Discovering the Best Golf Courses in Oahu

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Have you ever dreamt about a golfer’s paradise? We’re talking sunny skies, perfect greens, and stunning views. Welcome to Oahu, where these dreams become reality! 

Let’s embark on a journey to the best golf courses in Oahu, showcasing the top private clubs like Ko Olina and Waialae Country Club. For golf enthusiasts, it’s the perfect guide to your next golfing adventure!

Why Oahu is a Haven for Golf Lovers

Oahu isn’t just a haven for golf lovers; it’s their utopia. Wondering why? Let’s delve into what makes this island a dream destination for every golf enthusiast.

Picture this: stepping onto the green beneath a sky painted in vibrant hues of the setting sun. The gentle trade winds play a soft melody as you grip your club, and the Pacific Ocean stretches out in the distance, its azure expanse kissing the clear blue sky. 

You swing, and the ball soars high, momentarily silhouetted against the sun before it descends towards the manicured fairways. This isn’t just a figment of your imagination. This is golf in Oahu.

From the break of dawn to the twilight’s last gleaming, Oahu’s idyllic weather conditions create a playground for golfers that is accessible practically year-round. 

The warm, tropical climate ensures comfortable golfing conditions, and the gentle breeze can add an exciting layer of challenge to your game. 

Not to mention, the bright, sunny days lend themselves to stunning panoramas that make every round of golf feel like a scenic tour.

But the climatic perks are just one part of the story. Oahu is home to over 40 golf courses, each unique in its design and backdrop.

From the flat to the hilly terrains, the island’s diverse topography allows for a broad range of golf course designs, adding variety and thrill to your golfing experience. 

Whether you’re a beginner dipping your toes into the world of golf or an experienced pro looking for your next challenge, Oahu’s golf courses have something to offer you.

The natural beauty of Oahu provides an unparalleled setting for golf courses. Lush tropical forests, panoramic ocean views, and the backdrop of magnificent mountains make every game a sensory delight. 

When you play golf in Oahu, it isn’t just about the game; it’s about immersing yourself in the heart-stopping beauty that surrounds you.

Moreover, the warm Aloha spirit of the island permeates its golf scene. Golf courses in Oahu are renowned for their hospitality and quality of service, adding a special touch to your golfing experience. 

You’ll feel welcomed and valued, whether you’re a visiting golfer or a club member.

So there you have it. Oahu is a haven for golf lovers because it combines excellent weather, diverse course designs, breathtaking natural beauty, and warm hospitality.

It’s not just a place to play golf; it’s a place to live and love golf. Now, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

What Makes a Golf Course Stand Out?

When it comes to golf courses, not all are created equal. A unique combination of factors must align for a golf course to truly stand out, transforming it from a simple playing field into an extraordinary golfing destination. 

But what exactly are these factors? Let’s uncover the secrets that elevate a golf course from ordinary to exceptional.

Design and Layout

Arguably the heart of any golf course is its design and layout. The arrangement of the holes, the challenges incorporated into each, and the overall flow of the course play crucial roles in defining its character. 

Great golf courses stimulate the mind and challenge the skills of golfers at every level. They present an engaging mix of risks and rewards that keep golfers coming back for more.

But it’s not just about difficulty. The best courses offer variety in their holes, in terms of length, layout, and hazard placement, offering a fresh challenge with every turn.

Maintenance and Conditioning

A standout golf course is pristine, and that’s no accident. It’s the result of meticulous maintenance and conditioning. This includes everything from the manicured greens and well-kept fairways to the strategically placed bunkers and the trimmed roughs. 

Even elements like the tee boxes and the sand in the bunkers play a role in the golfer’s experience. Regular aeration, topdressing, overseeding, and watering are essential to maintaining course health and ensuring a high-quality playing surface.

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Scenic Beauty of Oahu’s Golf Courses

Oahu’s golf courses are renowned not only for their challenging layout but also for their scenic beauty. 

These courses are set in some of the most stunning locations, offering golfers panoramic views of the island’s unique landscapes—from lush mountains and volcanic structures to azure coastlines and tropical rainforests. 

Here are some of the most iconic and scenic golf holes in Oahu:

  1. Hole #3 at Ko Olina Golf Club: This is one of the most picturesque par-3s in Oahu. With a waterfall to the left and multi-tiered green, this hole provides an aesthetic appeal as well as a challenge.

  2. Hole #12 at Waialae Country Club: Known for its daunting, yet stunning, par-4, this hole offers a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean and Diamond Head. It’s a beautiful hole that epitomizes seaside golf in Hawaii.

  3. Hole #17 at Turtle Bay Resort Golf (Palmer Course): This is a classic risk-reward par-5. The ocean runs along the entire left side of this hole, providing a spectacular view. However, the beach also acts as a hazard, making this hole as challenging as it is beautiful.

  4. Hole #18 at Oahu Country Club: As the oldest golf course in Hawaii, Oahu Country Club boasts several stunning holes. The 18th hole, a downhill par-4, offers splendid views of Honolulu and the Pacific Ocean.

  5. Hole #8 at Kapolei Golf Club: A long par-3 over water, this hole is famous for its island green. The green is surrounded on three sides by a lake, making for a beautiful, if intimidating, shot.

  6. Hole #9 at Hawaii Prince Golf Club (A-course): With a lake guarding the green, this hole not only offers a great strategic challenge but also stunning views of the Ewa plains.

  7. Hole #14 at Royal Hawaiian Golf Club: The back nine of the Royal Hawaiian is spectacular, and the 14th hole is a standout. A par-3, this hole offers panoramic views of the Ko’olau Mountains.

  8. Hole #13 at Royal Hawaiian Golf Club: The 13th hole of the Royal Hawaiian Golf Club offers one of the most impressive and unique views in all of Oahu. This par-4 hole, surrounded by lush greenery, offers stunning views of Mt. Olomana. Often mistaken for a volcano due to its dramatic peaks, Mt. Olomana provides an awe-inspiring backdrop as you navigate this challenging hole.

Playing on these holes is not just about golf; it’s about immersing yourself in the breathtaking landscapes that embody the spirit of Oahu. 

Remember, while these views can be a great distraction, they also form the essence of golfing in Oahu, offering an experience that’s unmatched anywhere in the world.

Amenities and Facilities

What sets superior golf courses apart is their attention to the overall experience. This means offering top-tier amenities and facilities, such as well-equipped pro shops, practice facilities, locker rooms, and dining options. 

Some courses even offer golf lessons or clinics, contributing to the development of golfers. These additional features provide convenience, enhance the enjoyment of the game, and often make the difference between a good and a great golf course.

Hospitality and Service

Last, but certainly not least, standout golf courses are marked by excellent hospitality and service. This can range from friendly and helpful staff to well-organized events and tournaments. 

Golf is a social sport, and the sense of community and camaraderie that a golf course fosters can significantly contribute to its appeal.

In summary, an outstanding golf course transcends the physical boundaries of its holes. It provides an engaging and challenging design, excellent maintenance, beautiful surroundings, top-notch facilities, and warm hospitality. 

Together, these elements blend to create a golf course that doesn’t just stand out, but also stands the test of time.

A Quick Overview of Best Golf Courses in Oahu

Oahu is a treasure trove of stunning golf courses, each unique in its design, setting, and amenities. 

For those on the lookout for the best golfing experience on the island, here is a quick overview of the top private golf courses we highly recommend:

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  1. Ko Olina Golf Club: Set on the sunny west coast of Oahu, Ko Olina offers a perfect blend of beauty, fun, and challenge with its meticulously maintained fairways and greens, cascading waterfalls, and tropical flora.

  2. Waialae Country Club: Known for hosting the annual Sony Open, this prestigious golf course offers an excellent blend of challenging and playable holes, all set against the backdrop of stunning ocean views.

  3. Turtle Bay Resort Golf: With two high-rated golf courses, the Palmer and Fazio, Turtle Bay offers a memorable golfing experience filled with stunning ocean views and strategic challenges.

  4. Oahu Country Club: The oldest private golf club on the island, Oahu Country Club boasts a hilly terrain, lush vegetation, and panoramic views of the Pacific and the Koolau mountain range.

  5. Kapolei Golf Club: Known for its well-manicured, rolling fairways, multi-tiered greens, and water features, Kapolei offers a fantastic golfing experience for players of all skill levels.

Each of these golf courses has a unique charm and offers a distinct golfing experience. Let’s delve deeper into what each of them has to offer.

best golf courses in oahu

Best Golf Courses Oahu: #1 Ko Olina Golf Club


Ko Olina Golf Club, located on the sunny west coast of Oahu, is nothing short of a tropical paradise. With multi-tiered greens, generous fairways, and water features on many holes, the course offers a blend of beauty, fun, and challenge that caters to golfers of all skill levels.

Unique Features

One of the standout features of Ko Olina is the meticulously maintained fairways and greens, set amidst cascading waterfalls, tropical flora, and picturesque lagoons. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, the course offers an exhilarating round of golf that makes the most of the island’s natural beauty.

Membership Details

Ko Olina Golf Club offers several membership options designed to suit the needs of a wide range of golfers, offering benefits such as unlimited golf, advanced booking privileges, and discounts on guest fees and merchandise.

Best Golf Courses Oahu: #2 Waialae Country Club


Waialae Country Club, nestled on the outskirts of Honolulu, is synonymous with prestige and quality. As the host of the annual Sony Open, Waialae has been graced by the presence of many renowned golfers. The course itself is a par 70, 7,068-yard layout, masterfully designed to challenge even the most skilled golfers.

Unique Features

The course boasts a classic design, incorporating numerous doglegs, water features, and sand bunkers. The signature hole, the par-3 13th, offers stunning ocean views, creating a memorable golfing moment. Notably, its coastal location often brings in a crosswind from the ocean, adding an extra layer of challenge.

Membership Details

Membership at Waialae Country Club is by invitation only, ensuring an exclusive and intimate golfing experience. The club offers a full spectrum of amenities, including dining facilities, tennis courts, a swimming pool, and more.

best golf courses in oahu

Best Golf Courses Oahu: #3 Turtle Bay Resort Golf


Located on the North Shore of Oahu, Turtle Bay Resort Golf offers two spectacular courses, the Palmer and Fazio. Both courses are renowned for their breathtaking ocean views and strategic challenges, offering a golfing experience unlike any other.

Unique Features

The Palmer course, designed by legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, is a masterpiece that winds through wetlands, a forest, and along the coastline, providing a variety of scenic views and golfing challenges. On the other hand, the Fazio course is more forgiving, perfect for beginners and those who prefer a more relaxed round.

Membership Details

Turtle Bay Resort Golf provides a variety of membership options, each offering a unique mix of benefits. These range from unlimited golf privileges to discounts at the resort’s dining and retail outlets, ensuring a luxury golfing experience.

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Best Golf Courses Oahu: #4 Oahu Country Club


As the oldest private club on the island, Oahu Country Club boasts a rich history. The course is nestled among the lush hills of Nuuanu Valley, offering sweeping views of Honolulu and the Pacific Ocean.

Unique Features

The course is famous for its rolling, tree-lined fairways, strategic bunkering, and undulating greens. The hilly terrain makes for an engaging and challenging round, testing your shot-making skills at every turn.

Membership Details

Membership at Oahu Country Club is available through sponsorship by an existing member, ensuring a close-knit community. Members enjoy a host of benefits, including access to the club’s dining and event facilities, tennis courts, and swimming pool.

best golf courses in oahu

Best Golf Courses Oahu: #5 Kapolei Golf Club


Kapolei Golf Club, located in the heart of Kapolei city, is a top-tier golfing destination known for its picturesque layout and outstanding amenities.

Unique Features

Kapolei is a par-72, 7,001-yard course characterized by its rolling fairways, 80 bunkers, and five strategically placed lakes. The course offers a perfect blend of challenge and fun, suitable for golfers of all skill levels.

Membership Details

Kapolei Golf Club offers a range of membership options with various benefits, including unlimited golf play, preferred tee times, and discounts at the Pro Shop and dining facilities.

Best Golf Courses Oahu: #6 Hawaii Prince Golf Club


Hawaii Prince Golf Club, located in Ewa Beach, is a unique golfing gem on the island. With 27 holes, it offers three interchangeable nines (A, B, and C nines) creating a variety of playing experiences for members and guests.

Unique Features

Designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, the course takes full advantage of the scenic beauty and unique challenges provided by the Ewa Plain landscape. The course is characterized by 10 lakes that come into play in over half of the holes, offering a strategic challenge to both novice and professional golfers.

Membership Details

Hawaii Prince Golf Club provides several membership tiers, each offering different privileges and benefits. These include unlimited play options, discounts on guest fees, and special rates for range balls and merchandise.

Best Golf Courses Oahu: #7 Royal Hawaiian Golf Club


Tucked in the lush Maunawili Valley, Royal Hawaiian Golf Club offers an escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. The course, originally designed by Pete and Perry Dye, was recently revamped by golf hall-of-famer Greg Norman, resulting in an exciting layout that highlights the area’s natural beauty.

Unique Features

The front nine is characterized by tropical rainforest hills and natural streams, while the back nine boasts panoramic views of the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. This scenic diversity, coupled with its challenging layout, makes Royal Hawaiian a must-play for any golf enthusiast.

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Membership Details

Royal Hawaiian Golf Club offers multiple membership packages tailored to fit different needs. These include unlimited golf, discounted guest rates, and special pricing for events and merchandise.

With these extensive reviews, you should have a comprehensive understanding of the best golf courses in Oahu. Whether you’re seeking a challenging course, impeccable amenities, or spectacular views, these private golf clubs have something to offer every golf enthusiast.

best golf courses in oahu

Tips for Golfing in Oahu

Golfing in Oahu is a unique experience that comes with its own set of considerations. Here are some handy tips to ensure you have a fantastic round:

  1. Check the Weather: Oahu’s weather can be unpredictable. Always check the forecast before your tee time. Keep in mind that afternoon trade winds can add a challenging element to your game.

  2. Stay Hydrated: The Hawaiian sun can be pretty intense. Make sure to bring enough water to stay hydrated throughout your round.

  3. Apply Sunscreen: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Remember to apply a generous amount of broad-spectrum sunscreen, ideally with an SPF of 30 or higher, and reapply it every two hours.

  4. Book Early: The best tee times can go quickly, especially during peak season. Book your tee times as early as possible to secure your preferred slot.

  5. Warm-Up: Utilize the driving range or practice facility before your round. This not only helps improve your game but also prepares your body to avoid injuries.

  6. Respect the Course: Always adhere to the course rules and regulations. Respect the course by fixing divots, raking bunkers, and following cart path rules.

  7. Be Patient: Golf is a game of patience. Be ready to enjoy your round without rushing, and be considerate of other players on the course.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to have an enjoyable golfing experience in Oahu. Enjoy the beauty and challenge that these Oahu private golf courses offer.

Choosing the right golf course in Oahu can enhance your game, offering not just unique challenges but also breathtaking scenery and top-notch amenities. 

Each of the golf courses we’ve highlighted—Ko Olina Golf Club, Waialae Country Club, Turtle Bay Resort Golf, Oahu Country Club, Kapolei Golf Club, Hawaii Prince Golf Club, and Royal Hawaiian Golf Club—offer distinct experiences for golfers of all levels.

Remember, golfing in Oahu is more than just about the sport. It’s about embracing the spirit of Aloha while indulging in the game you love. 

So, apply your sunscreen, stay hydrated, and enjoy the experience of playing golf in one of the world’s most beautiful locations.

Now, let’s delve into some frequently asked questions about golfing in Oahu.


Can you play golf year-round in Oahu?

Yes, you can play golf year-round in Oahu. The island enjoys a tropical climate, which means warm temperatures throughout the year. However, there might be more rainfall during the winter months.

Are there dress code regulations for golf courses in Oahu?

Most private golf courses in Oahu have a dress code. Generally, golfers are required to wear a collared shirt and golf shoes, and men are often required to wear long pants or dress shorts.

Do golf courses in Oahu offer equipment rentals?

Yes, most golf courses in Oahu offer equipment rentals, including golf clubs and golf carts. It’s always best to check with the specific golf course for their rental offerings and rates.

How much does it cost to play golf in Oahu?

The cost to play golf in Oahu can vary greatly depending on the course, the time of day, and the
season. It’s best to check with the specific golf course for the most accurate rates.

Do I need a handicap to play on private golf courses in Oahu?

While a handicap isn’t necessary to play on most private golf courses in Oahu, some exclusive clubs may have specific playing requirements. It’s advisable to check with the golf course before your round.

We hope this guide has been useful in your quest to find the best private golf courses in Oahu. Do you have any golf courses in Oahu that you love and recommend? 

Share your experiences and tips in the comments section!

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