layout that combines pleasant parkland holes with dramatic clifftop views, Princeville Makai Golf Club offers both a challenging experience and breathtaking scenery.

Not only does Princeville Makai Golf Club deliver an exceptional golfing experience, but it also takes pride in its commitment to sustainability. The club incorporates native greenery, utilizes reclaimed materials, and embraces organic cotton linens and lush gardens. These eco-friendly practices not only enhance the overall ambiance but also reflect the club’s dedication to preserving the natural beauty that surrounds it. 

Location: 4080 Lei O Papa Rd, Princeville, HI 96722

 

The King Kamehameha Golf Club

The King Kamehameha Golf Club
The King Kamehameha Golf Club

The King Kamehameha Golf Club is aptly named to pay tribute to the greatest king in the rich history of the Hawaiian Islands. Nestled 750 feet above sea level, this picturesque golf course boasts a captivating view of Mt. Haleakalā and offers breathtaking bi-coastal ocean vistas. Situated on the slopes of the majestic West Maui Mountains, the club exudes an air of exclusivity and splendor.

As a testament to its commitment to exceptional hospitality, The King Kamehameha Golf Club extends a warm invitation to non-members through its “Guest for a Day” program. This unique initiative allows golf enthusiasts to savor the challenges presented by the course’s signature 18th hole. Adding to its allure, the club showcases captivating native art, and its peach/pink-colored clubhouse serves as a delightful focal point. With bold bunkering, strategically placed water hazards, and the serene presence of rocky creeks and waterfalls, this golfing paradise promises an engaging and unforgettable experience for avid golfers and enthusiasts alike.

Location: 2500 Honoapiilani Highway | Wailuku. Maui, HI 96793

 

Ko Olina Golf Club

Ko Olina Golf CLub
Ko Olina Golf CLub

Located on Oahu’s scenic west coast, the Ko Olina Golf Club offers a remarkable golf experience that is sure to captivate players of all skill levels. With its wide and well-maintained fairways, as well as meticulously manicured greens and tee boxes, this course ensures a pleasurable and engaging round. Not only is the golf course known for being very playable with its ample landing areas and forgiving wide fairways, but it also boasts unique wildlife sightings featuring ducks and geese.

The staff at Ko Olina Golf Club is renowned for their friendly and welcoming demeanor, always ready to provide exceptional service to ensure a memorable visit. Furthermore, this golf club is home to both remarkable natural beauty and exceptional water features, including picturesque waterfalls that add to the course’s aesthetic charm. The Ko Olina Golf Club has also received accolades, with recognition as one of Golf Digest’s “Top 75 Resort Courses in the U.S.” and is the proud host of the LOTTE Championship from 2012 to 2019. 

Location: 92-1220 Aliinui Dr, Kapolei, HI 96707

 

Mauna Kea Resort Golf Course

Mauna Kea Golf Course
Mauna Kea Golf Course. Image Source: maunakearesort.com

Mauna Kea Resort Golf Course offers an unparalleled golfing experience amidst its stunning landscapes. Designed with an engaging blend of professionalism and elegance, this course presents golfers with a challenging yet gratifying journey. As you set foot on the meticulously-maintained high-efficiency, ultra-dwarf Tifeagle Bermuda Grass greens, you will be guided by the convenience of onboard GPS in all golf carts. This exceptional feature allows you to navigate the course with ease, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable round of golf.

The course itself is nestled within a unique and picturesque setting. You will encounter not only a barren black lava field but also lush fairways that cascade effortlessly across seaside cliffs. These fairways, surrounded by roughs of crunchy lava rock, demand both precision and strategy, rewarding players with breathtaking ocean and coastal views at each turn. The elevated and undulating greens further add to the allure of Mauna Kea Resort Golf Course, adding an element of challenge and excitement. With its epic over-the-ocean signature 3rd hole, this course is a true gem that promises an unforgettable golfing experience.

Location: 62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr, Waimea, HI 96743

 

Hapuna Golf Course

Hapuna Golf Course
Hapuna Golf Course. Image Source: maunakearesort.com

Nestled on the beautiful west shore of Hawaiʻi Island, Hapuna Golf Course at Mauna Kea Resort is a championship course that attracts both vacationing guests and local residents. With its dramatic elevation changes beginning at sea level and set amidst rugged desert terrain, the course offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. 

Not only does Hapuna Golf Course offer a visually captivating setting, but it also provides practical amenities for golfers. Additionally, the course features warm seasoned Seashore Paspalum grass, offering excellent playing conditions throughout the year. Hapuna Golf Course is renowned for its engaging links-style design along the stunning Kohala Coast. Golfers can enjoy a blend of downhill and uphill holes, providing a challenging yet rewarding experience on the course.

Location: Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, 62-100 Kaunaʻoa Dr, Waimea, HI 96743

 

Poipu Bay Golf Course

Poipu Bay Golf Course
Poipu Bay Golf Course

Poipu Bay Golf Course stretches across more than 210 oceanfront acres, offering an exquisite setting for golf enthusiasts. With its wide fairways, large greens, and playable layout, this course presents a magnificent opportunity for players to challenge their skills and enjoy the game. Moreover, the course boasts numerous historical sites, such as ancient Hawaiian heiau and centuries-old handmade stone walls, adding a touch of cultural significance to the golfing experience.

Nestled on a rolling plateau, Poipu Bay Golf Course provides breathtaking views of both the majestic mountains and the shimmering ocean. The course’s exceptional location includes a remarkable 150-foot cliff, where players can admire the idyllic landscape while teeing off. Furthermore, the course offers a vibrant natural environment, with sightings of rare Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles, and even humpback whales. The in-cart satellite navigation system ensures a seamless golfing experience, allowing players to navigate the course effortlessly and fully immerse themselves in this remarkable golfing paradise.

Location: 2250 Ainako St, Koloa, HI 96756

 

Hualalai at Four Seasons Resort

Hualalai at Four Seasons Resort
Hualalai at Four Seasons Resort. Image Source: fourseasons.com

Hualalai, located within the stunning Four Seasons Resort, boasts a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course as one of its prime features. This championship course is one of two layouts available to guests, offering a captivating natural setting characterized by black lava landscapes, water views, and generously wide fairways. The beauty of Hualalai is further enhanced by its immaculate white-sand beaches and lush oasis, providing a serene and engaging environment for visitors. Moreover, this exceptional course is host to a renowned PGA Tour Champions event held annually, attracting top professional golfers from around the world.

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Hualalai at Four Seasons, where the golf experience is nothing short of extraordinary. As you make your way through the course, you will encounter mesmerizing views of the ocean, offering a dramatic backdrop for the final holes. Notably, the 12th hole features a challenging bunker positioned right in the middle of the green, adding an exciting element to the game and allowing golfers to showcase their skills. 

Location: 72-100 Ka’upulehu Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

 

Ocean Course at Hokuala

Ocean Course at Hokuala
Ocean Course at Hokuala. Image Source: hokualakauai.com

The Ocean Course at Hokuala offers an enchanting golfing experience with its breathtaking coastal views and stunning vistas of the Pacific and the mountains of Kauai. Designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus, this Signature course stretches along the longest stretch of oceanfront golf in Hawaiʻi, providing golfers with a unique and captivating setting. The front nine showcases the classic Jack Nicklaus style, featuring strategic doglegs and challenging shots. The course is beautifully maintained, adorned with lush green landscapes and plenty of ravines to add to the excitement. The trade winds that grace the back nine create a refreshing atmosphere, coupled with magnificent views of planes landing in the distance.

Players are treated to a true paradise on the Ocean Course at Hokuala, where they can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the coast while enjoying an engaging round of golf. With its combination of scenic ocean views, well-designed holes, and a touch of challenge, this course will surely leave a lasting impression on golfers of all levels.

Location: 3351 Ho’Olaulea Way, Lihue, HI 96766

 

Palmer Course at Turtle Bay Resort 

Palmer Course at Turtle Bay Resort
Palmer Course at Turtle Bay Resort

The Palmer Course at Turtle Bay Resort offers an exceptional golfing experience with its links-style layout and captivating tropical jungle setting. Designed by Arnold Palmer himself, this course is known for its challenging yet forgiving front nine and a tighter, more demanding backside. Water hazards and strategically placed bunkers add an extra layer of difficulty, providing an engaging and thrilling game for golf enthusiasts. Deeply rooted in the land, this course gracefully hugs the scenic northern coastline of Oahu, offering breathtaking views and a memorable golfing journey.

With water coming into play on 14 of the Palmer holes, players are often challenged to test their skills and precision. Each hole on this well-crafted course tells its own story, ensuring a memorable experience for golfers of all levels. It’s no wonder the Palmer Course has earned recognition, being rated as one of Golf Magazine’s “Top 10 New Courses” in America. 

Location: 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731

 

Royal at Kaanapali Golf Courses

Royal at Kaanapali Golf Courses
Royal at Kaanapali Golf Courses. Image Source: kaanapaligolfcourses.com

The Royal at Kaanapali Golf Courses offers an exceptional golfing experience set against the stunning backdrop of West Maui. Located by the coast and stretching from the ocean to the foothills, this distinguished course boasts breathtaking panoramic views of the sea and the neighboring islands of Lanai and Molokai. With its gently sloping fairways and large, contoured greens, the course presents a challenge that will test both your club selection and putting skills.

One of the highlights of the Royal at Kaanapali is the 18th hole, a par 4 that renowned golfer Arnold Palmer hailed as one of the best and most challenging finishing holes he has ever played. As you make your way through the course, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the beauty of the tropical landscape, with the refreshing trade winds providing a cool breeze to keep you comfortable during your round. Whether you’re an avid golfer looking for a unique and engaging experience or a casual player seeking to enjoy the scenic beauty of Maui, the Royal at Kaanapali Golf Courses offers an unforgettable golfing adventure.

Location: 2290 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761

 

Puakea Golf Course

Puakea Golf Course
Puakea Golf Course

Puakea Golf Course, expertly designed by architect Robin Nelson, is situated on the historic grounds of a former sugar cane plantation. The course boasts a captivating landscape featuring diverse elevation changes, picturesque ravines, and dramatic volcanic cliffs that add depth and character to the layout. As golfers make their way through the course, they are treated to breathtaking ocean views, providing a serene and tranquil backdrop for an unforgettable golfing experience.

With meticulous attention to detail, Puakea Golf Course maintains its impeccable condition, with perfectly manicured fairways and no sight of dirt spots. The 18-hole, par 72 layout spans an impressive 6,954 yards, offering golfers of all skill levels an exciting and rewarding challenge. The course is renowned for its combination of water hazards, which require strategic shot placement, and a myriad of interesting holes that keep players engaged throughout their rounds. Despite its quality and prestige, Puakea Golf Course offers a reasonable price, making it a must-play destination for golf enthusiasts seeking an exceptional round of golf coupled with a memorable tropical setting.

Location: 4150 Nuhou St, Lihue, HI 96766

 

The Club at Hokulia

The Club at Hokulia
The Club at Hokulia

The Club at Hokulia, a private course designed by Jack Nicklaus, is nestled away from the busier parts of the island, offering a tranquil and exclusive golfing experience. Spanning 7337 yards with a slope rating of 143, this 18-hole masterpiece takes full advantage of the spectacular topography of Hokulia. The fairways gracefully cascade up and down gentle slopes, providing a challenging yet rewarding golfing adventure.

One of the highlights of The Club at Hokulia is the breathtaking views of the ocean. As you navigate through the course, you’ll be treated to sweeping panoramas that showcase the beauty of the coast. The sheltered climate offers gentle coastal breezes and creates ideal year-round conditions for outdoor living. Whether you’re teeing off or taking your second shot, The Club at Hokulia presents a layout that balances strategy and playability, creating an engaging experience for golfers of all skill levels.

Location: 81-6636 Pu’u Ohau Place, Kealakekua, HI 96750

 

Beach Nine at Waikoloa Resort Golf 

Beach Nine at Waikoloa Resort Golf
Beach Nine at Waikoloa Resort Golf

The Beach Nine at Waikoloa Resort Golf offers a truly exceptional experience for avid golfers. With 18 holes and a par of 70, this course spans across 6,566 yards and boasts a challenging slope rating of 130. But beyond the numbers, it’s the thoughtful design that truly sets this course apart. From generous landing areas off the tee to large greens, every aspect of the course is meticulously crafted to provide an engaging and rewarding round of golf.

One of the standout features of the Beach Nine is Hole #6. Known to be the highlight of this loop, golfers are treated to an emerald ribbon of the fairway that winds its way through breathtaking views of black lava fields, cascading down to meet the crisp blue ocean. This hole presents an exciting challenge as it features a hard dogleg left, requiring strategic shot placement and club selection. As you navigate through the course, keep an eye out for the convenient refreshment cart, ensuring you stay refreshed and energized during your play. To make your way to the next hole, you can even take a brief but memorable tunnel journey under a scenic parkway.

Location: 69-600 Waikōloa Beach Dr, Waikoloa Village, HI 96738

 

Royal Hawaiian Golf Club

Royal Hawaiian Golf Club
Royal Hawaiian Golf Club

The Royal Hawaiian Golf Club, situated in the serene Maunawili Valley between Mount Olomana and the majestic Ko’olau Mountains, showcases a remarkable design by renowned architects Pete and Perry Dye, who crafted this premier course back in 1993. Every aspect of this course has been meticulously planned to provide an exceptional golfing experience.

One of the standout features of the Royal Hawaiian Golf Club is its captivating second hole, which boasts a picturesque pond that adds beauty and excitement to the game. The course is adorned with a plethora of mature trees that lend an aura of natural elegance to the surroundings. You’ll also find creatively designed bunkers, thoughtfully bordered by railroad ties, that present both a visual delight and a strategic challenge for golfers. As you navigate your way through the fairways, you’ll be immersed in the lushness of this verdant paradise, featuring native royal palms, koas, and banana trees that further enhance the course’s charm and allure.

Location: 770 Auloa Rd, Kailua, HI 96734

 

Olomana Golf Links

Olomana Golf Links
Olomana Golf Links

Olomana Golf Links is a humble yet engaging place known for its environmentally friendly 18-hole golf course. Situated on the windward side of the island, golfers are treated to breathtaking views of the majestic Ko’olau mountain range. This challenging public course has gained recognition for being a favorite of former President Barack Obama, who has played there.

The front nine of Olomana Golf Links offers a delightful experience with its level fairways and strategically placed water hazards at each hole, providing golfers with an exciting challenge. As players move onto the back nine, they encounter the course’s defining feature – irregular rolling hills adorned with well-placed sand bunkers. The combination of these natural elements and the ever-present trade winds creates a truly invigorating golfing experience at Olomana Golf Links.

Location: 41-1801 Kalanianaʻole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795

 

Kukuiolono Golf Course

Kukuiolono Golf Course
Kukuiolono Golf Course

Located on the beautiful island, Kukuiolono Golf Course is a renowned 9-hole gem that captures the hearts of both locals and visitors alike. With its breathtaking ocean and mountain views, this public course offers a challenging yet rewarding experience for golf enthusiasts. The course stands out not only for its natural beauty but also for its affordability, with the most inexpensive greens fees on the island.

Aside from the golf course itself, Kukuiolono Park provides a haven for nature lovers to indulge in its serene surroundings. A leisurely stroll down its quaint path will immerse you in a world of enchantment adorned with fountains, statues, bonsai trees, and a variety of carefully maintained plantings. The park also showcases authentic Hawaiian lava rock artifacts, adding a touch of cultural richness to the experience. Moreover, this destination offers numerous opportunities for joggers, walkers, and hikers, making it a versatile and engaging space for outdoor enthusiasts.

Location: 854 Puu Rd, Kalaheo, HI 96741

 

Conclusion

As the exhilarating journey through Hawaii’s 20 best golf courses concludes, cherished memories of breathtaking vistas and triumphant swings linger. Each course, from world-renowned layouts to hidden gems, offered a unique blend of challenge and allure, leaving you in awe of this tropical paradise. Embracing the spirit of “Aloha,” your connection with the land, culture, and people deepened. Until you tee off again in this golfing haven, the memories of your captivating golfing odyssey in Hawaii will forever hold a special place in your heart.

 

Author

  • Alvin Daniel

    Hello everyone, I'm Alvin Daniel. I was born in the Philippines and came to the United States when I was 16 years old. I started playing golf at that age and have loved it ever since. I turned professional when I was 21 and have been working as a golf instructor and guide ever since. My goal is to help everyone know more about this great game of golf. And, hopefully, through my instruction, they can improve their skills and enjoy the game even more.

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