Best golf courses in hawaii

For most travelers, a Hawaiian vacation means sunny beaches, lounging by the pool, and perhaps exploring volcanoes, rainforests, waterfalls, and marine life. For golf lovers, a trip to Hawaii means playing some of the most beautiful and challenging courses in the world. Each island offers a golf experience unique to its environment – the black lava rocks of the Big Island, the volcano scenery of Maui, the lush greenery of Kauai, and the historic courses of Oahu.

Hawaii’s trails, greenery, and tees are some of the best vantage points to take in the stunning views of the islands. We’ve rounded up some of the best places to play golf in Hawaii, from local public links to luxury resort courses and country clubs. Choose your favorites and hit the practice range to prepare your game for Hawaii’s best golf courses.

Maui golf courses

Plantation cycle

Dave Sansom / Courtesy of Kapalua Golf

Home to the annual Sentry Championship of Champions PGA TOUR, this challenging course features sweeping mountain fairways, dramatic elevation changes, and stunning views of the ocean from nearly every hole. The course, designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Core, underwent a major renovation in 2019 and has maintained its reputation as one of the best golf courses in Hawaii.

Gulf course

Courtesy of Kapalua Golf

Designed by Arnold Palmer and Frances Doane, this course is more player-friendly than Plantation. Views of the Pacific Ocean and neighboring Hawaiian islands make playing The Bay Course an exciting experience, and the scenic 17th is Maui’s only golf hole to play over the ocean.

Royal Kaanapali

Courtesy of Kaanapali Golf Courses

Built in 1962 and designed by Robert Trent Jones, this historic resort features large greens and sloping fairways. From the ocean to the foothills of West Maui, this course boasts panoramic views of the sea as well as the islands of Lanai and Molokai.

King Kamehameha Golf Club

Courtesy of King Kamehameha Golf Club

This private golf course is located in the foothills of West Maui. The Guest for a Day program allows non-members to enjoy the challenging course. Rolling greens, picturesque water features, the Frank Lloyd Wright Club and views of the coast, valley and Haleakala mountain make for an unforgettable experience.

Sweep the golf course

Located on a hillside in the mountains of West Maui, this course opened in 1991. The 6,554-yard course features breathtaking scenery and challenges golfers of all levels, with elevation changes, winds, and long pars. The course is located in a secluded location away from the resorts and residences.

Wailea Golf Club

Brian Orr

Three different courses, with 54 holes in total, feature ocean views and elevations of up to 300 feet above sea level. The Wailea Gold Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. , is the most challenging, with rugged terrain, natural ripples, and lava rock walls. From the sloping fairways of the Blue Course, golfers enjoy views of Wailea, Mount Haleakala, and the ocean. Emerald Course is known for its ocean and flower backgrounds and player friendly design.

Lanai golf courses

Manele Golf Course at Four Seasons Resort Lanai

Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Lanai

The only 18-hole championship course on the island, Manele Golf Course is open only to guests of the Four Seasons Resort Lanai. Built on lava outcrops, the Jack Nicklaus Signature course features valleys, cliff-side greens, and ocean views from every hole.

Kauai golf courses

Poipu Bay Golf Course

Courtesy of Poipu Bay Golf Course

This Robert Trent Jones Jr. design is located adjacent to the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa on Kauai’s south shore. Set along a 150-foot cliff overlooking the mountains, ocean, and Poipu Bay, the challenging course hosted the PGA Grand Slam of Golf Championship from 1994 to 2006. Ancient stone walls and remnants of Hawaiian religious temples have been preserved along the course.

Golf course lights

Courtesy of Kukui’ula Golf Course

Oceanfront Course, located at The Lodge at Kukui’ula, is open to guests, along with The Club at Kukui’ula and other amenities. Tom Weiskopf’s layout has its challenges, especially the legendary 14th hole, with great ocean views to distract the most serious golfer. The 15-acre training facility includes two putting greens, dugouts, and a driving range.

The ocean cycle at Hōkūala

Courtesy of Hōkūala

This award-winning oceanfront layout is the only Jack Nicklaus Signature Course on Kauai, with the longest stretch of beach holes in Hawaii. Located along Kalapaki Beach at Timbers Kauai Ocean Club & Residences, the course offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the Kauai Mountains.

Princeville Police Golf Club

Courtesy of Princeville Mackay Golf Club

The course is located on the northern coast of Kauai overlooking Hanalei Bay, among landscapes of lakes and forests. Renovated in 2010 by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Princeville Makai is memorable for its challenging layout and stunning scenery.

Crazy golf course

Puakea was designed for the public by architect Robin Nelson in what was formerly a sugar plantation. The resort-quality course features elevation changes, gorges, volcanic cliffs, water hazards, ocean views, and beautiful examples of Kauai’s lush vegetation.

Hawaii golf courses

Golf Course Road

Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

Located at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, the Jack Nicklaus-designed course is open only to resort guests. The PGA Tour Champions event is held there every year. The course meanders through a natural black lava landscape, offering stunning views and finishes alongside the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. The 12th hole features a bunker in the middle of the green, which makes for an interesting tee shot on the third par.

Mount Cross Golf Course

Courtesy of Mauna Kea

Located at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Kohala Coast, this course was the first to be built on the Big Island in 1964. Originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., the course has been renovated by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and more recently by Reese Jones. Ocean views, elevation changes, and the signature third hole—a triple played over the Pacific Ocean—make this one of Hawaii’s most memorable golf experiences.

Summer golf course

Courtesy of Hapuna Golf Course

Designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, this course at the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is a links-style course along the Kohala Coast. The views of the Pacific Ocean, elevation changes, and rugged terrain make it challenging and beautiful. The featured No. 12 hole provides a bird’s-eye view, including Maui in the distance.

Mauna Lani Golf Course

Courtesy of Mauna Lani Golf

Two 18-hole courses are offered at Mauna Lani Resort as well as Wikiwiki’s fun short nine-hole course. The North Course is built on a lava bed with rolling terrain and a triple hole surrounded by a natural lava amphitheater. The south course meanders through black lava rock, with ocean and mountain views. The 15th hole over the water is beautiful and challenging.

Waikoloa Beach Resort Golf

Courtesy of Waikoloa Beach Resort

The resort features 27 holes of golf, with three separate nines that combine a variety of experiences. The Beach Nine features large greens, low-lip bunkers, and a boardwalk that rolls down to the ocean among fields of black lava. The Kings’ Nine, a Scottish bonds-style design, features wide fairways, bunkers and views of Mauna Kea. The classic resort-style Lakes Nine offers water challenges on five of the holes, along with elevation changes and an over-water three-par hole.

Wind Golf Club

Courtesy of Makani Golf Club

This public playground is located on the slopes of Mauna Kea at over 2,000 feet, with lakes, wildlife, and great views of the Kona Coast and volcano. Designed by Perry Day, son of renowned golf course architect Pete Day, Makani Golf Club offers wide fairways and water hazards on nine of its holes.

Oahu golf courses

Turtle Bay Golf

Courtesy of Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay Resort offers two 18-hole courses: the Arnold Palmer Course and the George Fazio Course. The Palmer Course begins with a Scottish links-style design and transitions into a more tropical jungle setting. Water hazards and bunkers add to the challenge. The player-friendly, walkable Fazio Course features wide fairways and ocean views.

Ko Olina Golf Club

Courtesy of Ko Olina Golf Club

Located on the west coast of Oahu in a resort community with four hotels, the course was designed by Ted Robinson. Water features, wide fairways, and rolling greens define the course. There are two distinct holes that include stunning waterfalls.

Hawaii Prince Golf Club

Courtesy of Hawaii Prince Golf Club

The course is located on open ground in Ewa Beach and was designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed See. Three nine-hole courses are interchangeable, creating a variety of golf experiences that include lakes, white-sand bunkers, and long fairways.

Royal Hawaiian Golf Club

The trail is located in the Maunawili Valley between Mount Olomana and the Ko’olau Mountains about 20 minutes from Waikiki. Originally designed by architects Pete and Perry Dye in 1993, the course has recently been redesigned by Greg Norman. The signature second hole features a beautiful pond, and the course is lush with mature trees that include royal palms, koa, and banana trees.

Official Golf Links

Located on the windward side of the island, this challenging public playground boasts views of the Ko’olau Mountains. Two distinctly different nines make playing the course fun. Former President Barack Obama has played there, and professional golfer Michelle Wie has practiced frequently on the course.

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