Playing a round of golf on the Hawaiian Islands is a special treat. Whether you ship your sticks or play with rentals, you will find courses that will challenge your game. Courses sporting fast greens that slope to the ocean, gorgeous verdant fairways, and spectacularly distracting vistas dot the islands like necklaces made from every shade of green. Top rated golf courses spread across the state and you will be sure to find one of the best Hawaii golf courses on your vacation getaway.
Play where the champions play or drop in for a quick nine at a public course. The Hawaiian islands welcome golfers of all skill levels to play a round and enjoy the #IslandLife.
Note: Some information in this piece was obtained during a sponsored press trip, but all recommendations are my own.
Hawaii Golf Courses
We have selected a few public courses and aloha state resort-style golf playgrounds on five different islands to entertain you in this Hawaiin golfing paradise. Prices for a round of golf vary with the day of the week, time of day, and season of the year. Playing late in the day, mid-week is the most budget friendly, however, try to get in a round early in the morning and enjoy a classic orange-hued island sunrise.
We have presented amazing courses with a range of prices based on green and cart fees. The prices do not include golf club rentals.
- $: $75 or less
- $$: $75 to $150
- $$$: $150 to $250
- $$$$: $250 and up
Our list of Hawaiian golf courses below are in no particular ranking order.
1. Kaanapali Golf Courses, Maui
Cost: $$ – $$$
Karl Reul, general manager at Kaanapali Golf Courses enthusiastically describes his Hawaiian golf playground touting that “Kaanapali Golf Courses are located within walking distance of world class hotels here in our Kaanapali Resort. We offer 36 holes of spectacular championship-caliber golf with breathtaking ocean views. Visitors will find a 2-mile boardwalk along white sand beaches and a variety of activities including fishing, snorkeling, parasailing, whale watching, surfing, boogie boarding, canoeing, and paddle boarding. If you really want a relaxing, fun, and enjoyable golfing vacation, Kaanapali Golf Courses is the perfect place for you!”
We couldn’t agree more. Both the Kai and Royal Kaanapali courses offer golfers stunning views, wide open fairways, and challenging greens that secretly slope toward the ocean. You will love visiting the Kaanapali area and playing at the Kai or Royal Kaanapali courses.
Pro Tip: Get out and play early in the day to avoid the midday sun. This way you will have time for a fun round and still enjoy some afternoon sightseeing around Maui.
2. Kapalua Golf, Maui
Cost: $$$ – $$$$
When you want to walk in the footsteps of champions, Kapalua Golf’s Bay and Plantation Courses will challenge even the most seasoned golfers. Kapaula hosts the Sentry Tournament of Champions in early January, so when you book a tee time for late winter, you know the course is in spectacular shape.
A monster course at 7,526 yards from the Champion Tees, the Plantation Course is the bucket-list course for every visiting golfer.
Pro Tip: Be sure to book your tee time in advance of your trip to Maui if you want to guarantee a round on this gorgeous course.
3. Mauna Kea Golf Course, Big Island
Cost: $$$ – $$$$
Aloha and welcome to the Big Island. Mauna Kea Golf Course is a stunning option for dedicated golfers. The course offers a signature third hole that will make even the most seasoned golfers question their approach to the green. Clearing the pounding surf and avoiding the traps surrounding the pin is a triumphant moment for any golf aficionado.
The risk and reward shots at Mauna Key make it a satisfying challenge to keep your score within a stroke or three of your average.
Pro Tip: Mauna Kea is a Marriott Resort so you can be confident that they provide first class service and amenities. Stay at the resort for a fabulous golf getaway stay.
4. Waikoloa Beach Resort Golf, Big Island
Cost: $$ – $$$
Waikoloa Beach Resort Golf is the perfect resort for a variety of players. Newbie duffers and skilled golfers will both enjoy exploring one of the three nine-hole courses. Waikoloa’s Beach Nine, Lake Nine, and Kings Nine courses can be played to create a unique and varied round. Whether you play 9, 18, or the entire 27 holes, you will love the lush green landscape as it plays against the Big Island lava outcroppings and Pacific Ocean waves.
Pro Tip: Book a weekend of golf at Waikoloa and receive a steep discount on greens fees. It is a great way to enjoy Hawaiian golf without blowing your budget.
5. Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu
Turtle Bay Golf comprises two world class golf courses, the Arnold Palmer course and the George Fazio course. These two dynamic and scenic courses are joined by an 18-hole putting course, The Breaks, perfect for when you want to work on your short game.
The Palmer’s 17th signature hole offers stunning views beyond the nine, ball catching bunkers, and a long par four tee to the green. The scenic viewpoint at the green is perfect for a photo opportunity; just remember to smile after your time in the bunker sand.
Turtle Bay encircles 100 acres of bird sanctuary and wetlands creating a private golfing experience. Nesting habitats for a variety of birds like the venerable nene goose and endangered albatros skirt the tee boxes and fairways. The natural wetlands add a distinct tropical feel to each course.
Pro Tip: After your round, head over to the beachside bar Sunset for a classic Mai Tai and watch the surf roll in as you dissect your game.
6. Ko Olina, Oahu
Cost: $$ – $$$
Undulating Oahu fairways with mountains framing the backdrop make Ko Olina Golf Club a must play course. The beautifully green and lush course is juxtaposed by the rugged hills and water views along the golfing playground. You will love the location, just steps from a variety of resort properties, making this course accessible for a morning round while leaving time to hit the beach in the afternoon.
Pro Tip: As you make your way to the clubhouse, visit the charming statue of the diminutive golfer representing the legend of the ladybug. The legend states if the ladybug “lands on your shoulder, sweet talk her to your finger and with a gentle breath, send her off. Lady luck will lead you to the cup.”
7. Wailua Golf Course, Kauai
Cost: $ – $$
Wailua Golf Course is the public course you want to play. The beautiful garden island of Kauai is a stunning spot to get in a round to make your golfcation dreams a reality. Undulating fairways hemmed in by lush growth give you the feel of being immersed in a tropical forest. Forgiving and friendly, you will love the layout and the budget friendly price of this perfect public course.
Grab your golfer want-to-be friends and hit the links at Wailua for an afternoon of revisiting why you love the game.
8. Princeville Makai Golf Club, Kauai
Princeville’s Makai Golf Club is a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design that is the perfect vision of a Kauai golf course. Views of Bali Hai and Hanalei Bay challenge players to keep their mind on the game at hand. The signature 7th green will challenge your risk/reward options as you must clear the impending cliffs and place your ball on the green without becoming a victim of the sprawling sand traps.
Makai brings the best of Hawaiian golf views and challenging play together in one breathtaking course.
Pro Tip: Makai Golf Club utilizes dynamic pricing, thereby allowing rates to be adjusted in real time, fluctuating based on changing demand.
9. Manele Golf Course, Lanai
The exclusive Manele Golf Course on the small island of Lanai offers a golf respite for the weary traveler. Play this course with abandon for an enjoyable round. As you play again and again, you can absorb the undulations, learn to read the tricky greens, and enjoy the breathtaking panoramic surroundings that are the hallmark of this Jack Nicklaus course.
Pro Tip: Manele Golf Course is an exclusive Four Seasons Resort course. You will want to book a stay-and-play package to enjoy all the gorgeous Lanai island golf your hearts desire.
Best Golf Courses In Hawaii
When you are fortunate enough to visit the gorgeous state of Hawaii, I hope you will consider getting in a round or two at one of these gorgeous courses. It may not improve your game, but it will certainly improve your seaside vista experiences.
Other gorgeous golf destinations you might want to explore include Hilton Head, Scottsdale, and the Palm Beach area. You will love the challenge of new and exciting courses and the fun of playing where the champions play.
Get out and experience some of the best places to play golf in Hawaii and take your island vacation golf adventure to the next level.