10 Outstanding Hawaiian Golf Courses
December 2015 | By Susan Milne | 4 minute read
It's another great way to make the most of your Hawaii vacation: Tee off at the world's number 2 golf destination. Hawaii has some exceptional courses open year-round featuring breathtaking sea and mountain views, lava formations and surging water along rugged coastlines. Watch out for the native Nene Geese, frequent visitors to many of the greens! Not a golfer? You can still join a group and head out to enjoy the action and the spectacular settings.
- The Plantation Course, Kapalua, Maui (Par 73)
Favored by pros and amateurs alike, the dramatic elevation changes challenge all players. Designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore on the slopes of the West Maui Mountains, the course features spectacular vistas from every hole and many downhill tee shots. The Plantation Course hosts the PGA Tour's Hyundai Tournament of Champions every January.
- The Prince Course, Princeville, Kauai (Par 72)
This perennial favorite was created by Robert Trent Jones Jr. who integrated the beauty of Kauai's north shore into the design. The surrounding jungle has been cut back further during the recent renovation giving the course more playable space and improved views of the Pacific Ocean and volcanic mountains.
- Mauna Kea Golf Course, Kohala Coast, Hawaii (Par 72)
Thrilling holes with sloping fairways, lava rock roughs and ocean views within sight of snowcapped Mauna Kea Mountain. This is another masterpiece by Robert Trent Jones Sr. who transformed a lava field into a world-class golf course. Features Bermuda grass, a state of the art irrigations system and a challenging tee shot across an ocean cove at the third.
- Manele Golf Course, Lanai City, Lanai (Par 72)
The former Challenge at Manele is known for its three ocean-cove holes including the dogleg-right 17th which is a par 4. Enjoy 180-degree ocean views from every hole. If you're staying on Maui, there's a ferry package that includes golf cart, round-trip ferry service, ground transportation on Lanai, range balls and bottled water.
- Makai Golf Course, Princeville, Kauai (Par 72)
Situated clifftop with views of Kauai's Hanalei Bay and its pipeline surf, the course is renowned for its ocean holes and stunning scenery. Created in 1972, it was the first solo design by Robert Trent Jones Jr., consistently ranked among the top courses in Hawaii, America and the world. Rent a golf board for a fun and fast way to get from hole to hole.
- The Palmer Course, Turtle Bay Resort, Kahuku, Oahu (Par 72)
The magnificent course designed by Arnold Palmer sits on Oahu's north shore near the Polynesian Cultural Center. Best hole is the par-4 17th with its array of bunkers, perched above the ocean. Titleist high-performance equipment is available for rent. The resort has a second 18-hole course by George Fazio which is more forgiving than the Palmer course.
- Hualalai Golf Course, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (Par 72)
Home of an annual Champion's Tour event, the course meanders across the lavascape of the Big Island at the Hualalai Resort. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the par-3 12th has a bunker right in the center of the green while the par-3 17th sits by the ocean. There's a putting green and nine-acre driving range with chipping and short game practice areas and two sand bunkers.
- The Gold Course, Wailea, Maui (Par 72)
Another course by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the Gold leads the way as the top course at the Wailea Golf Resort. An unusual feature is the prehistoric lava rock walls built by early Hawaiians. Breathtaking views and friendly staff keep golfers returning to this popular golf destination which is also home to the much-loved Emerald and Blue courses.
- Ko Olina Golf Club, West Coast, Oahu (Par 72)
Just a short drive from Honolulu and Waikiki, Ted Robinson has incorporated beautiful water features, large landing areas and multi teared greens into the design of this beautiful course. The Golf Academy offers personalized instruction with a range of facilities including a world-class driving range and putting green. Every golf cart features hands free GPS.
- The Royal Ka'anapali Course, Ka'anapali Golf Resort, Maui (Par 71)
by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. the course opened in 1962 and has been popular with both professional and amateur golfers ever since. Following the coastline before heading into the foothills of the West Maui Mountains, the rolling landscape with gently sloping fairways emphasizes accuracy rather than distance. The course has hosted many of golf's legends.
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