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Tip: A bird sanctuary island that is 3 miles off Maui's south shore.
Golfing on Oahu
The game of golf came to Oahu in 1898 with the opening of Moanalua Golf Club’s nine-holes. Today, the courses range from simple affairs to those that host the Champions Tour.
There are three absolutes when it comes to golf on Oahu. First is the challenging play on beautiful, diverse landscapes and some ocean views. Second, with around 30 total courses on the Island, there are plenty to choose from. Lastly, the wind is usually a factor during play.
It is important to know that Windward and Leeward golf courses play differently because of the prevailing winds. As a general rule, the trade winds blow between 15 to 35 miles per hour and will exaggerate any mistake in your swing. Greens are even affected by the winds, with the grains growing in the direction of the prevailing trade winds. To take a bit of the sting out, golfers will find that many Island courses host wide and forgiving fairways.
At last count, Oahu had more than 35 golf courses. Eight of them are for military personnel only, and nine are private clubs. Six courses, such as the Ala Wai Golf Course, can be very busy and difficult to get onto. That narrows the field to about 14 public and resort courses, but even so, golfers should find a great course that fits their play and pocketbook. Choices include:
• Municipal Courses: Ala Wai Golf Course, Pali Golf Course, Ted Makalena, Kahuku, Ewa Village and West Loch
• Resort Courses: Ko Olina Golf Course, Makaha Resort Golf Club, Hawaii Prince Golf Club, Palmer Course and Fazio Course at Turtle Bay Resort.
• Semi-Private: Waikele Golf Course, New Ewa Beach Golf Club, Mililani Golf Club, Pearl Country Club, Kapolei, Ko’olau Golf Club, and Luana Hills Country Club.
The newest course on Oahu’s western shore is Coral Creek Golf Course. Designed by Honolulu-based golf course architect Robin Nelson, the 18-hole, 6,808-yard, Par 72 course is designed to expose coral rock formations in cliff-like structures and will provide a great test for golfers of all skill levels.
Luana Hills Country Club, built in 1993, is nestled deep in the Maunawili Valley on the Windward side of the island. The 18-hole, Par 72 course was designed by Pete Dye and features natural flowing streams, lush ravines and great mountain vistas. There is a fully stocked golf shop, a restaurant and lounge. Ask about the Country Club’s golf and transportation package, which includes green fees with cart and round-trip transportation from Waikiki.