The Aloha State maybe synonymous with surfing but Hawaii is also a haven for golfers, being abundantly blessed with gorgeous golf courses. Here's a primer on where to play: you can say “Mahalo” (thank-you) later..
Olomana Golf Club (O’ahu)
Framed by the dramatic Ko’olau mountain range in the gorgeous Windward community of Waimanalo, Olomana is where Michelle Wie - one of the LPGA's most recognised stars - got her start. It’s also where POTUS (and O’ahu native), Obama, practises his swing when in town. And for good reason: this 18-hole golf course is divided into distinctly different and challenging nines. The front nine features level fairways with formidable water hazards, while the back nine’s lush rolling hills are scattered with strategically placed sand bunkers.
Green fee from US$39 (nine holes) and US$69 (18 holes); www.olomana.golf
Mana Laui Francis H. I‘I Brown Golf Courses (Big Island)
Mauna Lani Resort's two championship golf courses, the Francis H. I‘i Brown North and South, are strikingly different, yet equally challenging.
Built on a lava bed, the north course is characterised by kiawe forests and rolling fairways. The signature hole is the number 17- an Instagram-worthy par-3 tucked into a natural lava bowl. Meanwhile the south course - which snakes through stark, rugged a‘a lava - boasts two striking ocean holes. Step forward number seven, a picturesque par-3 framed by the blue Pacific Ocean, and number 15. The latter is one of the most photographed over-the-water golf holes in the world.
Green fee from US$225 (non resort guests) and US$160 (resort hotel guests); www.maunalani.com
Turtle Bay (O’ahu)
Oahu’s North Shore is celebrated for its spectacular surf, but two legends of golf and architecture – Arnold Palmer and George Fazio – have left their mark with this 36-hole venue.
Crafted during the 70s, the original Fazio course has holes that meander along the coastline and include breathtaking views of Hawaii's iconic North Shore. However the jewel in Turtle Bay’s crown is the Palmer course, whose setting - think dense wetlands, contoured tree-lined fairways, and a crescendo to amazing ocean views from the penultimate hole – make it a bucket-list course for any avid golfer.
Green fee from US$105 (Fazio course) and US$155 (Palmer course); www.turtlebayresort.com/Hawaii-Golf
Kapalua Golf (Maui)
Voted the best golf course in Hawaii by Golf Digest magazine, Kapalua - set amid a 22,000-acre historic pineapple plantation on the popular island of Maui - boasts two championship courses. Take a bow the Bay course - an Arnold Palmer and Francis Duane collaboration offering ocean views on 14 of the 16 holes - and the Plantation course. Framed by the West Maui mountains, the Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore designed Plantation course is home to the PGA TOUR’s season opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Green fee from US$219 (Bay course) and US$299 (Palmer course); www.turtlebayresort.com/Hawaii-Golf
When to go
The dry season (April to October) is arguably the optimumtime to take to the greens.
Green fees range from £54-£23.
The Hawaiian islands are a long flight from London - you’re looking at approximately 17 hours.
UK citizens must register with the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov) 72 hours before arrival. Registration costs US$14 and is valid for two years.
At the time of writing, no specific vaccinations are required for entry to Hawaii.
O’ahu has an excellent islandwide public transportation system called TheBus but renting a car is usually necessary on thee neighbouring islands.
Tourism board contact
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