Golf in the State of Hawaii
Hawaii is the only US state located outside mainland North America. It comprises 8 main islands including the state namesake Hawaii, as well as Kaho’olawe, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Moloka’i, Ni’ihau, and O’ahu, which houses the state capital and largest city of Honolulu. Although small in geographical size, the state boasts 86 golf courses including 22 in Honolulu, 8 in Kailua-Kona, and another 8 in Kahului, 3 in Kailua, and another 3 in Kaneohe, 3 in Kapolei, Hilo’s 2 and 1 in Mililani. The warm tropical climate and idyllic setting serve to make the Aloha state a popular tourist destination, prompting golfers of every level to vacation again and again, to play golf rounds enjoyed by lucky residents all year ‘round.
Prime course examples include King Kamehameha Golf Club in Wailuku, which enjoys the distinction of being the course Chris Adam from Canada played over 809 times in 2012, chalking up a record breaking 14,625 holes played in a single year; Kapalua Golf and Tennis, Lahaina, the site of the 2002 Tiger Woods-Ernie Els engagement, an exciting finish eventually won by Woods; the prestigious Waialae Country Club, in Honolulu, which has hosted PGA champion events for decades; the Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed Princeville Makai Golf Club, Princeville, which offers vistas “towards the ocean” and has been ranked in the top 100 courses in America; the Turtle Bay George Fazio course in Kahuku, known to be more forgiving than the Arnold Palmer designed course in the same location and the Ironwood Hills Golf Club, Kualapuu, a restful 9-hole course where no reservations are needed.
Pro golfers from Hawaii include Michelle Wei, born in Honolulu, the youngest golfer to ever qualify for an LPGA Tour event; Cameron Peck, born in Honolulu and now residing in Olympia, Washington, member of the 2008 Junior Ryder Cup team; Guy Yamamato, born on Kauai, a competitor in the 1995 Masters and David Ishii, winner in 1982 of the inaugural Kapalua Open and in 1990, winner of the Hawaiian Open.