History

MOANALUA GOLF CLUB

Welcome to Moanalua Golf Club. The first golf course in Hawaii and one of the oldest in the nation. Moanalua Golf Club opened in 1898.

The Dawning of the First Century in Hawaii.

In Hawaiian folklore, Moanalua Valley is said to have been a rest area for people traveling to Honolulu from the Ewa plains. Moanalua Golf Club was developed by Mr. Samuel Mills Damon on land willed to him by Bernice Pauahi Bishop in 1884. Mr. Damon also built botanical gardens, fountains, a racetrack, and a Japanese tee garden on his vast estate.

In 1896 Mr. Damon brought his head gardener, Donald MacIntyre, from Scotland to design Moanalua Golf Club. The original design was an 18-hole layout using the slopes of Moanalua Valley along with the valley floor and the Moanalua Stream, which crosses many areas of the course to create natural hazards.

Mr. Damon opened his golf course to the public and golf became a fashionable days outing in Honolulu. The Honolulu Golf Club was founded at Moanalua, a club with no membership or greens fees. Mr. Damon wanted the golf course to be available to all people of Hawaii.

It was at Moanalua Golf Club that Hawaii’s first golf tournament, the Davies / Bishop Calabash Trophy was contested. A match between British golfers from Theo Davies & Co. and the Scottish bank officers from Bishop & Co. resulted in a lively competition for the trophy, which is on display today in the executive dining room at the home office of First Hawaiian Bank.

In 1901 S.E. Damon, son of Samuel Mills Damon reduced the 18-hole course to a 9-hole layout because as S.E. Damon said, “the latter number is sufficient for a warm climate such as we have here.”

Moanalua Golf Club’s par 36 semi-private course now measures approximately 3,000 yards and offers many challenges to golfers of all skill levels.

Iron play is a premium at Moanalua Golf Club as our Paspalum greens are small and built above many fairways to make chipping and pitching a daunting challenge.

The first hole measures 263 yards with out of bounds right and left as well as a water hazard crossing the fairway. Choose your shots carefully on this difficult opening hole.

The finishing hole is a narrow par four measuring 385 yards that bristles with hazards. The golfer faces out of bounds left, a water hazard that must be carried with your tee shot and extends the entire right side of the hole before crossing the fairway in front of the green. This hole will test your course management skills like no other in Hawaii.

Once only accessible by streetcar and a four-mile walk or horse-and-buggy ride, Moanalua Golf Club is now easy to reach from downtown by taking the H-1 west to highway 72 to the Moanalua exit. Turn right onto Ala Aolani St. and the golf course is about 300 yards on your left hand side. Moanalua Golf Club is privately owned by its members, but is open to limited public play. Facilities include a putting green, restaurant, clubhouse and meeting rooms.