The 18-hole layout at Hoakalei Country Club is a 2009 Ernie Els design, laid out on an old sugar plantation next to the former US Navy airfield at Barbers Point on the south shores of Oahu Island.
Seashore paspalum grass has been used throughout to enhance the links-like qualities of the course and the coastal winds that blow around its location ensure that it never plays the same from one day to the next.
Laid out on a largely flat property, the fairways are routed around several large lakes, bringing aquatic hazards into play at thirteen holes – and if water doesn’t impede your progress here then one of the 112 bunkers just might.
Both nines began with a par five until the new Ewa Beach clubhouse opened in April 2019, necessitating the original hole sequencing to move back by one. So the former par five opener (a monster 600-yarder) is now No.18. The par four opener (formerly the 2nd) is a brutal starting hole, which measures a tad less than 500 yards from the tips, so there's no breaking you in gently at Hoakalei Country Club.
Hoakalei is truly a championship course measuring over 7,400 yards with a lot of bunkers and water hazards. Players need not only distance but also accuracy. The greens are fast and undulating. The current clubhouse is temporary and the new one will be under construction starting this year. Currently, the 1st hole is strong par 5 and the 18th is long but ordinary par 3. With the clubhouse changing locations, the sequence of holes will alter to have strong finishing hole.
The par 4 383-yard 8th has split fairways. On the second shot, players hit over a creek onto the highly elevated shallow green protected by bunkers left & right. The signature hole is the par 3 195-yard 13th with an island green – the green is surrounded by water as well as 9 bunkers.
There are plans to build a few 5-star hotels around the course within 4 or 5 years and there is also a rumor that PGA Tour Sentry Tournament of Champions will be held here in the future replacing Kapalua Plantation.