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Oahu Golf - Ko'olau Golf Course

The Only Thing Harder Than A Diamond Is Ko'olau

By Don Kriefall

Nestled against the windward side of the Ko'olau mountain range and carved out of the tropical rain forest, the Ko'olau Golf Course affords majestic views that rival any course on the Islands. Originally built in 1992 as a private club, it is now owned by the Ko'olau First Presbyterian Church and operated by the American Golf Corporation. Ko'olau is one of the most challenging courses in the country and a yardage book is absolutely necessary. The pro shop is fully equipped and employs PGA certified instructors.

Premium rental clubs are available. The practice area consists of a driving range, chipping and sand trap area and a large putting green.

The Skinny

4 Tees: 7310, 6797, 6406, 5102 Yards
Slope/Rating: 152/75.7
Rates: Greens fees are $145.00, twilight rates are $95.00 after 12:45PM and $55.00 after 3PM.

Local Knowledge

The mountain range comes into play on many holes. Shots playing toward the mountain range typically play longer than the yardage due to the refractory effect of the mountains. The fringe around the greens consists of a combination of St. Augustine and Hilo grass. Shots falling short into the fringe will stop and typically not release to the green. This course requires precise shots with accurate yardage since many shots are either blind or deceiving. Ravines are often in play and a shot that carries too far will often result in a lost ball and penalty. Driver will be taken out of play on a number of holes, especially on the back nine. Fairways consist of Seashore paspalum, a grass that can be irrigated with sea water, helping to conserve fresh water. As with most greens planted with Bermuda grass near the ocean, the grain will affect the roll of your putt more than the slope of the green. The grain will typically lean towards the ocean, so adjust your target accordingly.


Honey's restaurant is named for Honey Ho, the mother of the famous Don Ho, and has been serving American, Asian and Island cuisine for over 39 years. It is known for its special ramen noodles, but after your round, you will definitely want to try either the beer batter fish and chips, which is excellent, or the pastrami Rueben sandwich, a fan favorite.


Ko'olau is named toughest course in the nation by Golf Digest in 2007 and one of America's 100 greatest public courses by Golf Digest from 2003-2007.


Play for Stay, 7 days of unlimited golf, $299.99 + tax.
Through get a $75.00 greens fee, good anytime.


From Waikiki and Downtown Honolulu
Take the H-1 Freeway west to Route 61 exit (Pali Highway). Proceed through the Pali Tunnels and turn left onto Kamehameha Highway. Proceed past Pali Municipal Golf Course and turn left onto Kionaole Road. The course is located 20 minutes from Waikiki.

From Central Oahu and the Honolulu International Airport
Take the H-3 Freeway and exit at Route 83, and turn left (Kamehameha Highway). Turn left onto Kionaole Road. The course is located 25 minutes from Central Oahu and 15 minutes from the airport.

More Information

45-550 Kionaole Road
Kaneohe, Oahu, HI 96744

Article Tags: Ko'olau

Revised: 03/07/2011 - Article Viewed 32,132 Times

About: Don Kriefall

Don Kriefall Don Kriefall is a golf contributor for Known as as a weekend warrior, Don is still in pursuit of his first hole and one.

When he is not journaling about his travel, Don is either playing with his grand children or his dogs.

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