Hawaii may seem like a far distance to travel just to take in some golf. Then again, can you witness whales breaching through the surface of ocean water in the distance from your country club? Golfing in Hawaii is more than just another round that ends with martinis at the 19th Hole and stories swapped about golfing exploits that never happened like the time the ball bounced off a bird’s head and plopped right into the cup. Driving, chipping and putting on a great Hawaii golf course means the very best golfing experience of your life.
Kauai Lagoons Golf Club: Kiele Course
This truly great Hawaii golf course is located, as the name suggests, on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The man who designed this golf course is one even non-duffers will recognize: Jack Nicklaus. The man who insisted on riding a golf cart at a tournament just a few months after speaking out against Casey Martin. Hypocrisy aside, Nicklaus designed this Kauai golf course to take advantage of its close proximity to the airport, to offer spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and to test the eternal patience of golfers trying to get their ball past the lagoon and onto the island on which the hole sits.
Wailea Golf Club: Emerald Course
What makes a great Hawaii golf course truly different from the public or private course you are used to treading? Travel to the Hawaiian island of Maui and find out. The very first hole at Wailea Golf Club is a part-4 that will you will likely bogey or more because your attention is captivated by the wide expanse of royal blue ocean situated just below you. The GPS system installed in your golf cart will definitely come in handy on this Hawaii golf course as you will probably lose more than a ball or two because you just can’t tear your eyes away from that view of Mt. Haleakala poised in the distance like some Hawaiian god come to life.
Mauna Kea Golf Course
The legendary Robert Trent Jones designed this first great Hawaii golf course in 1964. Get yourself a tee time on a day when the sky is clear, blue and dominated by what is the highest mountain on earth. No, this Hawaii Big Island golf course is not cast in the shadow of Mt. Everest. Mauna Kea actually measures higher than Everest, but seems lower because so much is underwater. See, those are the kinds of facts you learn when pick Hawaii as your golf vacation destination. Prepare yourself for hole number 3 at the Mauna Kea course as you don’t often get to play a truly legendary hole, much less a truly legendary golf hole tongue-kissed by the violently swirling waters that result when ocean water meets volcanic lava.
Olomana Golf Links
What travelogue of great Hawaii golf courses would be complete without a stop on the island of Oahu? The Ko’loau Mountains rise like Polynesian giants in the distance from the greens and fairways of the course where Michelle Wie learned to get kick butt before joining the LPGA. Get ready for 10 water holes on this Hawaii golf course as well as 38 bunkers that must be dealt with.