I am standing on the shore in front of the biggest waves I have ever seen in my life, waves that tower like a huge moving, shimmering translucent wall. Breaking dangerously close to the beach, no power on Earth could move me to get into the water; anyone who goes in would be swept out to sea and drown.
“Let’s go! The water’s perfect!” I yell as I plunge into the churning, foaming water. For a traveller used to seeing the calm, almost dead waters around Singapore, Hawaii is a real eye opener. But it is not just the waves of the North Shore on Oahu Island that makes Hawaii different, it is truly one special place.
This is an island of activity. Whether you’re learning to surf along the crowded bikini-clad beaches of Waikiki, hiking through the rich rainforests of Waimea Valley, or watching the brilliant pastels of dusk fade off of Sunset Beach, you’ll find variety at every turn on Oahu.
Pearl Harbor and Waikiki
On the day we visited Pearl Harbour, the rain was a sober reminder to the site of the Japanese attack on the naval warships stationed in Hawaii, the act that triggered the United States official entry into World War Two. The memorial sits on top the battleship USS Arizona, still visible in the shallows where Japanese warplanes attacked and sank it on December 7, 1941.
With a bit of creative planning, we scheduled our trip to cover a weekend in Honolulu with the sole intention of experiencing what the great state of Hawaii can offer in terms of nightlife.
The boutique hotel we are staying at, the Aqua Surf and Spa, is within the main tourist strip that is downtown Waikiki and the gorgeous beach a little farther down.
Main street here is a lively stretch, with buskers touting their brand of entertainment to the masses as we strolled around looking for grub and ended up with a local favourite, luncheon meat on rice with two eggs sunny side up.
Modern cuisine of Hawaii is a fusion of many cultures, particularly of American, Chinese, Japanese and Polynesian influences. Local restaurants serve a lunch plate featuring two scoops of rice, simplified macaroni salad, with toppings ranging from a hamburger patty to spam, a fried egg, and brown gravy. Known as a Loco Moko, it is like what fried rice is to us.
When the time came for golf, the first we headed to was Pearl course at Pearl Country Club. Designed back in 1967 by Japanese golf architect Akira Sato, recent history tells us it is also the unofficial home course to the state’s most famous golfing export, Michelle Wie.
This course has stood the test of time in terms of its layout and playability. A public course with reasonable rates (USD75 - weekday and USD85 - weekend) the condition is well kept and resembles that of a private club.
Graced with stately trees, this beautiful layout challenges all golfers with its elevated terrain, undulating fairways and winds. It also overlooks Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Missouri, and the Waianae Mountain Range to the west.
I took a moment to take in the sights and remember the WWII vets whose names I’ve seen gracing the various memorials before hitting my first tee shot down the par 72, 6,787-yard course.
A fair play that allows for aggressiveness off the tee, this is a course that suits my eye. With wide valley-like fairways that help slightly straying flights and well-spaced trees that lets you find your golf ball and hit it, the Pearl course is certainly a good start to any vacation round on the island of Oahu.
Formerly operated by Kamehameha Golf Course and Restaurant, they have changed management since November 1, 2020 to Antares Gold Management.
Another public course that is reputable and a smidgen more evolved than Pearl Country Club is Kapolei Golf Course, located just 11.5 miles west of Pearl Harbor. Its location is also known as the golfing centre of Honolulu with three other courses – Hawaii Prince Golf Club, Barbers Point Golf Course and Hoakalei Country Club - literally at each other’s doorstep.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Taylormade Spider GT Putters
A New Identity And Performance
Resilient Scheffler Captures First Masters Title With Thrilling Victory
Spieth Fends Off Chasing Pack To Trounce Cantlay In A Playoff Win
Thai Teen Triumphs In Playoff For First Title Win
Kim Hangs On For Gritty Victory
SHINJI GOLF FUNDRAISER 2022
One-Michelin Starred Sushiya Raises $100,000 in Pocket Money
CORALES PUNTACANA CHAMPIONSHIP
Rookie Ramey Reigns After Late Birdie Binge
IF THE SHOE FITS...
A Primer On Modern Shoe Selection And Care
FOOTJOY TOUR ALPHA GOLF SHOES
An Innovative Launchpad For Power
Scary triangle or not, getting lost here is a golfer's dream come true as we explore the blue skies and seas of golfing in Bermuda Island.
Let's All Move to Hawaii...
Mai Tais at Zuckerberg’s? Golf with Bezos? Oh no, is that Peter Thiel? Keeping up with the billionaire brigade inside the private playgrounds of America’s most exclusive getaway.
VET SUICIDE SCANDAL
Struggling war heroes face more risk at home
CORVETTE IN PARADISE
This Big-block 1958 Corvette Was Rebuilt Beyond Restomod but Stays Nostalgic
Ask the Marshall — Saloons, Paniolos and Telegraphs
Was the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City, Kansas, an integrated saloon during 1876 to 1886, the height of the cattle drive era? This rare interior photo of Chalk Beeson's famous Front Street bar shows bartender Lo Warren (front, right), a Black bartender and cowboys sitting at the rear of the saloon.
Eyes on Irises
There's more to this floral family than can be seen in the backyard.
SPAIN JUDGE NIXES BACKUP SITE FOR DISPUTED HAWAII TELESCOPE
A Spanish judge in a decision cheered by environmentalists has put a halt to backup plans for the construction of a giant telescope in the Canary Islands — eliminating at least for now the primary alternative location to the preferred spot in Hawaii, where there have been protests against the telescope.
FAMILIES URGE USING NEW DNA TECH TO ID PEARL HARBOR UNKNOWNS
William Edward Mann enlisted in the Navy after graduating from high school in rural Washington state. A guitar player, he picked up the ukulele while stationed in Hawaii.
LOVE AMERICAN STYLE
Arielle Vandenberg has beauty, warmth, and charm as the host of Love Island. But what does she really want to add to her on-screen achievements? A marriage.
A WEDDING & BABY FOR DEFIANT BRITNEY
Thumbing her nose at conservators to live own life at last