Hawaii Hidden Gem: Military Golf Courses on Oahu

Fort Shafter - Military Golf Courses Oahu
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Hawaii Hidden Gem: Military Golf Courses on Oahu

Many veterans and active duty military are quick to book a tee time at the Military Golf Courses on Oahu. But did you know there are a couple of military courses open to the public?

The Water J. Nagorski Golf Course at Fort Shafter and Leilehua Golf Course in Leilehua Schofield Barracks are both open to the public. These beautiful destinations are convenient to Honolulu but are often overlooked by casual duffers visiting Oahu. 

Let’s learn more about Oahu’s military golf courses and how you can visit them. 

Walter J. Nagorski Golf Course 

Golf in Hawaii is most often characterized by images of seascape resort courses or inviting fairways in a remote rainforest. But you don’t need to book a full golf vacation to take advantage of local courses on any given afternoon on Oahu.

The Water J. Nagorski Golf Course has recently undertaken a multi-million dollar renovation, smoothing fairways and grooming greens. The grass is comfortably green throughout the course. And, you have to hit the grass because out-of-bounds is a possibility on pretty much every hole.

About this Fun Oahu Military Golf Course

Nagorski is a nine-hole course. For a full 18, play the nine from the blue tees first, then ease up and play from the shorter white tees. The first hole at the course is a challenging uphill par-3, which generally plays into the prevailing trade winds at nearly 200 yards. It’s forty yards shorter from the white tees the second time around.

playing golf in hawaii at military golf courses on Oahu

The par-5 holes at Shafter (as we locals refer to it) are challenging. Both play uphill and into the wind. And they’re long. They may be challenging, even for scratch golfers, but the views of the valley that nestles the Walter J. Nagorski Golf Course are worth a lost ball or two.

Several of the holes on the course offer sweeping panoramas of downtown Honolulu and Honolulu Harbor. The downhill par-3 5th hole points to the massive shipping cranes that line the main shipping lane in the harbor. Long hitters will be comfortable with a long iron off the tee. Mere mortals will do wisely to club up. Either way, the view is spectacular.

For visitors with a rental vehicle, you’ll just need valid registration, insurance, and safety inspection. For visitors using a ride service like Uber or Lyft, the same applies to the driver.

Walter J. Nagorski Golf Course at Fort Shafter also offers high-tech golf carts with ball and club washers, as well as a handy GPS to give you highly accurate yardages from everywhere your ball might end up.

You can also take a quick trip around Palm Drive, where the “big brass” of the Hawaii and Pacific Commands take up residence in stately plantation-style mansions that ring an impressive, vast parade ground.

Leilehua Golf Course

Leilehua Schofield Barracks is home to Leilehua Golf Course, another Oahu military golf course that’s open to the public. 

The scenic course offers 6916 yards of green and a lighted 33-stall driving range. The 18-hole course is long and challenging, but many stick with a nine-hole option and have a lot of fun too – it’s great if you’re short on time during your Hawaii vacation. 

Other Military Golf Courses on Oahu

Golf with a view in Hawaii
Golf with a view in Hawaii

In addition to Walter J Nagorski and Leilehua golf courses, there are several other military courses throughout the island. However, they are not open to the public – just active or retired military, their guests, and government contractors. 

Here are some of the great Military Golf Courses on Oahu to check out if you fall into any of those categories:

Booking Your Hawaii Tee Time at Oahu Military Golf Courses

Talk to us here at Hawaii Aloha Travel to set up a round at Fort Shafter, or any of the many golfing options available on Oahu and throughout the Aloha State. Our experts can find the best courses and deals to make a round of golf in paradise a real and affordable possibility for you!