COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Statement                                                                                                  
Please read carefully and check our website before your trip for rates, programs & updates
March 23, 2021

For almost three decades, has endeavored to provide outstanding value and comprehensive information for those intrigued by a Hawaii golf vacation. However, due to the Covid-19 crisis, we are hard-pressed to do what we do best.

Hawaii—its golf courses, accommodations, car rental agencies, restaurants and tourist attractions—has been hit hard by the pandemic. For all intents and purposes, the state was closed for the last three quarters of 2020. Although there was a sort of opening of the tourism in early 2021, there are strict rules for Covid testing and quarantine that must be investigated and complied with. Unfortunately, the rules vary from island to island and from week to week, so much so that it is impossible for us to keep up with and disseminate.

The fact that each airline, rental car agency, accommodation & golf course also creates its own rules and regulations, in accord with municipal and state regulations make keep up with it all that much more demanding.

Accordingly, we treaded very carefully in terms of the 2021 (Feb. 1, 2021 thru Jan. 31, 2022) PROGRAM.

All GOLFHAWAIICARDs issued in Jan. thru Jun. are valid through Jul. 31, 2021. GHCs ordered for July and beyond will be processed late in June (in time for your July visit, so have no fear).

BE ADVISED: We will continue to offer quotes and bookings for vacation packages for 2021, which must include two basic travel elements (air/vehicle/lodging, or air/vehicle, or air/lodging, or lodging/vehicle). Click here to get a vacation package quote. However, we can no longer quote or book vehicle-only due to current market conditions (see below).  That may change later in the year.

All that being said, we do not expect more than a trickle of golf visitors to Hawaii during the first half of 2021. With that in mind, it will be wise to check our website frequently and wait as long as possible to make golf plans. There will be no problem whatsoever making tee times one day before you intend to play or even the same day.

In order to carry on in the future, we must take measures that make economic sense. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any golf course, restaurant or attraction will be open for business from one week to the next or that rules will not change. We are truly sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Here are some sub-categories that you can and should review for informational purposes…

On March 18, it was announced that the state has administered over one-half million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Exactly what does that mean to Hawaii travel resumption?

First, according to the CDC, Hawaii now ranks in the top-10 per-capita in vaccines administered. Hospitality and travel industry workers have been given the opportunity to be vaccinated, as have other front-line workers. That’s good news for those vaccinated and for the visitors with whom they’ll interact. Yet, at the same time, the CDC continues to say we should not travel. Moreover, new travel guidelines for those who have been vaccinated are still to be disseminated. “Travel increases your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Accordingly, the CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time.”

The three remaining issues of concern to the CDC…
(1)  Are the vaccines are truly effective against variants?
(2)  Can vaccinated individuals asymptomatically spread COVID?
(3)  How long does vaccination last?

CDC states: “Until we know more about those questions, everyone—even people who’ve had their vaccines—should continue taking basic prevention steps when recommended.” And, the CDC indicates not enough people have been vaccinated to deem that travel is safe once again.

Covid numbers are and have been minimal in Hawaii. However, the state has wisely chosen to protect residents and the overall lack of ICU hospital beds. The neighbor islands (Big Island, Maui & Kauai) have very few ICU beds and small hospitals. In fact, some of those islands have as few as five or six ICU beds. The chosen scenario basically revolves around keeping the virus out of the island state. 

The very real question you must address: Are you prepared for a bout of the virus in terms of quarantine, available health care, insurance and the recovery period, which could involve weeks of added room nights and other assorted expenses? If you are not extremely healthy and well insured, or your insurance carrier does not cover you out-of-state, or you are not prepared for a significant added expense, visiting Hawaii can be very tricky until more folks are vaccinated.

If you’re planning travel to Hawaii, be sure you know ALL the constantly changing rules, regulations and Covid-19 protocols. Every airline, every island, every vehicle rental, every accommodation, every restaurant and every golf course have varying protocols. Please be fully aware of what the rules are before you visit!

There have been two types of course closures in Hawaii during the past several months. Upon information, two courses—Koolau GC on Oahu & Volcano GC on The Big Island—have shuttered permanently. We also know that Puakea GC on Kauai and Kahili GC on Maui are closed indefinitely. The other course closures are generally found at multi-course resorts, where operators have decided to open only one course rather than two in the interest of cost efficiency. This is the case at Waikoloa Resort and Mauna Lani Resort on The Big Island.

There are also various new rules and regulations at courses regarding Covid-19 testing, cart sharing and restricted operating hours (opening a little later and closing earlier than what has been customary). While making a tee time is now possible on day of and day before, there is absolutely no reason to make a tee time more than a week out. The day before is just fine. What is most important is to call and inquire as to best rates, specials, new rules and hours of operation. 

Hawaii’s rental agencies returned more than 30,000 vehicles to the mainland during the middle of the year. This means there are far fewer available vehicles. Accordingly, the price has gone way up due to the reduced inventory. Our rates more than doubled, so we are not offering vehicles as a stand-alone offering at this time. There are better rates out there right now that we cannot compete with and we urge you to shop around.

If you have visited Hawaii during the past three years, expect sticker shock. Your best value will be full-size, premium and certain SUVs, not the small vehicles that are generally not well suited for golfers. The best online rate we’ve been able to find is about $529 per-week, inclusive of taxes/fees/surcharges. We advise you shop early and reserve a vehicle with no prepayment. Then, shop it out every couple of weeks and react to the best deal. We can still include vehicles at competitive pricing within our complete packages and land packages. If you are planning to visit Hawaii during the last quarter of the year, there is a chance we will receive a worthwhile contract and be able to offer the best rates at that time. Please contact us again after August 15th.

If you are planning to visit Hawaii during the last quarter of the year, there is a chance we will receive a worthwhile contract and be able to offer the best rates at that time. Please contact us again after August 15th.

The lodging scenario is the opposite of the vehicle scenario. There are plenty of accommodations available to visitors, but not necessarily at bargain prices. Hotels are in flux right now. While most were intending to open prior to the Christmas holiday season, a few openings were postponed. Most hotels are open (Kauai’s hotels may be the exception). Condos and villas are generally open for business, cheaper, carry few or no special fees or surcharges, and may be much better in terms of social distancing and space. Again, make sure a full refund is possible due to the pandemic. More on this in future posts.

All the airlines have significantly reduced schedules to and from Hawaii from what they were in 2019. When inquiring and booking, be sure to be fully informed on ‘cancellation’ and ‘change’ rules & fees. By all means, stay away from non-refundable fares. Since Southwest Airlines entered the Hawaii market in late 2018 with some inter-island service, we expect they will be particularly aggressive price wise and may add schedule more readily than the legacy carriers. Hawaiian Airlines has announced new service from four mainland cities, including Orlando, starting in late-March 2021.