Wailua Golf Course

Wailua Golf Course - High-End Municipal Golf Course
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

The Wailua Golf Course is a municipal course that competes with high-end private courses. Situated along the shore and with impeccable fairways, this is one of the best golfing deals anywhere on the island.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

The Wailua Golf Course is a municipal course that competes with high-end private courses. Situated along the shore and with impeccable fairways, this is one of the best golfing deals anywhere on the island.

The Wailua Golf Course is a municipal course that’s maintained to high-level private course standards. With great shoreline golfing at municipal prices, this is likely the best golfing deal in Hawaii.

Like many municipal golf courses, Wailua Golf Course has the standard amenities and they’re all a little dated. The pro shop, lockers, driving range, putting green, chipping green, and practice bunker are all a little worn, and even the ATM machine looks like it’s not the newest. 

Don’t be put off by initial impressions, though. This isn’t just a fine municipal course, but Wailua Golf Course is one of the best courses in all of Hawaii. The course has hosted three USGA Amateur Public Links Championships, and Wailua Golf Course has been named one of Hawaii’s Top 15 Courses by Golf Digest. The Golf Channel went so far as to rank it third in the state.

Working on a public course budget, management invests the vast majority of the budget into the course itself — and that’s why this place shines. Toyo Shirai designed a long course (the 2nd hole measures 456 yards), but everything along the course is pristine. Lush fairways give way to evenly trimmed greens, and even the sand bunkers are well-maintained. There, admittedly, is sometimes a minimal amount of sand when it’s windy, but that’s to be expected anytime you golf this close to the shore.

Few golf courses offer golfing that’s this good and a location that’s this beautiful. Those that do are often privately maintained, costing much, much more. For one of the best deals in golf, spend a few hours at the Wailua Municipal Golf Course.

A few of our favorite features at Wailua Golf Course include:

Golf Shop
The staff at Wailua Golf Course are known for being friendly, and the folks in the Golf Shop will gladly answer any questions. Check out the gear that’s available, and ask them for advice on what to get. You can even ask about stuff that’s not in the store.

2nd Hole
Facing 454 yards this early in the game might seem daunting. It’s much more enjoyable when you realize that distance just gives you more time to enjoy your surroundings, though.

10th Hole
If playing twilight golf later in the day, try to line up your 10th hole for around sunset. The fairway looks directly where the sun will go down, offering unparalleled views of the changing sky.

14th Hole
The back nine (added later) don’t have holes that parallel the shore like the 1st and 2nd holes do. Hole 14’s green is on the water, however, and it affords views of both the ocean and a nearby stream where you might spot lilies.

Shoreline
Several of the holes parallel the shoreline. Stop anywhere along them to admire the view and see whether anything’s visible on the water. You’ll frequently spot boats or ships, and possibly some wildlife.

Insider Tip:
Wailua Golf Course originally had a snack bar, but it’s been closed permanently. Head 2 miles north to a Safeway for some cold drinks and snacks to bring along.