Views of the shimmering sea. Carts nestled under the shade of a swaying palm tree. Vibrant fairways as far as the eye can see. In Hawaii, golf courses kinda make playing anywhere else in the world seem…unsatisfactory. If you’re staying in Waikiki, you’ll have nearly a dozen courses within a short drive (or a long 5-iron). Both municipal and resort courses offer deals for visitors, so don’t sweat the cost of bringing your own clubs, and get ready to hit the links.
Ala Wai Golf Course
The Ala Wai Golf Course is within walking distance from most hotels on the Kalakaua strip. Leaving the city behind, you begin this par-70 course by soaking in the sweeping views of the iconic Diamond Head crater. As you play through the round, tee shots are set against the backdrop of the Ko’olau Range on your right and the Honolulu skyline. Wrap up the 18th by facing the azure waters of Waikiki Beach. As an added benefit to playing within the city limits, there are no hills to contend with, which sits well with novice players.
Luana Hills Country Club
Luana Hills Country Club is tucked deep in the Maunawili Valley on the windward side of the island. You can traverse the 18-hole Pete Dye-designed Hawaii golf courses while driving over natural streams and skirting lush ravines and great mountain vistas. The restaurant and lounge is one of the best 19th holes on the island and the perfect spot to enjoy a lager and a grilled mahi sandwich while reliving the glory shots of the day.
Turtle Bay Resort
Turtle Bay Resort features a pair of 18-hole courses that have hosted PGA events, but they’re open to the public for tee times. Some of the more stunning, ocean-front holes in the state are here, and it’s not uncommon to see horseback riders skirting the outlying trails that surround the course. The Arnold Palmer and George Fazio designs are both forgiving and challenging. Let the meditative lull of crashing waves calm your nerves, so you can sink that birdie putt. Capping off your round, the award-winning Lei Lei’s restaurant at the clubhouse is a locals’ favorite with some of the best ahi poke around.