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Hawaii Golf Vacation - Tee It Up in Paradise!

By Keith Thompson

A Hawaii golf vacation can be the trip of a lifetime, and with a little careful planning you can get in more great golf at more fantastic courses than you ever thought possible. Each island has it's own gems, and there are many incredible golf courses that have managed to fly under the radar but are nevertheless great values and spectacular golf. Here's a sampling of some of the awesome tracks to play on your next Hawaii golf vacation, island by island.

Hawaii - A Hawaii golf vacation to the big island is normally characterized by lush green tracks sitting precariously atop incredible lava flows. The black lava provides stark contrast on many courses on the big island, some of the more popular being Mauna Lani, with it's two courses testing your wind skills; Mauna Kea, built by Laurance Rockefeller and designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., this is a classic resort with golf experience to match. The sister course Hapuna is well worth a play as well. Another well-known and great course is Waikoloa Golf Club, sitting amidst lava flows and petroglyph fields.

Maui - A Hawaii golf vacation without a stop in Maui would be akin to visiting France and ignoring the Eiffel Tower. Golf on Maui is exquisite, and here are some of the best. My favorite is Kapalua, particularly the Plantation course, home of PGA Tour's Mercedes Championship. If you can make it past several blind tee shots and drop dead vistas on every tee box, you'll be back again and again. Other Maui tracks definitely worth a look include Wailea, a gem of a course; Makena, a bear of a course, and Royal Kaanapali, home of several LPGA and Senior events in the past. Also don't overlook Pukalani, upcountry and on the slopes of an extinct volcano, probably Hawaii's best golf bargain. Last but not least, another great value would be the Dunes At Maui Lani, a links course deserving of a round during your next Hawaii golf vacation.

Kauai - A stop here for golf will necessarily involve some of the more legendary names in Hawaii golf courses. Princeville Resort, and specifically the Prince Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., has been rated the best course in Hawaii almost continually since it opened in 1990. The Hyatt Regency Poipu Bay Resort combines luxury and tradewinds to mount a challenge to any level golfer; and Kauai Lagoons Ki'ele course, a most daunting jack Nicklaus design. Kauai is a another must stop for any Hawaii golf vacation.

Oahu - Two must see courses on Oahu would be Turtle Bay Golf Resort on the North Shore, specifically the Arnold Palmer course. The Senior tour visits as well as any golfer in need of a challenge. Also worthy of consideration is Hawaii Kai, a short but windy course located eleven miles ouside Waikiki.

Lanai - One more stop on your dream Hawaii Golf vacation would have to include the Experience at Koele, designed by Greg Norman and Ted Robinson. Unlike many other Hawaii golf courses, this course is located in a rainforest and you get the feel that you're in a nature preserve, with wild game roaming the lush vegetation surrounding the fairways. The Experience At Koele is precisely that: an incredible experience.

Wherever you choose to plant your tee for your next Hawaii golf vacation, these are choices that you can't go wrong with. Just try and keep your eye on the ball!

Copyright 2006 Keith Thompson

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