Oahu is the most populated Hawaiian Island, and the most popular one for tourists visiting the 50th state. Honolulu is a hub of commerce in the middle of the Pacific. Snarling traffic can clog up the highways surrounding the city, just like tourists crowd the famed Waikiki Beach. There’s much to see and do on the island beyond downtown – hiking Diamond Head, surfing the north shore, paying tribute to fallen heroes at Pearl Harbor. That includes playing golf.
Oahu boasts more courses than any other Hawaiian island with roughly 40. The PGA Tour plays at the private Waialae Country Club every January. The LPGA Tour has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Ko Olina, a well-groomed resort course on the dry side of the island. The PGA Tour Champions has teed it up at Turtle Bay Resort’s scenic Arnold Palmer course and Kapolei in the past. Ko’olau is considered one of the hardest courses in the world, and the Royal Hawaiian, recently redesigned by Greg Norman, has been compared to Jurassic Park. Oahu native Michelle Wie grew up playing Olomana. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods and Gil Hanse are set to design two new courses to spur the rebirth of the Makaha Valley Resort, a 644-acre mixed-use property development on the island’s remote leeward side 30 miles northwest of Honolulu Airport. These two high-profile projects could redefine golf on the island.