"The Gathering Place"
of Hawaii's population
to the State government
is best known for the two-mile stretch of high-rise luxury
hotels on the white sand beach of Waikiki.
than 95% of the visitor accommodations on Oahu are in
Waikiki, and it is the destination for a vast majority of first-time
visitors to the islands.
at night resembles Las Vegas without casinos. Wall-to-wall nightclubs
and restaurants, featuring both traditional Polynesian entertainment
and the latest in mainland fashion, create a perpetual party atmosphere.
By day, the visitors soak up the sun, engage in tame water sports,
and shop the thousands of shops along Kalakaua Ave.
is home to thirty-six golf venues including thirty nine courses,
of which six are nine hole layouts; two of those are "executives'
or par-three courses.
Seven of the courses, including two of the 'nines" are owned
and operated by the US military which maintains a strong,
but slowly lessening, presence on Oahu. Some of the Army courses
are open to the public, subject to certain restrictions.
An additional four are private, open to members and guests
only. One of them, Waialae (former home of the Hawaiian
Open) is also available to guests staying at the adjacent hotel.
Six courses, including one nine hole course, are operated by
Honolulu County as municipals. Ala Wai, just behind Waikiki
as distinguished as the busiest golf
course in the world. The nine hole course. Kahuku
is on the northern end of the island, more than an hour from
Waikiki, but the rest are in or close to Honolulu. While rates
are reasonable ($42 for visitors), there are a lot of golfers
on Oahu and they play year-round on all of these layouts, particularly
The remaining twenty-two are public or semiprivate
courses open to the visiting public every day with rack rates
ranging from $40 to $145, including the cart.
Oahu is the only island with substantial numbers of local golfers
and shows a few differences from the other islands.
FOR GOLFING IN OAHU
the Oahu courses are the only ones with higher weekend rates than
during the week, although the higher rates generally apply only
to Saturday and Sunday and the legal holidays.
is Friday considered 'weekend.'
Weekend and holiday increases on the courses which have them
are modest, ranging from $5 on most up to $20. Most of the more
expensive courses do not raise prices on weekends and holidays.
Many of the courses on Oahu run "double
tees," particularly on the weekends.
means that they send out golfers simultaneously on the 1st
and 10th tees to start the day. By about 8:30 the players
have reached the 'other" nine, so the morning "crossover"
takes place, This means there are no new starts between about
8:30 and 11:00, at which time they do it all over again. The
last starts are around 1:30, followed by the afternoon "crossover."
By the time the crossover is complete, it is usually too late
for "twilight" play at reduced rates, although some courses
do have late afternoon nine-hole rates.
A few courses run double tees 7 days a week, more do so only
on weekends, and still others always do on weekends, but shift
back and forth unpredictably during the week. A handful have
regular "twilight" rates generally beginning around 1:00
PM and featuring price breaks around 30-35%.
In common with the other islands virtually all the public and
semiprivate courses require the use of golf carts and rates
quoted nearly always include the cart fee. All permit "riders"
at rates from $15 to about $30. All rent clubs at $25 and up,
as well as shoes.
all courses in Hawaii insist on "proper attire," but the definition
does include shorts. Cutoffs and
halter tops are a no-no everywhere.
Unlike most places on the mainland, only a few Hawaiian courses
have gone over to mandatory soft spikes. Only Hawaii Prince
on Oahu has done so. Those that have permit wearing tennis shoes
instead, or will change your spikes for a nominal fee, usually about
golf courses do not go by "sun time," but by the clock.
At this latitude, the sun goes nearly straight down every day of
the year and not is only there a much smaller variation in the length
of the day, there is little or no twilight available in which to
play. The quietest period of golf in Hawaii (Summer) coincides with
the longest days, but since there is no shortage of available tee
times during those months, the golf courses do not extend their
hours into the evening.
times range from 6:30 to 7:00 AM and
closing from 6:00 to 6:30 PM,
year 'round, with 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM typical.
Only one course, BayView, is lighted for evening play, and it is
a 16 hole par 60 semi-executive track. Most do not have lighted
driving ranges, although nearly all do have a range.
Unlike the outer islands, many (but not all) of Oahu's courses
permit groups of 5, 6 or even more golfers to play in the same tee
time. This can lead to extremely slow play, but usually happens
only on the busiest of days, which tourists should avoid anyway.
CAR -WISE INVESTMENT
Only on Oahu do substantial numbers of visitors fail to obtain a
rental car. If you plan to do much serious golfing, this is a mistake.
do not go to most of the courses, or even near them, and taxis are
contrast, Hawaiian car rental rates are probably the lowest in the
world. Many people think Waikiki is Hawaii, and it's a fairly small
place. Waikiki may be small, but Oahu is not. Nearly all of the
better golf courses on the island are well beyond reasonable taxi
range and there are a lot of other things to see on the island as
best known tourist attractions, all available via tour bus, are
the Battleship Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, the National
Cemetery of the Pacific in Punchbowl Crater,
and the Polynesian Cultural Center on the Windward coast.
Hanauma Bay, near the southeastern
tip of Oahu is a world-class snorkeling destination, but hardly
the only one. Rhino chasing (riding monster waves) is confined to
the North shore and occasion ally the West, but no tour bus will
take you there. Similarly, Waimea Park and falls, as well
as the whole windward coast, are best done in a private car.
Besides sightseeing, surfing, and snorkeling, many other activities
are widely available. Wind surfing, parasailing, deep sea fishing,
and outrigger canoeing are all popular as are dinner cruises, helicopter
tours and walking tours of downtown Honolulu.
May and September mark the low points of the tourist trade in Hawaii
and a good travel agent will find many deals in the offing, including
cut rate air fares and some reduced hotel rates. Most of the hotels
in Waikiki are either right on the beach or just across the street
from it. Nearly all have one or more restaurants of good to excellent
quality and it is possible to enjoy a vacation in Waikiki without
ever leaving your hotel grounds, although few will chose that route.
a few miles east of Waikiki in Hawaii Kai offers superb Pacific-rim
cuisine, as well as a dynamite view of Maunalua Bay.
Canoe Club at the Outrigger Waikiki is one
of the many T & S restaurants to be found on three of the islands,
and offers a range of American and Polynesian dinners
reasonable prices and a friendly, party atmosphere. Always a good
value and a pleasant experience.
If you're just plain hungry, it's tough to beat the Cheeseburger
in Paradise, also
on Kalakaua Avenue in the heart of Waikiki. One of the namesake
burgers and a Mai Tai later, you'll be ready for your next round
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"The Valley Isle"
Formed by two distinct volcanos joined by low-lying isthmus, Maui
has two distinct resort areas
about an hour apart by automobile.
The older of the two encompasses the coastal strip on the far
west side of the island from the historic whaling town of
Lahaina to the newest resort area at Kapalua at the
northwest corner of the island.
between lie the condominium communities of Honokawai,
Kahana, and Napili, together with the original
Hawaiian resort development of Kaanapali. Natives usually refer
to this area as West Maui.
South Maui comprises the
rapidly-growing city of Kihei, stretching some ten miles
along the west-facing coast of the eastern part of the island,
and culminating in the world- class resorts at Wailee and
Makena, near the southernmost point of Maui.
Roughly between the two lie the vast sugar cane fields covering
the gently sloping plains that give the island its nickname. Also
in this region are found the County seat at Wailuku and the airport
at Kahului, as well as the commercial and sportfishing port of Ma'alaea
at the south side of the isthmus.
golf courses grace this rather large chunk of paradise, of which
one is a private 9-hole affair (open to the public on Mondays only),
one is a ocean front municipal, and the balance are semiprivate,
open to the visiting public seven days a week.
seventeenth course is presently idle, awaiting financial reorganization.
No less than seven of these carry Golf
Digest's four-star rating, and an additional three earn
three to three and a half stars. All of the four-star courses are
parts of the four major resort complexes, Kapalua (3 courses),
Kaanapali (2), Wailea (3) and Makena (2).
The other six courses, generally the more popularly priced venues,
are located in the central part of the island about 30 minutes to
an hour driving time from the major tourist areas.
With a much smaller local population, the golf courses of Maui show
some differences in policy compared with Oahu, Proper attire
(including shorts) and mandatory carts are the same as in Oahu.
"Clock time" instead of "sun time" prevails, and
(except for the Makenas and the new Dunes at Maui Lani) steel spikes
are still permitted. Club and shoe rentals are found everywhere
and all allow "riders" for a fee.
FOR GOLFING IN MAUI
Unlike Oahu, Maui green fees do not go up on weekends, but they
do vary somewhat seasonally on nearly all the semiprivate courses.
season generally begins a week before Christmas and ends
around the first week of April.
is the busiest month, although there are enough courses
that someplace is virtually always available.
courses have intermediate rates during October thru mid-December
reflecting heavier tourism in those months as compared to the
hours run from 6:30 - 7 AM to
6 - 6:30 PM with little or no seasonal change.
A few of the popularly priced courses will allow fivesomes as
long as they keep up with play. Policy at the resort courses
varies, but in general foursomes are the limit nearly all the
time. Exceptions may be made on a daily basis, but don't count
for tour groups, virtually all visitors to Maui have rental cars.
With more than 700 square miles to explore, most of it undeveloped,
an automobile is really a necessity. The two most popular
driving adventures are the trip up to Haleakala
Crater for sunrise
and the all day sojourn to the sleepy village of Hana
near the eastern end of Maui.
Both of these trips are exhaustively covered in most publications
about the island, so there is no need to detail them again. We will
mention in passing, however, that the Hana adventure can be greatly
enhanced if, after visiting the famous pools
of O'heo and the Lindbergh grave
at Kipahulu, the visitor continues on around the south side, rather
than retrace the slow, torturous highway along the north coast.
Not only is this a beautiful drive and strikingly different than
the road out, it is probably an hour or more faster. The return
is to Kula, halfway up the mountain, but the drive down from there
is also worthwhile.
Another worthwhile drive is to the Lao valley, west of Wailuku,
and for the truly adventuresome, the road north from Kapalua around
the west end is terrific. While that road is paved the whole distance,
some real surprises as well as spectacular scenery await. Finally,
a trip down to La Perouse Bay south of Makena combines a
trip through an idyllic seaside area and an unforgettable crossing
of Maui's most recent lava flow, Oneloa
beach, one of Maui's finest
and most unspoiled strands, lies just south of Makena. Usually called
"Big Beach," its attractiveness
lies in the absence of any buildings in view.
Other tourist activities available on Maui are almost too numerous
to mention. A walk through historic Lahaina
with visits to the art galleries, the massive banyan tree, and the
historic brig Carthaginian
moored in front of the world-famous Pioneer Inn will fill a
morning. Ride the Sugar Cane Train north to Kaanapali and back,
then drive up the road a couple of miles to visit the
Whalers' Village at Kaanapali resort. An excellent
museum, interesting displays, extensive shopping and outstanding
From the harbor at Lahaina there are day cruises available
to neighbor islands Lanai (complete with golf for the well-heeled)
and Molokai. Undersea submarine rides, parasailing, snorkel trips
to Lanai and Molokini, and dinner cruises are all available.
Central Maui offers the A
& B Sugar Museum, tours of the Maui Tropical Plantation
and the Kealia Water Fowl Refuge,
as well as the world-class Maui Ocean Center
aquarium at Ma'alaea. The last is also the major jumping off point
for deep sea fishing, snorkeling, whale- and turtle watching expeditions.
Finally, the upcountry town of Pukalani is the start for Maui's
most popular adventure, the early morning bicycle ride down from
Haleakala Crater, some 38 miles
of downhill coasting with spectacular and sweeping views of the
valley and the neighbor islands of Molokai and Lanai.
The north shore at Paia is home to the World Windsurfing
Championships every year, while the airport at Kahului supports
a wide array of helicopter tours, both around Maui and also to the
neighbor islands. Zodiac trips to the north coast of Maui are also
South Maui basically repeats the pattern of the west side
with more emphasis on kayaking, windsurfing, and whale watching
All in all, there is more to do on Maui than most visitors can possibly
have time to sample, particularly with all the excellent golf competing
Both resort areas feature excellent hotels, numerous convenient
and comfortable condominiums, and every kind of dining imaginable.
Kahana -Pacific Rim specialties
- American and seafood dishes, both at the Whalers' Village.
Lahaina, don't miss Kimo's
patio -sunset cocktails followed by dinner in
the T & S style
go next door to
for your dose of Mexican food.
block south is the flagship store of Cheeseburgers
in Paradise, your
one-stop midday filling station.
in Paia is there for the seafood craving
in central Maui and
Lodge upcountry on Haleakala
is there for the view oriented.
South Maui also hosts a number of excellent eateries, many associated
with the hotels and condos in Kihei and Wailea. At Ma'alaea,
Buzz's Wharf for
a reminder of what an old-time steak house was like.
the beach, Five Palms
in Wailea offers seaside dining with atmosphere.
those who can't bear to leave the golf course, The
Sea Watch adjacent to the Wailea Gold and
Emerald course pro shop is one of the best.
"The Big Island"
More than twice the size of the other islands combined.
in shape with one point toward the east and a west coast about
90 miles north-to-south.
landscape is dominated by two 13,000
foot volcanos, Mauna Kea
and Mauna Loa, of which
the latter remains active in the form of Kilauea Caldera
on its eastern flank.
the Big Island's nineteen courses, five are on the east side,
a sixth is an unassuming nine-hole affair on the northeast
coast, and the other thirteen are scattered between Waimea
and Kailua-Kona. All are within an hour's drive of all the
popular tourist haunts. Perhaps more than anywhere else in
the State, you will need a rental car to see very much or
to play most of the courses.
Island greens fees are the same all days of the week, but
do vary seasonally on a few of the semiprivate courses.
season runs from just before Christmas through February,
with January the busiest.
rest of the year, the Big Island's golf courses are the most
underutilized of all.
hours are from 6:30 -7 AM to 6 -
6:30 PM with very little change, although "twilight"
rate starting times move about during the year, with Winter's
times the latest, generally about 2:00 PM.
Parties are usually limited to four players to keep up the
pace, but some courses will allow five's on an occasional
Underpopulated for its great size, the Big Island's course policies
resemble Maui much more than Oahu. Proper attire of the Hawaiian
persuasion and mandatory carts are in.
Big Island also runs on "Clock time" instead of "sun
time" but steel spikes are still permitted everywhere. Club and
shoe rentals are available at all courses and all allow "riders"
for a fee.
the other islands, the Big Island has a first-class highway
running all the away around and it is just possible to drive the
complete circle in a day.
The non-tourist economy is centered
around Hilo, the largest city on any of the outer islands,
near the eastern point. An international airport and a couple of
older golf courses are the major items of interest.
much of eastern Hawaii is subject to considerable
rainfall and as a result is quite beautiful. A number
of waterfalls and rain forest areas are easily accessible and Hawaii
Volcanos National Park is less than an hour south of
Hilo. At the Park and along the southeastern course are to be found
three more of Hawaii's lesser-known golf courses.
The great preponderance of tourist development is on the coast opposite
Hilo and centered on the town of Kailua-Kona, known to most people
as simply Kona. The other international airport is a few
miles north at Kiahole Point, the westernmost spot on the island.
North of the airport the coastal district is known as Kohala,
and the beaches face northwest. The prevailing winds sweep along
this stretch which includes the well-known resorts of Mauna Kea,
Mauna Lani, Waikoloa, and Hualalai, together with their seven
The west facing coast south of the Airport is the Kona District.
The vast majority of the tourist accommodations on the Big Island
are either in Kailua-Kona or scattered along Highway 11 for about
twenty miles to the south. Three more outstanding golf courses,
including the Kona Resort, are in the immediate vicinity.
The Kohala-Kona areas are not blessed with particularly good sight-seeing
opportunities but are playgrounds for adults, pure and simple. Golf
is probably a bigger part of the tourists' reasons for being here
than on any other island.
outstanding tourist draw on the Big Island is undoubtedly Kilauea
Volcano, the world's most active, as well as the most safely
accessible. To tour this attraction, and it is definitely worth
seeing, a car is virtually a must.
said that, it's also true that getting there will be half the
fun. For golfers this generally means a 100 mile drive south
Kona through the coffee growing areas around Ka Lae (South Point,
the southernmost spot in the U.S.) and up the southeast coast
past the island's famous black and green sand beaches. Past
kA Lae, tropical vegetation predominates and the Kilauea area
itself is heavily forested.
the northern end, the road turns inland toward Waimea (also
called Kamuela) in crossing to the Kohala Coast. The area around
Waimea is ranch country, reminiscent of Spanish California of
a century ago, From Waimea, return to Kona upcountry via the
Mamalahoa Highway thru rolling country, or drop down to the
arid lava fields of the coast and cruise past the big resorts
Kilauea, the Bib Island is probably best known for its sportfishing
industry, again centered on Kailua-Kona. Swordfish and Marlin
are the major game here, but Hawaiian waters abound in other,
large, good-eaten fish. Ahi, Ono, and Mahi-Mahi are the best
known, but many other species are taken as well.
has the full range of water activities found on the other islands,
including surfing (both wind and gravity), snorkeling, canoeing,
and diving (both scuba and the wildly popular new type known
as "snuba"). Whale watching in season as well as year-round
parasailing are also offered. Bus and helicopter tours are available
for sightseers who don't care to do it themselves. The volcano
by helicopter is particularly impressive.
everywhere in Hawaii, dining well rarely presents any difficulties.
All of the major hotels and resorts have outstanding food facilities
and many independent eateries can be found in nearly every town
and village of the Kona side.
Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai food are favorites, you've
come to the right island with about half the restaurants featuring
one or more of these Far Eastern cuisines.
the most memorable establishment is Merriman's
in Waimea, which has made a fine art of the regional dishes of the
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"The Garden Island"
to the west and relatively low, nearly-circular Kauai is the
most tropical of all the Hawaiians.
Serious Sun worshipers (and
serious golfers) should remember that the very essence
of "tropical" is rain. Mount
Wai'ale'ale, near the center of the island, ranks as the world's
wettest place with over 400 inches a year. This abundance
of water also gives Kauai the State's only rivers worthy of
no means does all this water get evenly distributed. Like the other
islands rainfall in Kauai is much heavier on the north and east
sides and far lighter on the south and west coasts. The truly torrential
downpours are normally confined to the interior which is for the
most part empty anyway.
terms of golf, Kauai is less well-endowed than her sisters,
with a total of nine courses, all
open to the public. There is but one municipal,
in Kapa'a, but it is widely considered to be one of the finest
of its kind in the United States. There is an old nine-hole
"plantation" style track on the south coast, very
reasonably priced, and a new incomplete 10 hole affair close
to the airport.
FOR GOLFING IN KAUAI
the remaining six resort courses, only one is popularly priced
at $75, with the others ranging from $100 up to about $150.
All have "twilight" rates at about a third off the
morning fees, and most are readily available practically every
day of the year. The six are evenly distributed among the areas;
two are in the Princeville area, two in Lihue and two in the
are typical for the outer islands, except that there is little
or no seasonal price variation on the courses and of course no
weekend rates. Golfing attire is standard, carts mandatory, and
foursomes the general rule. "Clock time" rules, with
operating hours typically 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Club and shoe rentals
are available at all the semiprivate courses and riders are everywhere
permitted for a fee.
has a less pronounced peak golfing period than the other islands,
with the number of golfers seeming to peak in May after the rainy
all visitors arrive at Lihue near the southeastern corner
of the island and then disperse to three distinct tourist
destinations, two of which are quite close. 20 minutes drive
to the southwest is the sunny resort center of Poipu Beach,
the newest and fastest growing destination. 15 minutes north
of Lihue lies the town of Kapa'a with its major concentration
of condominiums facing the sunrise.
is the smallest of the four main islands, but the highway
does not go all the way around, being interrupted by the towering
cliffs of the Na Pali coast. From Hanalei to the other end
of the road at Barking Sands at the extreme western end is
about two and a half hours of beautiful driving.
the usual water activities are widely available on Kauai, it
is primarily known as a nature-lover's paradise. Night life
is virtually nonexistent save for a few of the larger hotels.
By the contrast, tropical botanical gardens and nature parks,
complete with waterfalls are everywhere and, uniquely, visitors
to the Garden Isle can take river expeditions to commune
with nature even more closely.
premier tourist attraction on Kauai is Waimea Canyon, sometimes
called "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific" for its resemblance
to its much larger namesake in Arizona. Towering red cliffs
do bring to mind the original, but the whole effect is softened
by the incredible foliage clinging to every possible toehold
in this magnificent chasm. A first class road leads up the western
ridge dividing the canyon from the west coast, ending at Pu'u
Kila Lookout and featuring the best available views of the wild
Na Pali cliff country, as well as the upper reaches of Waimea
elsewhere in Hawaii, topnotch hotels are the norm, as well as
an awesome selection of affordable and comfortable condominiums
for the more informally inclined. For the best view, its difficult
to beat the Marriot Kauai Lagoons which features, together with
its own in-house golf, a spectacular view across Nawiliwili
Bay where the cruise ships dock, and a backdrop of the Hoary
Head Mountain Range. The scene is unforgettably "South
there, have lunch or dinner at Duke's
Canoe Club, yet another of the excellent T-S restaurants,
this one featuring a barefoot bar and indoor waterfalls, right
on the beach.
the Poipu area, T-S has yet another exciting restaurant called Keoki's
and featuring dining amidst a tropical setting complete with private
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