MILITARY GOLF COURSES
By Bob Enzel
Oahu offers a good variety of military golf courses. Unfortunately
my daughter and I didn’t have time to play all six courses, but we
did manage to whack our way around half of them and visit some of
the others. There are five 18-hole courses and one 9-hole to
select from--some with driving ranges--plus one par 3 course.
The courses are located at the following installations: Hickam
Air Force Base; Kaneohe Marine Corps Base; Wheeler Air Field-Schofield
Barracks; Navy Marine Course-Pearl Harbor; a Navy Region course at
Barbers Point and the 9-hole course at Fort Shafter. The par 3 is
at Hickam, plus Bellows Air Field offers a basic driving range.
A valid military ID is required to play these courses, however the
course at Wheeler Air Field-Schofield Barracks is not on either base,
but situated between the two bases which permit it to be the only
military course on the island open to the public.
The courses all present great photo opportunities.
Hickam is along side the Bay of Mamala and between two airfields in
continuous use. Leilehua at Wheeler has lush foliage and flowering bushes
with birds tweeting in overdrive. The Klipper course
at Kaneohe offers extraordinary scenic ocean and mountain views. The course
at Pearl also offers views of Oahu’s majestic mountains and of the ships
berthed at Pearl Harbor. The Barbers Point golf course at Kalaeloa is off
the base perimeter from the Barbers Point Navy Base and is flat but still
fun to play. The Ft. Shafter course while only 9-holes are hilly and
The following is a brief overview of each military golf
course on the island of Oahu.
Hickam Mamala Bay Golf Course - Air Force
The Hickam course sits adjacent to Mamala Bay and the
waterway entrance into Pearl Harbor amidst swaying palms and blue skies. The
holes are situated between the Honolulu International Airport’s Reef Runway
and the Hickam Air Field which makes for a very interesting round of golf
with planes taking off and
landing on all sides.
Aloha Air, United and C130s all coming and going while we golfers try to
focus on drives and putts. The course meanders between the takeoff and
landing fields with noise a constant, but it is a very forgiving course
for bad drives and errant approach shots… some sand traps, but there were no
balls lost and none were found, even though the 18th hole, par 5
goes 548 yards uphill. Some water between 13th and 14th
hole shouldn’t come into play. Blues 6868; Whites 6412 and Red tees at 5675
yards. (808) 499-6490; Par 3 (808) 449-2093
Leilehua Golf Course – Wheeler/Schofield
Situated between Wheeler Army Air Force Base and
Schofield Barracks at Wahiawa —but not physically on either base—this
military course is open to the public as a “walk-on” only, i.e., no
scheduled T-time permitted. There are no water holes, but there are lots of
big trees and the rough is rough. Four of the blue T-ups exceed five
hundred yards and three of the whites. It sits between the Waianae and
Koolau Range in the Ewa Forest Preserve and is a lovely course to play.
Blues 6916; Whites 6521 and Red tees at 6174 yards.
Barber’s Point Golf Course - Navy
The hard to find Barber’s Point course is located inland
from the Barber’s Point Navy/Coast Guard Base on the Leeward side of the
island. It is one of the shorter courses in the military course complex
with the red tees playing at 5393 yards, the white at 6385 yards, with four
holes under two hundred yards and none over five hundred. There are no
hills and the course has very fine greens. The military
station itself is at Waimanalo Bay.
Whites 6385; Reds 5293. (808) 692-1911
Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course - Marine Corps
The military golf
course gem on Oahu is the Championship Marine Klipper Golf Course.
While slightly shorter than Hickam and Leilehua, this course plays tougher.
The sand dunes located along side of holes 13, 14 and 15 are listed in the
National Register of Historic Places. The thirteenth hole is touted as “home
of the Best Hole according to the DOD*”. The settings on these three holes
rest along side the beautiful Bay of Kaneohe with exceptionally photogenic
scenery. The back 9 have a couple of cardiac-type holes and basically are
not well marked, requiring next hole directional guesswork.
Kaneohe course is also mentioned as one of the world’s best military courses
and is consistently voted #1 by DOD patrons. The Koolau Mountains form the
front nine and the Pacific Coastline spans the back nine on the Mokapu
Peninsula, which is surrounded by Kaneohe Bay. The day before we played the
North and Windward side of Oahu received a record 23 inch rainfall, thus the
front nine was under water and was being sump-pumped out and not open for
play.. The course has both sand and water holes, especially after the
record setting rainfall. Driving range, chipping and putting greens are all
6559; Whites 6216; Reds 5577. (808) 254-1745
Marine Golf Course
as “one of the top 10 military courses in the world” according to military
island propaganda. The18 hole, par 72, 6406 yard course is located adjacent
to the Hickam course with both courses spanning a side of the H-1 highway
that runs through Honolulu towards the Leeward side of the island.
J. Nagorski Golf Course – Army
course is on Fort Shafter Military Reservation located inland off Mamala Bay
at the Makai (toward the sea) side of Oahu with the Ewa Forest Reserve on
its Mouka (mountain) side . It’s a hilly, 9-hole course and it plays at a
par 34 for its 2837 yards. (808) 438-9587
recommend staying at the Hale Koa complex while enjoying these great