Turtle Bay Resort's Palmer Course: A great way to tour Oahu's scenic North Shore

OAHU, Hawaii -- Golf isn't the no. 1 sport on the North Shore -- that would be surfing -- but it's a close second thanks to the dynamic Palmer Course at Turtle Bay Resort.

Golfers can ride the wavy green fairways and mounds of the Palmer Course by golf cart or on a Golf Skate Caddy, a new single-person golf transport device that mimics the movements of a surfboard or skateboard.

Architect Arnold Palmer borrowed a chunk of the resort's original George Fazio layout dating to the 1970s to build his 7,218-yard course in 1992. Water intrudes on almost the entire round, which made for great theater whenever the Champions Tour or LPGA Tour would visit for a tournament.

The par-5 third and par-3 fourth holes share a pond. The sixth hole introduces the first of many excellent par 4s that twist around ponds and palm trees. Instead of water on no. 17, players come face to face with a sea of sand. Nine bunkers stack up to guard the ultimate reward, an elevated green with views of the Pacific Ocean. The finishing hole is another great spot for tournament drama, a risk-reward par 5 of 577 yards. Heroic attempts to go for the final green in two can get knocked down by the swirling tradewinds and end up in a pond. Unfortunately, golfers can't walk on water like surfers do.

Nov 03, 2014

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Whiskey's avatar
Whiskey wrote at 2017-10-21 15:32:17+00:00:

Love this golf course.  I started to play there within a month of its opening in 1992, and it has become arguably the best course on Oahu.  Keep your rain gear in your bag as one never knows when a squall might come riding in when the trade winds are howling.  Those winds can also easily add 5~10 or even more strokes to your score as the locals well know.  Links set-up in the front 9 followed by a classic tree-lined layout in the back, so easily distracted from golf by great views and abundance of Polynesian fauna and flora.  What fun - Hawaii golf at its best!

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.