Guide to Golf Courses on Hawaii’s Big Island
The youngest, most volcanically active island in the Hawaiian island chain, the Big Island offers plenty of different environments for golf courses. From the greens of the sunny Kona Coast to cool volcanic highlands, this guide to golf courses on Hawaii’s Big Island has something for everyone.
Mauna Kea Golf Course
Located in Waimea on the northwest coast of the Big Island, the Mauna Kea Golf Course is an 18-hole championship golf course. It’s hard to imagine the course’s lush green fairways were once a barren lava field, especially the over-the-ocean third hole. Watch the coastal winds, which can play havoc with even an experienced player’s accuracy.
Mauna Lani Golf Club
The North and South Courses at the Mauna Lani Golf Club in Kamuela are both par 72 18-hole courses punctuated by majestic black lava and indigenous kiawe trees. The South Course’s fifteenth hole is one of the world's most photographed over-the-ocean holes, and the courses have won awards from Golfweek, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine. The course is a mere 15-minute drive from Waikoloa and 45-minutes from the Aston Kona by the Sea in Kailua-Kona.
Hualalai Golf Course
Beginning in a kipuka (a raised area of land surrounded by cooled lava flows), the 7,100-yard Hualalai Golf Course cuts through black lava to the ocean with a series of challenging finishing holes. For something different, check out the course’s night golf events.
Hualalai is a 35-minute drive from Aston Kona by the Sea, and 25 minutes from Waikoloa.
Makani Golf Club
Once known as the Big Island Country Club, the Makani Golf Club in Kona is a par 72 course designed by Perry Dye, with rolling Bermuda grass fairways and numerous water features. Located on the lower slope of Mauna Kea, the course has a cooler climate than most Hawaiian golf courses, with panoramic views of the ocean and five of the Big Island’s mountains. Makani Golf Course is conveniently situated a 35-minute drive from both Kailua-Kona and Waikoloa.
Volcano Golf and Country Club
Looking for a unique golfing experience? How about teeing off next to a volcanic crater? The Volcano Golf and Country Club in Hawaii Volcano National Park is located on the edge of the active Kilauea crater, 4,000 feet above sea level. It’ll take you a while to get there (the course is approximately a 2-hour drive from Kailua-Kona and Waikoloa and 30 minutes from Hilo), but it’s well worth the drive for this 18-hole, par 72, 6,547-yard course.
Other Big Island Golf Courses
The Big Island has several other exceptional golf courses, mostly in Kailua-Kona and Hilo. Click on any of the links below to book a tee time and experience golf the way it should be played — in Paradise!