At foot of the Pali Lookout on the windward side of the 2,000-foot Ko'olau Ridge mountain range, the course is a 7,310-yard Shangri-La of luxuriant rainforest, jungly gorges, winding ravines, big-time elevation changes, dramatic waterfalls and mountains gone green from over a hundred inches of annual rainfall.
Although a 152 slope rating from the back tees indicates a daunting challenge, the other tees are positioned to offer a pleasant experience to the average player (bring your camera). Nonetheless, the 18th hole is not for sissies—long carries must fly over two bottomless canyons while avoiding 22 sandy traps.
After their rounds, golfers stagger into the clubhouse to enjoy ocean views and Don Ho's Special Ramen Noodles at Honey's at Ko'olau, the restaurant named for Honey Ho, a popular local who was the mother of Honolulu’s most famous entertainer, the late Don Ho.
President Obama lived here in the Kaneohe area in his early life, and he and his family spend some of their vacations here; he and his entourage last played at Ko’olau in December, 2011.
Founder/editor of BestGolfResortsofTheWorld.com, Karen Misuraca is a travel and golf writer from the California Wine Country. She blogs golf travel here and writes about culture and eco-travel at DeepCultureTravel.com. Check out Karen's new iPhone app, California Coast North.