Hawaii's sandy beaches and colorful luaus are well known to visiting families, but perhaps lesser known is that the Aloha State also abounds in family-friendly golf venues.
Many of Hawaii's courses, both public and at resorts, offer family-friendly programs, providing parents a great way to get keiki (the Hawaiian word for children) to drop the video games and pick up a club.
Youth participation in the sport is way up. PGA Junior League Golf membership has surged to 42,000 boys and girls. Who knows? A family golf vacation may inspire the next Michelle Wie or Jordan Spieth.
Here are five family-friendly golf venues throughout the Aloha State:
• Wailea Golf Club on Maui: Each of Wailea's three courses feature colorful tee markers, making their keiki course shorter to encourage young players while keeping them from getting frustrated. After 3 p.m., kids play free when accompanied by a paying adult. The offer includes free junior club rentals.
Nearby resorts: Fairmont Kea Lani, Four Seasons Resort Maui.
• Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows on the Island of Hawaii: Mauna Lani features two standard resort courses and a third course specifically for families. A family can play a round on the nine-hole WikiWiki Course in about an hour without worrying about holding up seasoned golfers. Customized lessons are available, and junior clubs rentals are free.
Note: The hotel closes on Oct. 1 for a 14-month renovation, but its golf courses will remain open.
• Ko Olina Golf Club on Oahu: Ko Olina is one of only two resort-zoned parcels on Oahu. This meticulously planned resort features four man-made lagoons and resort golf, which is open to the public. Juniors accompanied by a paying adult golf free daily after 3 p.m., when there is often a lull in the action, so families can take their time. Personalized instruction at the Ko Olina Golf Academy is available at a junior rate.
Nearby resorts: Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina; Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa.
• Princeville Makai Golf Club on Kauai: The club's Junior Golf Program makes family golf affordable. When accompanied by a paying adult, children ages 6 to 15 play for free after 10 a.m., while 16- and 17-year-olds play for half the adult rate. Junior club rentals are free. Complimentary instruction is available when taking a class with a paying adult. Keep it fun with keiki rules, including using a "dad wedge" or "foot wedge" for relief from bunkers or out-of-bounds to make these hazards less frustrating.
Nearby resort: St. Regis Princeville.
• Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu: Monday through Friday, resort guests can bring juniors out to play for free after 3 p.m. Junior clubs are included. Private and semiprivate lessons for juniors are available.
Keiki rules: Score with a happy face or a sad face instead of numbers. Keep the game moving by playing "best ball" to take the focus off the worst shot.