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Tourist Information

Oahu       Maui        Hawaii        Kauai

"The Gathering Place"

  • 80% of Hawaii's population

  • Home to the State government

  • Oahu is best known for the two-mile stretch of high-rise luxury hotels on the white sand beach of Waikiki.

  • More 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.

Waikiki 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.


Oahu 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 on weekends.

  • 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.


First, 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.

  • Nowhere 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.

    This 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.


Nearly 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 $10.

Hawaiian 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.

Opening 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.


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.

Busses do not go to most of the courses, or even near them, and taxis are horrendously expensive.

By 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 well.


The 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.


Roy's, a few miles east of Waikiki in Hawaii Kai offers superb Pacific-rim cuisine, as well as a dynamite view of Maunalua Bay.

Duke's 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 at 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 of golf.

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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.

  • In 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.


Sixteen 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.

A 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.


  • Unlike Oahu, Maui green fees do not go up on weekends, but they do vary somewhat seasonally on nearly all the semiprivate courses.

  • High season generally begins a week before Christmas and ends around the first week of April.

  • February is the busiest month, although there are enough courses that someplace is virtually always available.

  • Some courses have intermediate rates during October thru mid-December reflecting heavier tourism in those months as compared to the Spring.

  • Open 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 on it.


Except 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 dining await.

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 available seasonally.

South Maui basically repeats the pattern of the west side with more emphasis on kayaking, windsurfing, and whale watching trips.

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 for time.

Both resort areas feature excellent hotels, numerous convenient and comfortable condominiums, and every kind of dining imaginable.


  • Roy's Kahana -Pacific Rim specialties
  • Hula Grill and Leilani's - American and seafood dishes, both at the Whalers' Village.
  • In Lahaina, don't miss Kimo's patio -sunset cocktails followed by dinner in the T & S style there
  • OR go next door to
  • Aloha Cantina- for your dose of Mexican food.
  • A block south is the flagship store of Cheeseburgers in Paradise, your one-stop midday filling station.
  • Mama's in Paia is there for the seafood craving in central Maui and
  • Kula 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, stop by
  • Buzz's Wharf for a reminder of what an old-time steak house was like.
  • Along the beach, Five Palms in Wailea offers seaside dining with atmosphere.
  • For 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.

  • Triangular in shape with one point toward the east and a west coast about 90 miles north-to-south.

  • The 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.


  • Of 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.

  • Big Island greens fees are the same all days of the week, but do vary seasonally on a few of the semiprivate courses.
  • High season runs from just before Christmas through February, with January the busiest.

  • The rest of the year, the Big Island's golf courses are the most underutilized of all.
  • Operating 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 basis.


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.


Unlike 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.

Seriously, 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 world-famous courses

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.

  • The 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.
  • Having 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.
  • Return to Kona by backtracking or continue on around the island on Hawaii Belt Road through Hilo and along the waterfall studded northeast coastal area, home to the island's heaviest rainfall.
  • Near 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 in Kohala.
  • After 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.
  • Kona 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.


Like 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.

If 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.

Probably the most memorable establishment is Merriman's in Waimea, which has made a fine art of the regional dishes of the Pacific Rim.

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"The Garden Island"

  • Farthest 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 the name.
By 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.


In 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.


  • Of 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 Poipu region.

Policies 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.

Kauai has a less pronounced peak golfing period than the other islands, with the number of golfers seeming to peak in May after the rainy season ends.


  • Virtually 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.
  • Twenty miles further to the north is the final area, the resort development of Princeville, just short of world-famous Hanalei Bay.
  • Kauai 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.
  • While 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.
  • The 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 Canyon.
  • The other "must-see" is Hanalei Bay on the north shore and the adventurous will be rewarded by continuing another seven miles westward to the end of the road at Ha'ena, where the Na Pali cliffs begin in earnest.
  • As 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 Pacific".


While 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.

In the Poipu area, T-S has yet another exciting restaurant called Keoki's and featuring dining amidst a tropical setting complete with private lagoon.


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