Big Island

4 of the Best Private Golf Clubs on Hawaii’s Big Island

One of my favorite pastimes to do here on the Big Island is to play golf. There is a reason Hawaii Tourism Authority calls the Big Island “The Golf Capital of Hawaii.” Golf “All Stars” such as Reese Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Francis H. Brown, and Robert Trent Jones Sr. have all designed world renowned golf courses right here on the Big Island. The Big Island boasts 15 golf courses located around the island, but there are four private golf clubs that are deemed to be some of the best in Hawaii and they are located on the Kona Coast.

Hokulia, Hualalai, Kukio, and Kohanaiki are four of the best private golf courses Hawaii has to offer. If you wish to tee off at one of these exclusive clubs, you must be invited by a club member or purchase your own piece of paradise within the gates of these private communities and apply for membership. Here are a few details about each of these private golf courses located on the Kona Coast.


Located south of Kailua Kona is the Club at Hokulia. According the Hokulia’s website, course designer Jack Nicklaus states, “I tried to create 18 good holes that worked well together.” Indeed, he did. Hokulia’s golf course is tour quality.

The Club at Hokulia | Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course | Big Island – Hawaii

If you want to challenge your game, Hokulia offers just that. A private member’s only equity club that is ideal for the avid golfer where you may play endless rounds of golf. In 2013, Fox News named Hokulia as #1 of the Top 10 Golf Course in Hawaii.


North of Kailua Kona, the up and coming luxury beach community of Kohanaiki, has an incredible Reese Jones design golf course planted with ecologically sensitive seashore paspalum that is flawless. What I love about this course are the six oceanfront holes that run along the gorgeous coastline.

Single Family Home by Architect Shay Zak (MLS# 277426) | Kohanaiki, Kailua-Kona

According to Kohanaiki’s website, “Rees Jones’ Hawai‘i debut is a golf course unlike any other. As the only layout in Hawai‘i with six oceanfront holes, its masterful design is breathtaking and at times, wonderfully distracting. The par-72 can play up to 7,329 yards and is ideal for every caliber player.” I have had the opportunity to play this course several times and know that the course is true to the website’s description.


Not far from Kohanaiki is the Kukio Golf & Beach Club. Its discrete unmarked entrance off the highway often goes unnoticed by both visitors and residences.


Kukio Golf & Beach Club | Golf Course Designed by Tom Fazio | Big Island – Hawaii

As you drive Kukio’s meandering roadways lined with the Tom Fazio designed golf course, you know you’re about to play on one if not two of the most exclusive golf courses in the world. A member’s only private equity club, Kukio residents and their guests enjoy the 18-hole championship course or 10-hole short course.

Hualalai Four Seasons Resort

Next door at the Hualalalai Four Season Resort is where you will find the Jack Nicklaus Championship Course, home to the prestigious PGA Championship Tour “Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.” Both guests and residents have access to the Hualalai Golf Course.

Estate Villa at Hualalai Overlooking 5th Hole of the Ke’olu Golf Course | Hualalai Resort

What many people don’t realize is when the Nicklaus course gets busy, Club Members can escape to the club’s members only Tom Weiskopf designed course, Ke’olu. The Ke’olu golf course winds its way through the historic lava flows of Kaupulehu with panoramic views of the Big Island’s west coast, Maui, and four grand mountains. Ke’olu’s club is one of the finest on the coast, complete with private locker rooms, open air bar, restaurant, infinity pool, and game room.

Additional Information

Balmy year-round weather, awesome ocean and mountain vistas, dramatic volcanic landscape, and 15 golf courses to choose from, it’s no surprise that the Big Island deemed as the “Golf Capital of Hawaii.” I’ve only mentioned four of the fifteen golf courses available here on the Big Island, for a complete list visit the Big Island Visitor Bureau’s website.

Please contact Carrie Nicholson, Realtor (B) Broker in Charge, HL1 Director for a complete list of luxury homes available within these private golf communities.

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April 27, 2015

how do you not have nanea on this list!!!!!!

Carrie Nicholson

April 27, 2015

You are absolutely right! How did that slip my mind. I will definitely add Nanea for my future blog on the best private golf clubs on Hawaii’s Big Island!


April 27, 2015

how do you not have nanea on this list!!!!!!

Carrie Nicholson

April 27, 2015

You are absolutely right! How did that slip my mind. I will definitely add Nanea for my future blog on the best private golf clubs on Hawaii’s Big Island!

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