PERHAPS NO STATE has been affected more by COVID-19 restrictions than Hawaii. Visitor arrivals — which totaled greater than 10.4 million in 2019 — dropped more than 98 percent starting in March, when a mandatory 14-day quarantine protocol was implemented for trans-Pacific visitors. Hotels and restaurants closed, staff was furloughed, and every industry dependent on tourism, including the state’s more than 80 golf courses, strained to stay afloat.
Thankfully, on October 15, the state adopted prearrival testing measures so visitors could avoid the quarantine, and by November 1 most businesses had reopened or were planning to soon. So, with fingers crossed that all goes well, Troon’s Aloha State courses and resorts await your arrival. Just don’t expect a kiss with your lei greeting.
Maui’s premier resort, Kapalua, reports that the Plantation Course is open five days per week (tee times are available from 8:30 to 11:30 am), closing on Mondays and Tuesdays. The restaurant and golf shop were slated to open in early November. The Bay Course is currently closed and will reopen on December 17.
On the accommodations side, the Montage Kapalua Bay opened on October 15; The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua has not announced a reopening date yet.
The PGA TOUR’s Sentry Tournament of Champions is slated to take place January 6-10, 2021, although it has not yet been determined if fans will be permitted.
General Manager Alex Nakajima says, “The course is in pristine condition now and tee times are at 15 minutes intervals, so it’s pretty nice to play without seeing anyone!”
Out on the serene Ewa Plains of Oahu, roughly 35 minutes northwest of downtown Honolulu, Kapolei Golf Club has 18 holes open for play. A scenic Ted Robinson-designed golf course set on 190-acres of a former sugar cane plantation awaits players here. Colorful ﬂoral gardens, waterfalls, and ﬁve lakes deliver a striking contrast to the course’s lush fairways and greens. Kapolei opened for play in 1995 and hosted the LPGA Tour’s Hawaiian Open from 1996 through 2001, and the PGA TOUR Champions’ Paciﬁc Links Championship from 2012 through 2014. In 2019, Kapolei was named one of the Top 10 “Courses You Can Play in Hawaii” by Golfweek.
“Kapolei is a beautiful golf course,” said General Manager Gordy Walker. “We look forward to welcoming visitors back to our little piece of paradise!”
Mauna Lani temporarily suspended operations on March 25, with a planned reopening of the South Course on Friday, November 6, with limited hours and days. The North Course is being worked on with a reopening date yet to be determined. “We recommend that people check for current info when reserving tee times,” said Director of Golf Chris Noda. “We have been looking forward to welcoming visitors and residents back, and we’re so happy the South Course is now open for play!”
Both resort hotels have set reopening dates: the recently renovated Mauna Lani Auberge Resorts Collection on November 15; and the Fairmont Orchid on November 13.
Visitors to Hawaii Island are required to complete the pretest within 72 hours of arrival, plus a second arrival test at the airport. Otherwise, they are subject to a 14-day quarantine.
“Princeville Makai Golf Club is open seven days a week and we are pleased to share our experience with any and all guests!” says General Manager Doug Sutter of this oceanfront resort gem on the North Shore of Kauai.
Although Princeville Resort (formerly St. Regis) is currently closed for an extensive renovation (hoping to reopen in early 2022), The Westin Princeville Ocean Villas reopened on Oct. 15, along with a few other condominium resorts in the area.
Kauai is participating in the same pretesting requirements as the rest of Hawaii, but suggesting that visitors take a second test a few days after landing to make sure they are still negative after travel.
“We are now offering a fantastic Unlimited Golf Package,” Sutter said. “It’s a great deal that allows you to play as much golf as you like!”