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4.0
167 Reviews (167)
5 Stars
80
4 Stars
52
3 Stars
18
2 Stars
8
1 Stars
9
Conditions
3.5
Value
3.9
Layout
4.5
Friendliness
4.4
Pace
3.9
Amenities
4.0
84.3%
Recommend this course
140 out of 167 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.3
11 Reviews (11)
5 Stars
6
4 Stars
4
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
1
Conditions
4.1
Value
4.5
Layout
4.6
Pace
4.1
Amenities
4.2
StaffFriendliness
4.5
90.9%
Recommend this course
10 out of 11 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.2
14 Reviews (14)
5 Stars
6
4 Stars
7
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
1
Conditions
4.0
Value
4.3
Layout
4.6
Pace
4.3
Amenities
3.9
StaffFriendliness
4.5
92.9%
Recommend this course
13 out of 14 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Type Semi-Private
Style Links
Par 71
Length 6193 yards
Slope N/A
Rating N/A
Book a Tee Time at
Royal Hawaiian Golf Club
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Course Details

Year Built 1993
Fairways Bermuda Grass
Greens Platinum Paspalum Grass
Golf Season Year round
Architect Pete Dye (1993) Perry Dye (1993)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard, Amex, Discover Welcomed
Metal Spikes Allowed No

Food & Beverage

Bar, Restaurant

Available Facilities

Clubhouse

Accolades

  • Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Hawaii (2017 #11)
  • Golf Advisor: Top 25 Most Improved U.S. Golf Courses (2017 #16)

Reviews

4.0
167 Reviews (167)

What Golfers Are Saying

Course Challenges Include:
Elevation Changes 25
Forced Carries 22
Bunkers 14
This course/club is great for:
Wildlife/ Scenic Views 22
Advanced Golfers 17
A Bucket list/Top 100 Pick 12
This Course's Location is:
Worth the Drive 19
Convenient to the City 10

Numbers based on reviews tagged with attribute.

Reviewer Photos

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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 11
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Stunning setting for golf

Sure is a lot of whining going on in the reviews about this course. I'll correct all that below if you are interested, but suffice it to say, this is simply a stunning setting for a fun "little" (as in fairly short) golf course that literally winds through the tropical forest at the base of the Ko'olau Mountains. I was paired up with two local native Hawaiians who, on their own, actually called it "Jurassic Park" (no joke) and said along with Turtle Bay is by far their favorite course on the island. Need I say more? Ok, I will below. 5 star overall rating for the backdrop and setting alone, the course itself being secondary. I've never seen a more impressive setting in my 40+years. I highly recommend it, just bring lots of balls and your patience for the slow, rich tourists playing whack-heck, and the "natural" but very playable course conditions and you'll marvel at this jewel.
So to correct the whiners...
Course Conditions: I agree that it is by no means a pristine or manicured resort level course. I call it "natural". The bermuda fairways didn't even look mown, but play like a short second cut of rough, all very much playable. As for muddy conditions, YOU'RE PLAYING IN A RAIN FOREST, HELLO!!! It is a fun if short track that winds up the foothills of the Ko'olau's, winding literally through tropical forests. Very beautiful. Just the 5 minute drive from #1 green to #2 tee alone is a veritable deep jungle tour itself. Most of the tee shots are blind, so it helped me a lot to play with locals who know the course and told me how to play it. You can hit driver on just about every hole (they did), but you better be precise, because any wayward shot is lost in the dense tropical forest. Very small greens require precise approaches, but the course can be had with precise irons off the tee toward the 150 pole then an accurate approach. Lots of little risk/reward type shots that keep the fun going.
Pace of play: dude, you're playing a tourist attraction course where the rich and painfully bad players play and lose tons of balls into the forest. If you can't be patient, enjoy the amazing scenery, and have a few while waiting for the groups ahead to clear, better go somewhere else (and miss out on an amazing experience).
Staff friendliness. I found them to be great. It was odd to be asked at the pro shop what I paid on GolfNow. I should have challenged him on that as to why it matters, but chose not to. But the guys controlling the start and the carts were welcoming, informative, and seemed glad to have me there.
Value for the money. Well, it all depends on what value you put on the most gorgeous setting you will ever see in golf. If you can't get over the "natural" conditions and slow play, you'll probably think it is a horrible value. If you can chill, play conservative, snap lots of pics of the natural beauty, you'll probably think it great. Of course I thought it was even better because I used a Hot Deal monthly round on it and was very richly rewarded.
BTW, my local playing partners told me that this course had been fairly recently purchased by foreign investors. So that could account for a lot of the condition issues. They said the name has been changed and the layout has been changed some. It didn't really affect me because I never played it under previous ownership.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
1.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

very slow play, aggressive people, nice views

This was our first time playing here even though we are local. It is a nicely designed course but the pace of play was terribly slow.
We constantly had to wait from backups and the people in front started to get annoyed that the group in front of them was taking so long and were getting very aggressive and screaming at the group and we think may have even thrown something at the other group at one point. Not exactly the relaxing experience I was hoping for. I did almost get an eagle on the 10th, missed it by about half an inch on the put. We were only able to finish 12.5 holes because of the very slow play. The pace was approaching 6 hours!!! Keep in mind this is not a walking course , the pace of play was just that slow. I would absolutely avoid the weekends especially during COVID lockdown because that may have contributed to our bad experience. I can usually finish a walking 18 in 2:30-2:45 hours so only being able to complete 12.5 holes in 3:20 minutes is ridiculous. Even the last 2 holes were completely rushed with us running back and forth to the ball and cart without actually setting up. Had we stoped at the time we were supposed to (5:30) we would have only finished 9 holes in 2:45 minutes! Also the GPS was broken on the cart which wouldn't bother me normally but this was the first time playing this course so was a bit annoying as I couldn't see the flyovers. There was also a used tissue in the cupholder which considering COVID19 right now was disgusting. To be fair I think they may have been rushed due to everyone taking a single cart right now as the guy had to run over to grab an extra cart so may not have had time to clean it like they normally would.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Average
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Default User Image
Commented on 05/11/2020

Hello, Thank you so much for the great review. We are glad you had an incredible time, and we hope to see you again soon! Thanks for choosing Royal Hawaiian Golf Club.

Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Not the first time I've played here

The starter is a bit standoffish but warms up. I have played here before and have a problem with:
* staff didn't advise there was no water in the in cart ball/club cleaner on a habitually muddy course.
* also didnt advise there was no drinking water or bathroom facility on the front 9 ,(quit at 9 - too irritated)
* pro shop attendant attacked me over the rate I paid on Golf Now - as if I should know they what their deal was and that they weren't making any money - how could I POSSIBLY know that!.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Fair
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 15
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Beautiful scenery, average course

Front nine was so damp with poor drainage.
But view is fantastic.
Back nine was well maintained fairway and manicured green.
Scenery is different but still beautiful.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 5
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Wet weather
Used cart

stunning and a must do! Pete Dye's Jurassic park masterpiece

Stunning course. The staff was incredible - Ellsworth the starter was exceptionally friendly and informative. The greenskeepers handed me two balls as I drove past them. - by the way you will need extra golf balls. This course is very punitive for a poor shot. Watch Utube to see how beautiful the course is. (it is twice as nice in person). The highlight of my two weeks in Hawaii,

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 3
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 5
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing

Jurassic Park

Loved the course. It is tough but beautiful, a good iron game is needed to dominate this course. Can’t wait to go back. If you have anyone visiting from off island this is the place to go

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Conditions Average
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once every three months
I Recommend This Course
Incentivized Review
4.0
Previously Played

Challenging yet beautiful

Amazing course when dry. Does rain frequently in the area so call ahead and check on weather conditions. Near Pail municipal golf course and Ko`olau Country Club. These course are closer to the mountains and frequently receives more rain than Royal Hawaiian. The course is challenging enough to consider packing at least a dozen balls, possibly more. The views are unbelievable. Take time for a "Kodak" moment while playing the course.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
Incentivized Review
4.0
First Time Playing

Great course

Unfortunately we played the day after it rained and was cart path only.
The 7th hole was not playable.
Staff were friendly and very helpful, but there was no restaurant open, no bar after just a snack shop, for a course of such stature I was shocked that they have very little food and beverage offerings.
The pace of play was great, not many on the course but for $150 it was not really worth it!
The staff told us we could cancel and get a refund due to the conditions but once we teed off no refunds possible.

Conditions Average
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
Incentivized Review
4.0
First Time Playing
Cold weather
Used cart

Beautiful course.

This is my first year to play golf. I played 32 years of travel softball, so my little brother has been teaching me sine the first of the year 2019. I took my wife over to Hawaii for our 30th anniversary and decided that I was going to play golf while there. I picked the Royal Hawaiian golf course because of the pictures showing the beauty of the course. It did not disappoint. The course was above my skill set but I love a challenge and the course difficulties of the holes was awesome. I did lose about a dozen balls, but the course was just awesome. I recommend if you are ever there for vacation, business or whatever it maybe. Take plenty of golf balls.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 4
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
2.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

MUDDIEST course ever.

We played on a beautiful sunny day. Unfortunately, it had been raining a lot in recent days, so the course was about 85% unplayable. The course should have been closed until it dried up considerably. Nearly everyplace we walked (tees, fairways and greens) we either sloshed through an inch of standing water or, worse yet, 2 inches of sloppy slimy mud. Many greens had large areas of mud with no grass whatsoever. The fairway grass was thin and sparse. Sand traps had a layer of mud totally covering the sand. Nearly every approach shot resulted in a splash of mud and a golf club covered with mud. It's very hilly, so walking to your ball or the tee or the green requires you to traverse very steep areas...which is difficult or impossible to do without falling on your butt in the mud. Seriously, while walking from the cart to the green, my feet flew out from under me and I landed flat on my back in the mud. I had 1 inch of mud caked to my legs, arms, and my entire back. (That shirt is a loss.) As many other reviewers have mentioned, the course is carved out of the jungle and one of the most beautiful around. Surprisingly it used to be one of my favorite courses on Oahu. I've played there several times in the past (when it was called Luana Hills), but I won't go back until Windward Oahu has its next drought.

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Conditions Average
Value Excellent
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 4
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Disappointed in my round

I played this course 5 years ago on my honeymoon and was extremely excited to play it again. Since then I have played pebble beach, Spanish bay, Spyglass, TPC Las Colinas, TPC Scottsdale and many other courses. I list all of them bc the rate charged today was comparable to those courses above. The course was in rough shape. Staff very unfriendly. Pace of Play was horrific!!! We were 3.5 hours and only on hole 11. We called and asked for a Marshall to help speed up play. No one came.

The locations is unreal but it is obvious the management and conditions of the course needs to improve if there going to charge that much.

Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed and leaving Oahu with a bad taste in my mouth.

Conditions Fair
Value Poor
Layout Good
Friendliness Fair
Pace Poor
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

Great views but greens disappointing

The course is basically tucked into the side of the mountain. The views are unbelievable and my wife took a boat load of pictures. That being said, I was a little concerned as we were driving up to course. The maintenance crew was throwing sand onto the greens. The greens had not been punched, they were just muddy. I don't mean just one or two greens, the entire 18 were the same way. Large spots on every green that had no grass and in my opinion were un-puttable. I really had no chance of making a putt over three feet. The rest of the course was beautiful, so it doesn't make sense that they couldn't maintain the greens. The tee boxes, fairways and bunkers were well maintained. You will never get a flat lie in a fairway, but that is how the course is set up. One would definitely need to play this course a few times to know what club to tee off with. Overall, a little disappointed with the course considering the amount of money I paid. Would not go back, should have went to Turtle Bay.

Conditions Fair
Value Fair
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 5
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Previously Played

A Physically Stunning Golf Course That Unfortunately Often Gets Saturated

Royal Hawaiian is a physically stunning golf course that looks like it was carved out of a jungle and surrounded by mountains. The on-course scenery is spectacular. The layout is also top-notch, with many memorable holes throughout the round. That same layout is also, however, very penal. The course does not have much room off of the fairways and greens and errant shots are quickly punished and the lost ball count will rise precipitously
.
The downside of this course is that it lies on the rainy side of the Ko'Olau Mountain Range (which ironically is what provides the course with its scenic beauty). The course can get a heavy amount of rain, which makes the course play much longer than its yardage on the card and, in certain places, close to unplayable with balls frequently deeply embedding through the green. The pace of play here was also disappointing, with no marshal/ranger/player assistant to intervene on a front nine that took 2 hours and 45 minutes.

I do, however, recommend this course if only for its physical beauty. I would urge that players call ahead to see how much rain the course has received and whether the course is playing "cart path only." If the course indeed is playing cart path only, prepare for a long, wet, and at times muddy round if you decide to venture out on the course.

Conditions Fair
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Poor
Amenities Good
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