Named America's third most difficult golf course by Golf Digest, Ko'olau Golf Club's Dick Nugent–designed course snakes through the crags of the picturesque, 2,000-foot Ko'olau Ridge mountain range, where duffers contend with dramatic elevation changes and the thick vegetation of the tropical jungle. The breathtaking course spans 5,102 yards from the forward tees and 7,310 yards from the back tees, with two sets in between, and its length is compounded by a series of deep ravines, massive sand bunkers, and driver-stealing Pacific loons. After enduring 17 intricate holes, golfers must steel themselves for the dramatic, par 4 18th, where two forced carries and 22 sand bunkers may turn even the boldest of wedge-wielding knights into a quivering lickspittle. Though the formidable seashore paspalum monolith may mangle scorecards, its sweeping, tropical vistas and cascading waterfalls make the course a beautiful and enjoyable haunt for all.
Daily Service Hawaii's gift basket gurus dispatch festive vessels brimming with local fruits, and goodies to fortunate recipients throughout Waikiki. Customers can invest in a Fruit and Snack basket, packed with local Hawaiian sweets to satiate sugar-hankerers and fresh tropical fruits to tempt scurvy-ridden sailors. Alternatively, gift givers can opt for some of the establishment's other tasty selections available for delivery to Waikiki, including the Golf and Snack basket ($60) complete with Hawaiian-themed golf balls, tees, and poker chips, alongside a variety of snacks for golf course picnics that can endure until the automated sprinklers turn on. Many of the store's holiday-themed creations, including the Mele Stocking ($40), stuffed with dried mango, Hawaiian popcorn, and nuts, can ship to locations around the globe, making an ideal gift for family and friends on the mainland.
Natural bamboo and wood fences surround the miniature fairways of Jungle River Mini Golf, whose aptly named course pits putters against a slew of jungle-themed obstacles. Like rainforest explorers, groups of golfers hack through the wild landscape, forgoing machetes for colorful putters or spring-loaded spatulas sized to accommodate guests of all ages. Monkeypod trees, palms, crotons, and banana plants drape over the course, framing many attractions including sculptures of friendly gorillas and dinosaurs emerging from tar pits. The course also features large bridges and waterfalls that meander throughout to create sharp turns and contoured greens.
Founded by seasoned instructor Brian Mogg, whose past students include a PGA TOUR winner, the Brian Mogg Performance Center of Hawaii helps professional and amateur golfers step up their game with hands-on lessons. With two one-hour, custom teachings from a certified instructor (a $160 value), budding club-swingers of all aptitude levels and ages can increase their skill, lower their score, and learn how to transform dimpled orbs into future-seeing crystal balls.
Bay View Mini-Putt and Zipline's attractions make the most of Hawaii's natural beauty. Mini-golfers may play across artificial lava flows and beneath the gaze of dragon statues, but the backdrop consists of real Koolau Mountain peaks and soaring banyan trees. The course's tallest banyan tree, in fact, holds a treehouse that serves a launching point for a double-cable zipline, which carries up to two passengers at a time over the Likelike Course. Over 400 feet, the exhilarating trip affords views of nearby Kaneohe Bay at speeds of up to 25 mph?eight times the velocity of even the most powerful putt.
At Bay View Mini-Putt and Zipline, there are two types of people: Pali People and LikeLike People. Luckily, the mini-putt outpost maintains two corresponding courses. The Pali course gives folks a chance to stretch their legs, enjoy a nice walk, and take in a leisurely game of mini-golf. It's type-A brother, the LikeLike course, refuses to go in for any of that nonsense, preferring instead to challenge the pants off players with everything from steep banked walls, multi-level fairways, and faux sand traps. Of course, people can skip the links altogether and head for the trees on Bay View's new zipline that sends guests soaring through the trees at up to 25 miles per hour.