You can book many of Hawaii's best golf courses on GolfNow.com

By Mike Bailey, Senior Staff Writer

By now, most golfers know they can get great deals on tee times at Hawaii golf courses through GolfNow.com. But did you know that many of those golf courses are among the best in Hawaii?

Mauna Kea Golf Course - hole 3
The signature par-3 third at Mauna Kea Golf Course on the Big Island.
Mauna Kea Golf Course - hole 3Makai Course at Princeville Resort - hole 7Poipu Bay Golf Course
If you go

Of the top 15 golf courses in Hawaii, according to the latest rankings in Golf Digest, six are available through GolfNow. From the Princeville Resort on Kauai, to Ko'olau on Oahu, every one of them is memorable and unique.

So next time you plan a trip to Hawaii, check out GolfNow. And if you live there, it's a no-brainer. Here's what's available:

Mauna Kea Golf Course: This Robert Trent Jones Sr. classic got a recent makeover from son Rees Jones a couple of years ago and never looked better. Located on the Kona side of the Big Island, the views are incredible on the Mauna Key Golf Course, including the par-3 third hole, which can play as long as 270 yards over a piece of the Pacific Ocean to a green perched above the black lava rock common to the coast. Originally opened in 1964, the course, which is ranked No. 5 in the state by Golf Digest, now plays 7,300 yards from the tips, with beautiful white sand beaches and new TifEagle greens and ocean views on more than half the holes.

Manele Golf Course: Located on the small island of Lanai across from Maui, Manele Golf Course, ranked no. 7 in the state by Golf Digest, is a 7,039-yard Jack Nicklaus design on a canvas that's unsurpassed in terms of views. There are 180-degree vistas of the ocean with red cliffs jetting out from the sea, white sand bunkers and plenty of black lava rock. The ocean comes into play on many holes, including the 12th, which involves a 200-carry over the Pacific from the back of five sets of tees.

Gold Course at Wailea Golf Club: This former home of the Champions Skins Game (2001-07), the Gold Course, is the most challenging of the Wailea Golf Club's trio of golf courses. Located on Maui, the 7,078-yard Gold Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., follows the terrain's natural undulations. Billed as a thinking man's course, it features terrific views of the ocean, Molokini islet, ancient lava rock walls, coconut trees and white sand bunkers. Honored by both Golf Magazine and Golf Digest as one of the country's 10 best new resort courses when it opened in 1994, it comes in at No. 9 on Golf Digest's top golf courses in Hawaii.

Ko'olau Golf Club: Situated on eastern part of Oahu, Ko'olau Golf Club is carved out of a tropical rainforest on the windward side of the 2,000-foot Ko'olau Ridge mountain range. Designed by Dick Nugent, this most difficult tropical jungle golf course, ranked 12th in the state by Golf Digest, actually has three different climate zones, lots of winding ravines, extreme elevation changes and great views of natural waterfalls. With a slope/rating of 152/75.3, it is considered the toughest golf course in the nation from the back tees, which measure more than 7,300 yards.

Makai Golf Course: Also located at the Princeville Resort on Kauai, the Makai Course is another splendidly renovated course by Robert Trent Jones Jr. At No. 13 in the state rankings, the Makai Course could easily take the top spot in many other states with its conditioning, turf and tremendous views of the Pacific. The renovation included new flawless Seashore paspalum grass, which really makes the 7,223-yard, par-72 layout pop against its pure white bunkers and background of deep blue ocean views. Ironically one of signature hole isn't on the ocean. The par-3 third has a tee about 100 feet above a protected green below with a lake fronting the green. After that, however, there are ocean views galore.

Poipu Bay Golf Course: The former home of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf (1994-2006), Poipu Bay Golf Course has also been renovated with paspalum grass as well as new bunkering. Coming in at No. 14 in the state, Poipu Bay, another Robert Trent Jones Jr. design, has several holes that run on the bluffs high above the Pacific Ocean on shores of Poipu Bay on Kauai. Golfers will enjoy the views of the lush green mountains on one side and if they're lucky, glimpses of humpback whales in the ocean during the wintertime. The course measures 7,126 yards from the tips.

Mike BaileyMike Bailey, Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.


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