Teeing Off in Paradise

Jasmine Bell May 1, 2024

Teeing Off in Paradise: The Best Golf Courses on Hawaii Island

Honolulu, the vibrant heart of Hawaii, offers more than just spectacular beaches and lively cultural experiences—it’s also a prime destination for golf enthusiasts. Close to the city center, several top-tier golf courses provide players with challenging layouts, pristine conditions, and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and lush Hawaiian landscapes. Here’s a guide to the best golf courses located near Honolulu, Hawaii, each offering a unique golfing experience that combines urban accessibility with tropical beauty.

1. Ala Wai Golf Course

Location: Honolulu
Highlights: Just minutes from Waikiki, Ala Wai Golf Course is one of the busiest courses in the world but worth the wait. Known for its tight fairways and views of the Koolau Mountains and Diamond Head, it offers an accessible yet challenging round for golfers of all levels. Its proximity to downtown Honolulu makes it a convenient choice for those looking to fit a round into their travel itinerary.

2. Ko'olau Golf Club

Location: Kaneohe, just east of Honolulu
Highlights: Considered one of the most challenging courses in the nation due to its layout, which requires navigating through dense jungle, ravines, and streams. The Ko'olau Golf Club sits at the base of the Ko'olau Mountain Range, providing dramatic scenery that makes every hole memorable. The course’s natural beauty and rigorous play make it a must-visit for serious golfers.

3. Royal Hawaiian Golf Club

Location: Kailua
Highlights: A short drive from Honolulu, the Royal Hawaiian Golf Club offers a tranquil escape with its course carved out of a tropical rainforest. Known as a "Jurassic Park" golf experience, the course features lush vegetation and dramatic landscapes, including stunning mountain views. The unique layout and serene setting make this course a favorite for those looking for a distinctive golfing experience.

4. Hawaii Prince Golf Club

Location: Ewa Beach
Highlights: Designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, this 27-hole course offers a variety of playing experiences that cater to all skill levels. The Hawaii Prince Golf Club is noted for its superb conditioning and expansive views that include glimpses of the Waianae Mountains. Each nine offers a different strategic approach, keeping the game interesting and challenging.

5. Moanalua Golf Club

Location: Honolulu
Highlights: As the oldest golf course west of the Rockies, Moanalua Golf Club holds a special place in the hearts of local golfers. This private club offers a historic 9-hole course that challenges players with its rolling terrain and strategic layout. The club's rich history and well-preserved course conditions provide a nostalgic and exclusive golfing experience.

6. Turtle Bay Golf

Location: North Shore, Oahu
Highlights: Situated on the scenic North Shore, Turtle Bay Golf offers two courses, the Arnold Palmer Course and the George Fazio Course. Both are renowned for their stunning coastal views and challenging play. The Palmer Course, in particular, is celebrated for its thoughtful design that incorporates natural wetlands, dense jungle, and ocean vistas.

7. Ko Olina Golf Club

Location: Kapolei
Highlights: This beautifully maintained course is a favorite among both tourists and locals. Designed by Ted Robinson, Ko Olina Golf Club is famous for its exceptional water features, multi-tiered greens, and generous fairways. Located within the Ko Olina Resort, it offers a luxurious escape with lovely ocean views and excellent facilities.


Making the Most of Your Golfing Experience

When planning to play these prestigious courses, here are a few tips to enhance your experience:

  • Book in Advance: Especially for the more popular courses, securing a tee time well ahead of your visit is recommended.
  • Check for Special Offers: Many courses have special rates for late afternoon play, or for juniors and seniors.
  • Dress Appropriately: Most courses near Honolulu require proper golf attire, so be sure to check their specific dress codes.
  • Stay Hydrated: The Hawaiian sun can be intense, even on the course. Always carry water with you to stay hydrated throughout your round.


Golfing near Honolulu combines the best of urban convenience and spectacular natural beauty, offering memorable rounds for golfers of every skill level. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely round or a serious challenge, these courses near the heart of Hawaii’s capital are sure to provide a rich and enjoyable golfing experience.



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We have 10 years of professional real estate experience. We love to help families, veterans and first time home buyers buy and sell. We both relocated to Oahu with our fur babies, to follow our dreams and live the Hawaii livestyle. Both of our families have deep roots in real estate, providing us strong real estate foundations.

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