The Best Golf Courses in Hawaii

For most travelers, a Hawaii vacation means sunny beaches, lounging by the pool, and perhaps exploring volcanoes, rainforests, waterfalls, and marine life. For fans of the game of golf, a trip to Hawaii means playing some of the most beautiful and challenging courses in the world. Each island offers a golf experience unique to its surroundings – black lava rock on the Big Island, volcano views on Maui, lush greenery on Kauai and historic courses on Oahu.

Hawaii’s fairways, greens and tees are some of the best vantage points from which to enjoy the islands’ spectacular scenery. We’ve rounded up some of the best places to golf in Hawaii, from local public links to swanky resort courses and country clubs. Pick your favorites and hit the practice range to prepare your game for Hawaii’s top golf courses.

Maui Golf Courses

The Planting Course

Dave Sansom/Courtesy of Kapalua Golf

Home of the annual PGA TOUR Sentry Tournament of Champions, this demanding course features wide, rolling fairways, dramatic elevation changes, and stunning ocean views from nearly every hole. The course, designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, underwent a major renovation in 2019 and has maintained its reputation as one of Hawaii’s finest golf courses.

The bay route

Courtesy of Kapalua Golf

Designed by Arnold Palmer and Frances Duane, this course is considered more player-friendly than the Plantation. Views of the Pacific and nearby Hawaiian Islands make The Bay Course a thrilling experience, and its scenic 17th is Maui’s only golf hole to play over the ocean.

The Royal Kaanapali

Courtesy of Kā’anapali Golf Courses

Built in 1962 and designed by Robert Trent Jones, this historic resort route features large contoured greens and sloping fairways. From the ocean to the foothills of West Maui, this course offers panoramic views of the sea as well as the islands of Lanai and Molokai.

King Kamehameha Golf Club

Courtesy of King Kamehameha Golf Club

This private golf course is located on the slopes of the West Maui Mountains. A “Guest for a Day” program allows non-members to enjoy the challenging course. Tiered greens, scenic waterholes, Frank Lloyd Wright’s clubhouse and views of the coast, valley and Mount Haleakala make the course a memorable experience.

Kahili Golf Course

Located in the mountains of West Maui, this hillside course opened in 1991. The 6,554-yard par 72 course offers jaw-dropping views and challenges for golfers of all skill levels, with hills, winds and long par fives. The course is located in a secluded location, away from resorts and residences.

Wailea Golf Club

Brian Oar

Three different courseswith 54 holes in all, offer ocean views and elevations of up to 300 feet above sea level. Wailea gold course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., is the most challenging, with rugged terrain, natural undulations and lava rock walls. From the sloping fairways of the Blue course, golfers have views of Wailea, Mount Haleakala and the ocean. The Emerald Route is known for its ocean backdrops, florals, and player-friendly layout.

Lanai Golf Course

Manele Golf Course at Four Seasons Resort Lanai

Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Lanai

The island’s only 18-hole championship course, the Manele Golf Course is only open to customers of Four Seasons Lanai Hotel. This Jack Nicklaus Signature course, built on lava outcrops, features ravines, cliffside greens and ocean views from every hole.

Kauai Golf Courses

Poipu Bay Golf Course

Courtesy of Poipu Bay Golf Course

This Design by Robert Trent Jones Jr. is located next to the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa on the south shore of Kauai. Set along a 150-foot bluff with views of the mountains, ocean, and Poipu Bay, the challenging course hosted the PGA Grand Slam of Golf from 1994-2006. Ancient stone walls and the remains Hawaiian religious temples are preserved along the route.

Kukui’ula Golf Course

Courtesy of Kukui’ula Golf Course

Located at The Lodge at Kukui’ulathe course by the sea is open to guests, along with the Club at Kukui’ula and other amenities. Tom Weiskopf’s design has its challenges, especially the legendary 14th hole, with magnificent ocean views to entertain even the most serious golfer. The 15-acre practice facility features two greens, bunkers and a driving range.

Ocean course in Hōkūala

Courtesy of Hōkūala

This award-winning beachfront layout is the only Jack Nicklaus Signature course on Kauai, with the longest stretch of oceanfront holes in Hawaii. Located along Kalapaki Beach in Timbers Kauai Ocean Club & Residencesthe course offers breathtaking views of the Pacific and the mountains of Kauai.

Princeville Makai Golf Club

Courtesy of Princeville Makai Golf Club

Located on Kauai’s North Shore overlooking Hanalei Bay, the lesson is located amid lush landscape, lakes and woods. Renovated in 2010 by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Princeville Makai is memorable for both its thought-provoking layout and stunning scenery.

Puakea Golf Course

Open to the public, Puakea was designed by architect Robin Nelson on what was once a sugar cane plantation. The resort-quality course features drop-offs, ravines, volcanic cliffs, water hazards, ocean views, and fine examples of Kauai’s lush vegetation.

Hawaii Golf Courses

Hualalai Golf Course

Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

Located at Four Seasons Hualalai Hotelthe designed by Jack Nicklaus Classes is only open to resort guests. A PGA Tour Champions event is held there every year. Winding through the natural landscape of black lava, the course offers breathtaking views and ends alongside the crashing waves of the Pacific. The 12th hole has a bunker in the middle of the green, making it an interesting tee shot on the par three.

Mauna Kea Golf Course

Courtesy of Mauna Kea

Located at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Kohala Coast, this course was the first to be built on the Big Island in 1964. Originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., the course was renovated by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and more recently by Rees Jones. Ocean views, elevation changes, and the iconic third hole — a par three that plays over the Pacific — make this one of Hawaii’s most memorable golf experiences.

Hapuna Golf Course

Courtesy of Hapuna Golf Course

Designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, this course to Westin Hapuna Beach Resort stretches in links along the Kohala Coast. The Pacific views, elevation changes, and rugged terrain make it challenging and beautiful. The signature 12th hole offers a spectacular view that includes Maui in the distance.

Mauna Lani Golf Courses

Courtesy of Mauna Lani Golf

Of them 18-hole course are offered at Mauna Lani Resort plus a fun short nine-hole Wikiwiki course. The North route is built on a lava bed with rolling terrain and a par three hole surrounded by a natural lava amphitheater. The South route meanders through black lava rock, with ocean and mountain views. Its 15th hole over water is both beautiful and challenging.

Waikoloa Resort Golf

Courtesy of Waikoloa Beach Resort

The seaside resort Features 27 holes of golf, with three distinct nines that combine for a variety of experiences. The Beach Nine features large greens, low lip bunkers and a fairway that slopes down to the ocean between black lava fields. The nine of kings, a Scottish links-style layout, features wide fairways, pot bunkers and views of Mauna Kea. The classic resort style Nine Lakes features water challenges on five of the holes, as well as elevation changes and an eighth hole par three over water.

Makani Golf Club

Courtesy of Makani Golf Club

This public course is located on the slopes of Mauna Kea at an elevation of over 2,000 feet, with lakes, wildlife, and great views of the Kona Coast and the volcano. Designed by Perry Dye, son of famed golf course architect Pete Dye, Makani Golf Club offers wide fairways and water hazards on nine of the holes.

Oahu Golf Courses

Turtle Bay Golf

Courtesy of Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay Complex offers two 18-hole courses: the Arnold Palmer Course and the George Fazio course. The Palmer course begins with a Scottish links style layout and continues into a more tropical jungle setting. Water hazards and bunkers add to the challenge. The easy-to-walk Fazio course features wide fairways and ocean views.

Koh Olina Golf Club

Courtesy of Ko Olina Golf Club

Located on the west coast of Oahu in a resort community with four hotels, the lesson was designed by Ted Robinson. Water features, wide fairways and tiered greens define the course. Two signature holes even include scenic waterfalls.

Hawaii Prince Golf Club

Courtesy of Hawaii Prince Golf Club

Located on an open plot of Ewa Beach, the 27 hole course was designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay. Three nine-hole courses are interchangeable, creating a variety of golf experiences including lakes, white sand bunkers and long fairways.

Royal Hawaiian Golf Club

The lesson is located in the Maunawili Valley between Mount Olomana and the Ko’olau Mountains about 20 minutes from Waikiki. Originally designed by architects Pete and Perry Dye in 1993, the course was recently redesigned by Greg Norman. The feature second hole features a beautiful pond and the lush course is home to mature trees including king palms, koas and banana trees.

Olomana Golf Links

Located on the windward side of the island, this challenge public course offers views of the Ko’olau Mountains. Two distinct nines make the course interesting. Former President Barack Obama played there and professional golfer Michelle Wie practiced frequently on the course.

Michael C. Ford