Oahu is golf country, with 5 municipal, 9 military, and 20 private courses to choose from. The courses range from 9-hole public ones, perfect for beginners, to championship links that stump even the pros.
- Ko Olina Golf Club: Golf Digest named this beautiful 6,867-yard, par-72 course one of "America's Top 75 Resort Courses" when it opened in 1992. The rolling fairways and elevated tees — and a few too many water features (always where you don't want them) — will definitely improve your game or humble your attitude.
- Turtle Bay Resort: Of the two courses to choose from here, we recommend the 18-hole Arnold Palmer Course (formerly the Links at Kuilima), designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay. They never meant for golfers to get off too easy — this is a challenging course. The front 9 holes, with rolling terrain, only a few trees, and lots of wind, play like a course on the British Isles. The back 9 holes have narrower, tree-lined fairways and water. In addition to ocean views, the course circles Punahoolapa Marsh, a protected wetland for endangered Hawaiian waterfowl.
- Pearl Country Club: This deceptively straightforward-looking public course not only offers up splendid views of Pearl Harbor, but it will start messing with your confidence—in a good way—after hole 5. It's wildly popular with locals, so book well-ahead or during the week (not the weekend) to get a tee time.
- Olomana Golf Links: This gorgeous course in Waimanalo is on the other side of the island from Waikiki and is popular with both local residents and visitors. The low-handicap golfer may not find this course difficult, but the striking views of the craggy Koolau mountain ridges are worth the greens fees alone. The par-72, 6,326-yard course starts off a bit hilly on the front 9, but flattens out by the back 9 — which have their own special surprises, including tricky water hazards.