Hilo Municipal Golf Course

Hilo Municipal Golf Course – Serving as the Big Island’s Only Public Golf Course
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

When you simply must golf the day away in paradise, set your sights on Hilo Municipal Golf Course. As the Big Island’s only public golf course, this is the place to go for golfing fun without a membership. From a challenging 18-hole course and practice facilities to a pro shop and restaurant, it simply has it all, too.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Are you dreaming of golfing in paradise while enjoying beautifully sunny weather? If so, start planning for fun adventures at the Hilo Municipal Golf Course. The 18-hole par 71 course has all the challenges you need, while the practice facilities let you perfect every swing. On top of that, there’s a fully stocked pro shop and incredible restaurant awaiting your arrival.

Since it’s the only public golf course on the Big Island, this is where you’ll want to golf the day away without a membership. You’ll just need to zip on over to the pro shop to pay for your tee times and get whatever gear you need. They have rental clubs and carts, of course, plus tons of other gear for sale. If you need any help figuring out what to get, their friendly staff is always happy to help.

Unlike many golf courses in Hawaii, this one doesn’t give much more than a glimpse of the oceanside. But that doesn’t mean it’s not absolutely gorgeous from end to end. The compact course sits in the center of a huge neighborhood yet feels like its very own piece of paradise. You can count on huge palm trees set against bright blue skies serving as a gorgeous backdrop for all your games.

Although there’s not a bunker in sight across the whole 6,325-yard course, the layout still proves plenty challenging for beginners to advanced players alike. You’ll need to think each swing through to sink your ball in the hole under par, especially if you get close to the many trees all around. The volcanic streams can throw a wrench into the works as well. Since it’s inland quite a bit, trade winds are not as pronounced as they are by the shore. But they can still shake things up from time to time. The course stays busy year-round, too, adding to the challenge as you try to keep from holding up the line.

If you come by after a couple of days of rainfall, expect to see a rather muddy course. A golf cart rental can help you stay clean and dry, but it’s not an absolute necessity. Unlike many other golf courses, you’re welcome to walk the course if you prefer. Since the layout is quite compact, you won’t get too worn out either.

In between games, you can work on your swings at the practice facility. A rather new addition to the course, the driving range lets you perfect your long drives. You’ll need them, too, since all the fairways on this course are wide open and ready for you to blast your ball to the greens. Don’t forget to visit the putting green as well, so you can tap the ball into the hole with ease. Want a little help improving your game? Ask the pro shop if there are any golfing pros on hand to give lessons.

Whenever you land at this course, plan to visit the onsite restaurant, the Fairway Grill, for a quick pick-me-up. They have all the breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare you could want, ranging from Loco Moco to Brisket Plates. They make every last menu item from scratch using the freshest local ingredients and time-honored recipes. Their servers are second-to-none as well. They swing by the table at all the right times and then do all they can to provide the best dining experience around.

Insider Tips:
-Playing as a twosome? Chat with other players arriving at the same time to see if they want to team up.
-The golf carts lack a rear cover for your golf clubs, so bring a cover for them when playing in the rain.
-Don’t forget your rain gear just in case the skies start to pour during your golfing journey.