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    • HGD Newsletter
    • Island-specific Dining Recommendations
    • Current applicable Rate Card
    • Peace-of-mind that you'll have an outstanding and affordable golf adventure in Hawaii

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Save Big on Maui Golf
"Insider's Guide to Maui Golf"

Save Big on Kauai Golf
"Insider's Guide to Kauai Golf"

More Golf • Less Green!

HAWAII GOLF: The Real Story

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Let’s Take the Temperature

The most isolated islands on the planet may not seem to be the first choice for a golf vacation, but it’s hard to ignore the best weather on the planet, which IS what you’ll find when visiting the Aloha State.  It’s virtually impossible to beat temperatures of 77-79° in the winter and 82-84° during summer, according to which island you may be visiting. Indeed, the difference between winter and summer is only about 3-4°. The Big Island of Hawaii is the southernmost. Kauai is northernmost. Maui and Oahu are in-between.

Distinctive Designs

Some of the world’s most accomplished golf course architects have put their mark on the Hawaii landscape. They include Robert Trent Jones Sr. & Jr., Arnold Palmer & Ed Seay, Jack Nicklaus, Robin Nelson, Ted Robinson, Perry Dye and many others. There’s no shortage of unique designs and some very enlightened techniques for placing golf holes on lava. In fact, Jones Sr. was the groundbreaker when it comes to lava design.

Course Count

The Kona/Kohala Coast side of The Big Island is certainly the “Golf Capital of Hawaii,” with 6.5 resort courses, four independent daily fee courses and five private clubs. Oahu, has the most golf courses (32), which includes two resort courses, about 15 daily independent daily fee courses, a military system of six layouts, a municipal system with six layouts (all too pricey & crowded for visitors), and five private clubs. Maui delivers some real golf value via its four independent non-resort affiliated layouts, which includes its seaside municipal course. The seven resort layouts charge outrageously elevated greens fees. There are also three private clubs. During the 1990s, we called Kauai “Golf Heaven on Earth,” but the ensuing two decades severely eroded that moniker, as 45 holes of resort golf shuttered and greens fees at the remaining six accessible 18-hole courses (three resort & three daily fee) are through the roof, including at the best municipal course in the state.

Past, Present & Future

Interestingly, not one publicly accessible or resort course has opened in Hawaii since Royal Kunia CC opened on Oahu in 2000. Yet, seven private courses (four on The Big Island and one each on Oahu, Maui & Kauai) have debuted since the new millennium. For the most part, they are all quite exclusive, very lightly played, and cater to the very well-healed.

Since 2008, course closures have certainly proliferated in Hawaii, as has been the case throughout North America. The six inhabited islands, which also include Lanai and Molokai, have lost 17 courses and 288 holes of golf. Several of the biggest names were not immune—The Village Course at Kapalua, Makena North & South, The Experience at Koele, Princeville Prince, Kauai Lagoons, Makaha Resort, Turtle Bay Fazio and Koolau, to name just a few of the goners. We are not likely to see any new courses in Hawaii for the balance of this decade and likely the next. In fact, our best guess is Hawaii will likely lose 2-3 more courses over that timeframe.

Your Best Bet

For the past two decades, and for the next several, it is hard to imagine a better island golf experience than is offered on Hawaii Island (aka The Big Island of Hawaii). We’ll explain the many virtues of Big Island golf in our next post.

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About Hawaii Golf Deals

Since 1994, tens of thousands of golf traveler’s have enjoyed HawaiiGolfDeals’ unique golf programs and discounts for singles, twosomes, foursomes & groups. Our HGD Travel Service is the one and only source of comprehensive info and real value-driven packages that can include air, vehicle and/or lodging (+ golf) for the perfect Hawaii golf vacation; Our exclusive GOLFHAWAIICARDyour ticket to unbeatable year-round savings & unlimited golf — delivers the ultimate Hawaii golf experience on The Big Island & Oahu; And our Insider’s Guide to Maui Golf & Insider’s Guide to Kauai Golf offer valuable money-saving advice. With HawaiiGolfDeals, it's always... More Golf • Less Green!

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