Travel tips: reader on the hunt for golf package deals from Hawaii to Michigan
WorldGolf.com reader Alan has written in to us with this golf travel question:
“Mr. Tucker, I enjoy reading your articles. I cannot afford some of the greens fees that are mentioned. Unfortunately, I have champagne taste and a beer budget. Is there a best time to visit Hawaii, for example? I also am interested in Michigan as I used to summer in Northport.”
Alan goes on to write his golf budget is about $50-75 per course, while hoping to find competitive golf package deals that keep the total stay-and-play bill under $100.
Hawaii’s courses don’t have much of a seasonal rate structure (you might save a few bucks in the summer compared to winter). For resorts, the low seasons tend to be mid-April thru mid-June and September thru early December, so you can likely score some good flight and hotel deals then.
Finding $50-75 green fees on good golf courses in Hawaii can be tough unless you stick to municipal courses, which in all likelihood will be crowded with locals (Local Hawaiians get an unbelievably good deal at most of these muni courses in the islands, to the tune of $10 or less at times - no wonder they call it paradise). For outsiders, popular munis like Wailua Golf Course on Kauai run about $40-75. Puakea Golf Club (not a muni but a public favorite) right by the airport in Lihue offers afternoon specials for as low as $59.
Since Oahu is the most populated island with the most courses, you’ll have your best chance to find deals here (flights are often cheaper to Honolulu compared to Maui or elsewhere as well). The bargain courses you play won’t be as good as say, Kapalua Plantation or Mauna Kea on Maui and Big Island respectively, but you’ll get a sufficient Hawaii golf experience. Considered the busiest golf course in America, Ala Wai Golf Course is just $42, but don’t expect knock-out conditions when you’ve got 145,000 rounds played here each year. A step up is the Pete Dye-designed Luana Hills Golf Club for $85 in the afternoon. Hawaii Kai offers a p.m. rate of $70 after 1 p.m. Ko’olau Golf Club can be played for $80 in the afternoon.
One pretty incredible stay-and-play package I just came across is Turtle Bay Resort’s unlimited golf package on either of their two courses, which starts at $159 (double occupancy required and minimum 4-night stay) and is running through the year. If your partner isn’t a golfer, they’ll receive an $80 per day resort credit.
If you’ve got the Hawaii golf itch, check out our brand new revamped website, HawaiiGolf.com, with course reviews, features, golf package and course guide details, and feel free to leave a few course reviews if you’ve played a course in Hawaii yourself.
The $50-75 range offers plenty more in northern Michigan around the Traverse City-Petoskey-Gaylord areas. In fact, few places in the world give you this kind of peak season golf value.
Dunmaglas Golf Course, a course formerly voted best in Michigan that flies under the radar a bit given its proximity to larger resorts like Boyne Highlands and Bay Harbor, but can be played as low as $49 in the afternoon.
Some of the best stay-and-play deals are around Bellaire golf courses like Hawk’s Eye and it’s partnering course, the Chief. Next door, Shanty Creek Resorts offers exceptional mid-week stay-and-play deals on their four courses, including my favorite, Tom Weiskopf’s Cedar River.
Another really cool deal I just came across via the Gaylord Golf Mecca is the “54-hole blowout.” For as little as $229, you’ll receive two nights at the Otsego Club, a round on the new Tribute at the Otsego Club (a dynamite, hilly course sort of like the Treetops courses), Tom Doak’s Black Forest and Wilderness Valley, a good walking course next to Black Forest. You’ll also get complimentary range tokens and a dinner.
And if you’re willing to end your trip with a bang, step just outside your $75 max window and play spectacular Bay Harbor Golf Club’s Quarry and Links nine after 2 p.m. for $99.
Hope this helps Alan, and if you end up making the trip we’d love to hear about it.
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