Mamala Bay Golf Course 1

A Standby Twosome at Mamala Bay Golf Course

In Hawaii, golf is a competitive business.

Notice how I said business, and not just a competitive sport.

There are several military golf courses on Oahu, and as such it can be very challenging to even get a tee time to play on one of these. Military personnel from all branches of service and all ranks essentially compete with each other to get a spot on these very reasonably priced courses.

Since courses are primarily accessible to military personnel (accompanied by their family members and guests), and there’s a limited inventory of not only courses but daily tee times, players don’t simply call up and make a tee time to play like you would on a civilian course. Tee times are offered on a lottery basis; tee times for Saturday/Sunday may be made as soon as the Wednesday beforehand, and priority is given to certain branches of the military and the service member’s rank.

Pete and I learned this firsthand last weekend when we ventured out to Mamala Bay Golf Course on Joint Base Pearl Harbor/Hickam (JBPHH). Not having experienced this limited supply and high demand situation before (on a golf course, anyway), we were quite surprised when we dialed up the pro shop and learned that not only were there zero tee times available for the weekend, but that they could only offer us standby status should we show up to play.

Now, being the gambler that I am, and generally having what I consider to be good luck, I felt pretty good about being able to play as a standby twosome. So, off we went to Mamala Bay.

Mamala Bay Golf Course

As luck would have it, we were able to get on the course within a half hour of our arrival. After hitting a bucket of balls to warm up, spritzing ourselves with sunscreen (which didn’t seem to work too well on this über-pale girl, as I still got a bit red), and filling our water bottles, we were off to the first tee.

Pete and I’ve played golf together a few times before this outing, and he really seems to enjoy it (although he does get frustrated that he can’t use his brute strength in golf the same way he could in football). This was my first time playing golf in a while, and five months pregnant at that! One of my biggest concerns was what to wear, since I don’t have any cute, maternity golf skirts…yet.

Mary Golf

On Oahu, there are numerous military golf courses: Barbers Point Golf Course (Navy), Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course (Marines), Navy-Marine Golf Course (Navy/Marines), Leilehua Golf Course (Army), Walter J. Nagorski Golf Course (Army), Hickam Par 3 Golf Course (Air Force/Navy), and Mamala Bay Golf Course (Air Force/Navy). There may be more than these, but these are the ones that both Pete and I have heard about.

It was a beautiful day to be outside, and to play golf on a course that was literally right on the ocean and adjacent to Honolulu International Airport. Hickam AFB shares a runway with the airport, so during a round it’s quite common to see large jets coming and going in the sky in addition to the little inter-island hopper planes.

Mamala Bay Golf Course 2

I’m sure we’ll play again someone soon, and hopefully when we do I’ll be sporting a fancy golf skirt.

Image credits: Jet Set With Mary and Google Maps

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