If you’re considering practicing your golf swing when you visit Hawaii, then you’ve come to the right place. Tiger Woods or not, there are courses to satisfy a wide range of swing and skill level, and at Bay View Golf Park in Kaneohe, golfers can practice everything from a mini golf putt to a hard-hitting whoosher for that ever-hopeful hole-in-one. They even have a zipline that goes from one end of the park to the other.
One, two, three! Swing that ball to the tree!
Growing up nearby, I’ve played both mini putt courses numerous times, and just recently, spent a gloomy Saturday night hitting balls at the driving range. Pretty fun! Of course, there’s an 18-hole course, which avid golfers, like my dad, say is good for working on your short game. I can’t say I’ve golfed on an actual course before, other than a Wii golf course, so tips or feedback from readers on this particular course or others in the islands would be greatly appreciated.
VIDEO: Fore! Mastering golf swings at Bay View Golf Course.
The mini golf courses include the Pali and Likelike, both named after two Oahu highways and tunnels between the windward and town sides. I personally enjoy the Pali course because it’s a bit more scenic in that golfers go through a waterfall cave, then into a raised gazebo-type structure, where the hole sits at the same level of about 10 feet. As kids, we loved racing the golfball down the winding slope to the hole at the very bottom. The Likelike course is a bit more challenging but not as “eventful” in that most of it is flat and lacks cool landscape features. Depending on how many golfers you have in the game, it usually takes at least an hour to finish.
Now to the driving range. Unlike most, this one is two stories tall. If you’re using a driver (which hits the ball up and out), then you must hit from the first floor. Golfers aim in the direction of a neighborhood and an elementary school, and although blocked by a 60-foot net, accidents do happen. The employee told us that someone hit a ball into a kitchen window before, so that’s why they prohibit golfers from using drivers on the second floor. Somehow, my brother sent the ball flying up and into the roof, which came bouncing down next to us! Needless-to-say, that kept us on our toes the whole night, shifting our weight from left to right as we lined up the club with the resting ball and aimed right toward the midway target.
Never a dull moment at the driving range.
Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the hectic city life in Waikiki and Honolulu. Explore Kailua and Kaneohe on the windward side of Oahu for a much more laid-back vibe, and because of this atmosphere, don’t expect to find crowds at the golf course. We went on a weekend night and luckily, didn’t have to wait in lines. We got there, bought a couple of baskets of golf balls and went on our merry way.
BAY VIEW GOLF PARK • 45-285 Kaneohe Bay Dr., Kaneohe, HI 96744 • Mini-Putt Opens: Mon-Fri 3pm-10pm; Weekends, holidays 9am-10pm • Zipline Opens: Sun/Wed/Thurs 10am-6pm, Fri/Sat 10am-9pm • 808-247-6464 • www.bayviewminiputt.com