Greens fees below are for visitors and include carts, unless noted; those with Hawaii state ID may receive substantial discounts.
The Kona Coast
The fabulous Hualalai Golf Course at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is open only to members and resort guests—but for committed golfers, this Jack Nicklaus–designed championship course is reason enough to book a room and pay the sky-high greens fee of $295 ($175 for kids 13–18, free for children 12 and under with paying guest).
Big Island Country Club Designed by Perry Dye, this par-72, 18-hole course offers sweeping views of towering Mauna Kea and the bright blue coastline from its perch 2,000 feet above sea level. Although it’s not on the ocean, water features wind around nine of the holes, including the spectacular par-3 No. 17. Waterfalls, tall palms, and other lush greenery add to the tropical feel; look for native birds such as the nene (Hawaiian goose), hawks, stilts, and black-crowned night herons. The wide fairways and gently rolling terrain make it appropriate for players of every level. Facilities include club rentals, driving range, pro shop, lounge, and snack bar.
71-1420 Mamalahoa Hwy. (Hwy. 190), Kailua-Kona. www.bigislandcountryclub.com. 808/325-5044. Greens fees $135; 7-day vacation membership, $240 plus $30 cart fee per round.
Kona Country Club Although the 18-hole Mountain Course has permanently closed, the popular Keauhou club reopened its William Bell–designed Ocean Course in 2015 with expanded greens, new cart paths and bunkers, and a new irrigation system. The views of pounding waves on lava rock—also visible from the well-stocked pro shop—remain impressive. Other facilities include club rentals, driving range, pro shop, locker rooms, and putting and chipping greens.
78–7000 Alii Dr., Kailua-Kona. www.konagolf.com. 808/322-3431. Greens fees $180, $110 after 1 p.m., $45 juniors (8–17); 9 holes after 3pm, $90.
Makalei Golf Club This par-72, 18-hole upcountry course—some 1,800 to 2,850 feet in elevation—goes up and down through native forests, cinder cones, and lava tubes over its championship length of 7,091 yards. The signature hole is the par-3 No. 15, offering a distant view of Maui and the best chance for a hole-in-one. A local favorite, Makalei is visited by wild peacocks, pheasants, and turkeys. Facilities include a golf shop, driving range, putting greens, club rentals (drop-off and pickup available), and the Peacock Grille restaurant, offering a full bar and a menu of burgers, salads, and snacks from 10am to 3pm.
72-3890 Hawaii Belt Rd. (Mamalahoa Hwy./Hwy. 190), Kailua-Kona. www.makalei.com. 808/325-6625. Greens fees $109 before noon; $89 noon–2pm. From the intersection of Palani Rd. and Hwy. 11 in Kailua-Kona, take Palani Rd. (which becomes Hwy. 190) east 7 1/4 miles, and look for green gates and a small white sign on right.
The Kohala Coast
Hapuna Golf Course Since its opening in 1992, this 18-hole championship course has been named the most environmentally sensitive course by Golf magazine, as well as “Course of the Future” by the U.S. Golf Association. Designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, the links-style course extends nearly 6,900 yards from the shoreline to 700 feet above sea level, with views of the pastoral Kohala Mountains and the coastline; look for Maui across the channel from the signature 12th hole. The elevation changes on the course keep it challenging (and windy the higher you go). There are a few elevated tee boxes and only 40 bunkers. Facilities include putting and chipping greens, driving range, practice bunker, lockers, showers, a pro shop, rental clubs, fitness center, and spa.
At the Westin Hapuna Beach Hotel, Mauna Kea Resort, off Hwy. 19 (near mile marker 69). www.westinhapunabeach.com. 808/880-3000. Greens fees for hotel guests: $140–$150 before 1pm; $90–$100 after 1pm. Nonguests: $160-$175 before 1pm; $100-$125 after 1pm. All juniors (18 and younger) $55-$60.
Mauna Kea Golf Course This breathtakingly beautiful, par-72, 7,114-yard championship course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., and later updated by son Rees Jones, is consistently rated one of the top golf courses in the United States. The signature 3rd hole is 175 yards long; the Pacific Ocean and shoreline cliffs stand between the tee and the green, giving every golfer, from beginner to pro, a real challenge. Another par-3 that confounds duffers is the 11th hole, which drops 100 feet from tee to green and plays down to the ocean, into the steady trade winds. When the trades are blowing, 181 yards might as well be 1,000 yards. Book ahead; the course is very popular, especially for early weekend tee times. Facilities include a pro shop and clubhouse with restaurant, named Number 3 for the hole that Jones, Sr., once called “the most beautiful in the world.”
At the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Mauna Kea Resort, off Hwy. 19 (near mile marker 68). https://maunakeabeachhotel.com. 808/882-5400. Greens fees $285 ($245 hotel guests) 7a–1pm; $195 after 1pm ($180 hotel guests). Afternoon 9 holes $135. All kids under age 18 play for $95.
Mauna Lani Francis H. Ii Brown Championship Courses Carefully wrapped around ancient trails, fish ponds, and petroglyphs, the two 18-hole courses here have won Golf magazine’s Gold Medal Award every year since the honor’s inception in 1988. The South Course, a 7,029-yard, par-72, has two unforgettable ocean holes: the over-the-water 15th hole and the downhill, 221-yard, par-3 No. 7, which is bordered by the sea, a salt-and-pepper sand dune, and lush kiawe trees. The sunset golf cart tour ($45 for two people in one cart) visits both, among other beautiful stops. The North Course may not have the drama of the oceanfront holes, but because it was built on older lava flows, the more extensive indigenous vegetation gives the course a Scottish feel. The hole that’s cursed the most is the 140-yard, par-3 17th: It’s beautiful but plays right into the surrounding lava field. Facilities include two driving ranges, a golf shop (with teaching pros), a restaurant, and putting greens. Mauna Lani also has the island’s only keiki (children’s) course, the 9-hole WikiWiki walking course for juniors, beginners, and families (golfers under 14 must be with an adult).
At the Mauna Lani Resort, Mauna Lani Dr., off Hwy. 19 (20 miles north of Kona Airport). www.maunalani.com. 808/885-6655. Greens fees $235 ($175 for Mauna Lani or Fairmont Orchid guests) before 1pm; $155 ($130 hotel guests) after 1pm. WikiWiki course: $25 children, including clubs; $35 adults ($15 for three clubs).
Waikoloa Beach Resort Courses Two 18-hole courses beckon here. The pristine 18-hole, par-70 Beach Course certainly reflects the motto of designer Robert Trent Jones, Jr.: “Hard par, easy bogey.” Most golfers remember the par-5, 505-yard 12th hole, a sharp dogleg left with bunkers in the corner and an elevated tee surrounded by lava. The Kings’ Course, designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, is about 500 yards longer. Its links-style tract has a double green at the 3rd and 6th holes, and carefully placed bunkers see a lot of play, courtesy of the ever-present trade winds. Facilities include a golf shop, 15-acre practice range (with free clubs and unlimited balls for just $15), and chef Allen Hess’ excellent Mai Grille restaurant, serving gourmet comfort food; call for a free shuttle within the resort. Tip: Check online for multi-round discounts and afternoon family packages.
At the Waikoloa Beach Resort, 600 Waikoloa Beach Dr., Waikoloa. www.waikoloabeachgolf.com. 808/886-7888. Greens fees $125–$185 ($113-$148 for resort guests) before 12:30pm; $75-$98 after 12:30 pm; 9 holes after 8am, $69; $60 juniors 6–17. Second round same day, $55.
Waikoloa Village Golf Course This semiprivate 18-hole course, with a par-72 for each of the three sets of tees, is hidden in the town of Waikoloa, next to the Paniolo Greens timeshare resort. Overshadowed by the glamorous resort courses of the Kohala Coast, it’s nevertheless a beautiful course with terrific views and some great golfing. The wind can play havoc with your game here (like most Hawaii golf courses). Robert Trent Jones, Jr., in designing this challenging course, inserted his trademark sand traps, slick greens, and great fairways. The par-5, 490-yard 18th hole is a thriller: It doglegs to the left, and the last 75 yards up to the green are water, water, water. Enjoy the fabulous views of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, and—on a very clear day—Maui’s Haleakala in the distance.
In Waikoloa Village, 68-1793 Melia St., Waikoloa. www.waikoloavillagegolf.com. 808/883-9621. Greens fees $100 ($85 Paniolo Greens guests) before 1:30pm; $66 after. Children ages 7 to 17 $45 before 1:30pm; $41 after 2pm. From the airport, turn left on Hwy. 19; head 18 miles to stoplight at Waikoloa Rd. Turn right, drive uphill 6 1/2 miles to left on Paniolo Ave. Take 1st right onto Lua Kula St. and follow 1/2-mile to Melia St.
Hilo Municipal Golf Course This 146-acre course is great for the casual golfer: It’s flat, scenic, and often fun. Just don’t go after a heavy rain (especially in winter); the fairways can get really soggy and play can slow way down. The rain does keep the 18-hole course green and beautiful, though. Wonderful trees (monkeypods, coconuts, eucalyptus, banyans) dot the grounds, and the views—of Mauna Kea on one side and Hilo Bay on the other—are breathtaking. There are four sets of tees, with a par-71 from all; the back tees give you 6,325 yards of play. It’s the only municipal course on the island, so getting a tee time can be a challenge; weekdays are the best bet. Facilities include a driving range, pro shop, club rentals, restaurant, and snack bar.
340 Haihai St. (btw. Kinoole and Iwalani sts.), Hilo. www.hawaiicounty.gov/pr-golf. 808/959-7711. Greens fees $35 Mon–Fri, $40 Sat–Sun and holidays; carts $20.
Naniloa Golf Course At first glance, this semiprivate 9-hole course just off Hilo Bay looks pretty flat and short, but once you get beyond the 1st hole—a wide, straightforward 330-yard par-4—things get challenging. The tree-lined fairways require straight drives, and the huge lake on the 2nd and 5th holes is sure to haunt you. This course is very popular with locals and visitors alike. Facilities include a driving range, putting green, pro shop, and club rentals.
120 Banyan Dr. (at the intersection of hwys. 11 and 19), Hilo. 808/935-3000. Greens fees 9 holes, $12 adults ($9 seniors 62 and over, $5 kids under 17); carts $12.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.