From luxury resort to casual municipal courses golf courses, Oahu provides more than 40 varied options to challenge avid or recreational golfers with spectacular scenery regardless which one you choose on the North Shore or closer to the bustling city of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach. The best part, aside from a few of the prestigious golf courses where the pros play, such as Turtle Bay Resort, Ko Olina GC or Kapolei GC, is that playing golf in Oahu will not be as harmful to your wallet.
Feature Photo: Courtesy of Royal Kunia Country Club
Ewa Beach Golf Club
An alluring 18-hole course tucked away in a forest of Hawaiian kiawe trees, Ewa Beach GC will impress with its strikingly beautiful natural surroundings and incredible course conditions. Architect Robin Nelson designed a 6,700-yard course with narrow tree-lined fairways, water hazards, and numerous bunkers and is also one of the only courses on the island with a massive double green similar to that of the historic Old Course at St. Andrews.
Hawaii Kai GC
Thirteen miles east of Waikiki, Hawaii Kai GC lies the only golf course on Oahu’s rugged eastern coastline and where every tee box offers a view of the Makapuu Cliffs, Pacific Ocean and Molokai in the distance. At 6,614 yards, the layout is challenging with elevation changes, dogleg holes, and wind as a significant factor. Also onsite overlooking Sandy Beach Park is the 18-hole Executive Par 3 Course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
Hawaii Prince Golf Club
On Oahu’s sunny Ewa Plain, Arnold Palmer partnered with Ed Seay to design three nine-hole courses (A, B & C) with fairways guarded by plenty of sand bunkers and 10 strategically placed lakes while offering excellent views of the Waianae Mountains. The greens are fast and expect to play a variety of shots with sidehill, downhill, and uphill lies. The most challenging combination is the B-C layout, which plays to 7,255 yards, while the least difficult combo is C-A.
Located west of Pearl Harbor in sunny Kapolei, the Ted Robinson design, playing to 7,001 yards, is beautifully landscaped with floral gardens, thousands of coconut palms and five expansive lakes that come into play on 12 holes. In addition, more than 80 bunkers, elevated greens and gently contoured fairways add to the challenge for amateurs, as well as the LPGA’s LOTTE Championship and Champions Tour Pacific Links Open.
Ko Olina Golf Club
On the island’s sunny west side, Oahu’s premier oceanfront resort community at Ko Olina Resort & Marina, is home to one of Golf Digest’s “Top 75 Resort Courses in the USA.” The Ted Robinson-designed 6,867-yard layout features eye-catching water features, multi-tiered greens, and generous landing areas. Opened in 1990, it has since played host to numerous LPGA Tour events and the 19th hole features an award-winning restaurant from chef Roy Yamaguchi.
Olomana Golf Links
Boasting majestic views of the Koolau Mountain Range and approximately 30 minutes from Waikiki, Olomana Golf Links is links-style golf in a mountain setting. The fairly short course (6,306 yards) features a very open front nine that will expose golfers to the elements while the back nine winds its way through a large-wooded forest. Designed by Bob Baldock, it is a local favorite among locals, including one former — President Barack Obama who grew up playing here.
Royal Hawaiian Golf Club
Formerly known as Luana Hills, Royal Hawaiian is located on Oahu’s east side at the base of the Koolau Mountain Range. The Pete and Perry Dye 6,609-yard course (recently redesigned by golf hall-of-famer Greg Norman) is carved through a tropical rain forest and can best be described as playing golf in Jurassic Park without the dinosaurs! Contrasting nines feature a front side with a rugged mountainous terrain and an open rolling terrain on the back nine.
Royal Kunia Country Club
Situated in central Oahu, Robin Nelson designed 18-holes that are accompanied by spectacular views of Pearl Harbor, the Koolau and Waianae mountain ranges, the city of Honolulu and Diamond Head. The par-72 track features generously sized rolling fairways, heavily bunkered greens and a generous number of well-placed lakes. Be ready for back-to-back par 5’s (9th and 10th holes) that each measure over 600 yards in length from the championship tees.
Turtle Bay Resort
Oahu’s scenic North Shore is the locale for 36 golf holes at Turtle Bay Resort. At the Palmer Course (7,218 yards), designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, fairways weave masterfully around natural wetlands and through dense Hawaiian jungle that helps offer some needed protection from the ever-present wind. Up until 2008, it was home to the Champions Tour Turtle Bay Championship and hosted Golf Channel’s Big Break. The more forgiving George Fazio Course (6,662-yards) offers far fewer forced carries and breathtaking ocean views.
Waikele Country Club
A public golf course with a country club experience awaits golfers at Waikele Country Club covering gently sloping landscape of Waipio and overlooking Pearl Harbor with views stretching to Diamond Head. The 6,663-yard layout designed by Ted Robinson features his signature water features complimenting rolling Bermuda fairways and undulating Paspalum greens accented with strategically-placed bunkers.