Built on the site of the old Kakuku Army Air Field in the north of Oahu island, the Turtle Bay Resort has operated since the early 1970s, occupying a large 850-acre property with five miles of ocean frontage.
The first 18-hole course to open here was a George Fazio design which subsequently hosted LPGA events and the first edition of the now defunct Seniors Skins Game in 1988, won by Chi-Chi Rodrígues.
The Palmer course appeared twenty years later, designed by Arnie and Ed Seay, and it too hosted a former Champions Tour event, the Turtle Bay Championship, between 2001 and 2008.
The par-72 layout measures 6,225 from the resort tees and it skirts the 100-acre Punaho’olapa marsh, wetlands and bird sanctuary, with water coming into play on nearly every hole during the round.
“Kala,” the signature 17th, is the only hole to actually reach the coastline, doglegging slightly right past a cluster of bunkers to a slightly elevated two-tiered green with a spectacular Pacific Ocean backdrop.
The Turtle Bay resort is situated in North Shore that is a famous Mecca for surfers. The resort has two courses, Palmer for advanced players and Fazio for intermediates. Water comes into play on 13 out of 18 holes that makes the course demanding. The bunkering is nice but the landing areas are limited on a lot of holes. The courses measures 7,218 yards, which is long enough to satisfy even pros. The front 9 holes have a Scottish links flavor while the back 9 has many trees and a tropical atmosphere.
The signature hole is par 4 452-yard 17th, a gentle uphill dogleg to the right. You see as many as 10 bunkers as if they were covering up the hole. The beautiful Pacific Ocean spreads out behind the green. The closing 3 holes, with par 4 450-yard 16th and par 5 577-yard 18th are strong and among others are fun challenges.