This North Shore resort is home to two of Hawaii’s top golf courses. The 18-hole Arnold Palmer Course (formerly the Links at Kuilima) was designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay. Now that the casuarina (ironwood) trees have matured, it’s not as windy as it used to be, but this is still a challenging course. The front 9, with rolling terrain, only a few trees, and lots of wind, play like a British Isles course. The back 9 have narrower tree-lined fairways and water. The course circles Punahoʻolapa Marsh, a protected wetland for endangered Hawaiian waterfowl.
Another option is the par-71, 6,200-yard George Fazio Course—the only Fazio course in Hawaii. Larry Keil, pro at Turtle Bay, says that people like it because it’s a more forgiving course, without all the water hazards and bunkers of the Palmer course. The 6th hole has two greens, so you can play the hole as a par-3 or par-4. The toughest hole has to be the par-3, 176-yard 2nd hole, where you tee off across a lake with a mean crosswind. The most scenic hole is the 7th, where the ocean is on your left; in winter, you might get lucky and see some whales.
Facilities include a pro shop, a driving range, putting and chipping greens, and a snack bar. Weekdays are best for tee times.