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 golf legend Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay. Turtle Bay used to be labeled a "wind tunnel"; it still is one, though the casuarina (ironwood) trees have matured and dampened the wind somewhat. But Palmer and Seay never meant for golfers to get off too easy; this is 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 Punahoolapa Marsh, a protected wetland for endangered Hawaiian waterfowl.
Another option is the George Fazio Course -- the only one Fazio designed in Hawaii -- a par-71, 6,200-yard course. Larry Keil, a pro at Turtle Bay, says that people like the Fazio course because it's more of a forgiving resort course, without the water hazards and bunkers of the more challenging Palmer course. The 6th hole has two greens, so you can play the hole as a par-3 or a par-4. The toughest hole has to be the par-3, 176-yard 2nd hole, where you tee off across a lake with the trade winds creating a mean crosswind. The most scenic hole is the 7th, where the ocean is on your left; if you're lucky, you'll see whales cavorting in the winter months. Facilities include a pro shop, driving range, putting and chipping green, and snack bar. Weekdays are best for tee times.
- Frommer's Staff