Whenever I find myself bogged down from work or overwhelmed with a to-do list, I do what any logical person would: I golf. And my go-to golfing spot is the Royal Kunia Country Club.
Royal Kunia has never let me down (my game, however, usually does). It is also a favorite among visitors seeking an affordable Hawaii golf experience. I’ve played there with friends and family from abroad many times.
So today, I’m talking all about this great spot and how you can enjoy it during your Hawaii vacation.
Royal Kunia Country Club For All
Royal Kunia calls itself a country club, but it’s not the glitzy, exclusive locale you may imagine. It’s open to the public, and the clubhouse is small and humble.
It has none of the stodginess one might expect at an elite country club. There are no locker rooms. You can wear a hat in the clubhouse. The food and beverage options are limited but perfectly acceptable for bites and drinks after your round. It’s a commendable local food menu.
The course, however, is worthy of any country club cliché. Royal Kunia is perched in the Central Oahu Hills above Kipapa Gulch. It offers stunning views of both the Ko’olau and Wai’anae mountain ranges, a unique perspective of Downtown Honolulu, and the unmistakable silhouette of Diamond Head in the distance.
The Golfing Experience
Both the front and back nine start and finish with challenging par-5 holes. It’s usually windy. The 1st Hole is uphill, with red sand bunkers waiting at the end of every shot. Royal Kunia is another Hawaii golf course where it’s possible to lose a ball in the water, woods, or weeds on practically any shot that isn’t a putt (if your game is as woeful as mine, anyway). But the fairways are generous, and the greens are huge.
Snacks at the Turn
The 10th Hole is a snaking, blind, and downhill par-5. The approach to the green offers photo-worthy views of the Ewa Plain and Ko’olau range. On clear days (most days here are clear), you can make out the colors and contours of Diamond Head in the distance.
The 18th is also a blind tee shot par-5 with a seemingly magnetic water hazard in play as you approach the green, which features a rushing waterfall that can be calming or unnerving, depending on your state of mind.
A Budget Option
The non-resident green fees at Royal Kunia Country Club make it a viable budget option for Oahu visitors. The weekday/weekend rates are the same, and there’s a special afternoon walking rate that’s great for anyone who’s really on a budget. It’s a busy track up there, and Royal Kunia does a lot of visitor business. My group waited for the group ahead for much of the way during our recent round.
It’s also popular among residents (like me) who enjoy a discounted kamaaina rate.
Where to Find Royal Kunia Country Club
This great golf course is on the island of Oahu, in the town of Waipahu. It’s about 45 minutes away from Waikiki and about 15 minutes from the Ko Olina resort area.