Golf Courses in Fiji | A ‘slice’ of Luxury in Paradise

Golfing at the Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa

Golf has become one of the leading sports in Fiji, and with Vijay Singh being the Fijian ambassador and representative across the world, the sport has become very popular as a pastime with the local population. Fiji, as a nation, has become a tourism destination for the sport after hosting the Fiji International between 2014 and 2018. With over 15 different courses of varying calibre distributed across the main two islands, you will not be short of options.  We delve into the three different types of golf courses available: local, resort, and international; the average costs for a round of…

Table of Contents

Golf CourseHolesYardsParLocationType
Denarau Golf and Racquet Club18715072DenarauResort
Nadi Airport Golf Club18588270NadiLocal Course
Natadola Bay Championship Golf18717972NadiChampionship
The Pearl Golf & Country Club18690872Pacific HarbourChampionship
Fiji Golf Club18571972SuvaLocal Course
Laucala Island18– – –72TaveuniResort
Ba Golf Course9487469BaLocal Course
Labasa Golf Club9552270LabasaLocal Course
Lautoka Golf Club9546469LautokaLocal Course
The Naviti Resort9170030Coral CoastResort Course
Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort9183931Coral CoastResort Course
Soqulu Golf and Country Club9129330TaveuniResort Course
Novotel Nadi9– – –– –NadiResort Course
Koro Sun Resort Golf Course9– – –– –SavusavuResort Course
Namale Fiji Resort9– – –– –SavusavuResort Course
Table of Golf Courses in Fiji

Golf Attire

Naviti Resort Golf Course with couple putting on the green in Fiji
Couple at Naviti Resort Golf Course | Image: Supplied

As the table above outlines, there are three different types of golf courses available in Fiji:

Local Golf Course

Starting with the LOCAL GOLF COURSE, which normally has a local golf club attached that caters to the Fijian Market. The golf clubhouse is normally a small outbuilding that is typically not in good order, provides a nice cold beer, and has a small restaurant that serves the patrons (members and day guests). So if you want a cold locally produced beverage and to mingle with the locals but are not too worried about the standards of upkeep on the greens and fairways, Then this is an option you should consider. The courses are normally empty throughout the week as most of the members are employed elsewhere, so you would have the fairways to yourself.  Typically 9 Hole Courses

The attire is extremely relaxed here; as long as you are covered appropriately and wear golf shoes, you’re good to go. Although the golf courses may not be of the highest quality, as mentioned above, The locals take a lot of pride in being fully paid-up members.

Resort Golf Course

The golf courses available at the FIJI RESORTS have been specifically designed to provide a relaxing and enjoyable round of golf for their guests. With manicured lawns and facilities to match, they provide the ultimate overall experience before, during, and after your round of golf. They have some of the most picturesque Instagrammable venues you could hope for. The courses are normally 9 holes in size and provide you with all the equipment, high-class restaurants to have a meal and bars that stock the majority of the international beers and local beverages. It’s perfect to grab a round at a time that suits you.

The attire at the local golf courses is relaxed, but they still require you to wear knee-high pants and a skirt for the ladies, with the appropriate footwear.

Championship and Internationally Accredited Golf Courses

For the more serious golfer, there are plenty of Championship courses around the main islands of Viti Levu. The facilities are simply outstanding, with teams of groundsmen tending to the fairways every day to maintain international standards. These ranges are designed to challenge the world’s best, with coastal winds adding an additional element of difficulty on certain days.

The cost of a round of golf on one of these Championship courses is considerably higher than at resorts and local alternatives; expect to pay anywhere from 150 to 350 FJD for a round of golf, depending on the time of year, golf cart inclusivity, hiring of Clubs, etc.

Like any other event or venue you attend, dressing appropriately elevates the overall experience. The most prestigious golf championship courses in Fiji are no different; they require you to dress correctly.  Men must wear golf shorts with belt loops, collared shirts, and golf footwear with socks.  Ladies, golf slacks, culottes, skirts, dresses, or shorts must be worn at an acceptable length. Tops must have a collar or sleeves. and golf footwear must be worn.

Standard Golf Dress Code for Ladies and Gentleman at Prestigious Golf Courses
Standard Golf Dress Code for Ladies and Gentleman at Prestigious Golf Courses

Average Green Fee

Golfers at Mocambo Golf Course, Fiji
Golfers at Mocambo Golf Course, Fiji | Image: Supplied

These prices should not be taken as literal costs; they may fluctuate up or down depending on the time of year. They are designed to give you an average cost of what you would be expected to pay to use or hire certain equipment or for a round of golf. It is always recommended to reach out to the particular venue and ask specific questions; all the links are in the table above. The average cost of a well-deserved tee time is as follows:

Local Green Costs are around 20–30 FJD for a round of 9 holes; typically, rentals for Golf clubs, buckets of balls, or a golf cart are priced separately and can range from 10–20 FJD for the balls and 30–50 FJD for the hiring of Golf Clubs or a golf cart. At the clubhouse, a cold beer will set you back around 6-7 FJD, with a basic meal around 10–15 FJD.

At the resorts, the cost of a round of golf will be around 100–140 FJD; this typically includes all the equipment, and some venues might incorporate the golf cart rental. You would typically incur the high cost of alcohol, with a meal setting you back 20–40 FJD for a light lunch.

Championship courses are priced around 250–350 FJD for a round of golf, likely including a golf cart and bucket of balls. They would charge a similar price at the championship clubhouse for beverages and meals as at the resort.

Fiji International Golf Tournament

2018 Fiji International Champion Gaganjeet Bhullar holding up the winning trophy, backdrop Natadola Beach Golf Course and Coast Line
2018 Fiji International Champion Gaganjeet Bhullar holding up the winning trophy (Courtesy of Fiji International)
20181STINDGaganjeet Bhullar-1470696966274
2NDAUSAnthony Quayle-1375667163275
3RDRSAErnie Els-1272706965276
20171STAUSJason Norris-1469687067274
2NDAUSJames Marchesani-1071706770278
3RDAUSDavid McKenzie-1068717267278
20161STUSABrandt Snedeker-1669657068272
2NDAUSMichael Hendry-773686872281
3RDAUSAndrew Evans-670707171282
20151STUSAMatt Kuchar-4– – –– – –– – –– – –284
20141STAUSSteven Jeffress−10– – –– – –– – –– – –278
Table: Fiji International Golf Tournament (2014 – 2018)

“With a potential broadcast reach to more than 400 million people across 40 countries, it will feature Fiji as a top golf and tourist destination in millions of homes around the globe.” Prime Minster of Fiji Frank Bainimarama

From the year 2014 to the year 2018, the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways was played at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course, which boasts breathtaking views of the Coral Coast.

Enticed by the tropical destination, Fiji International attracted some of the world’s best golfers since its inaugural staging in 2014, including Fijian hero and three-time Major champion Vijay Singh, 2016 champion Brandt Snedeker, 2015 champion Matt Kuchar, Steven Bowditch, Boo Weekley, Nick Price, Robert Allenby, Heath Slocum, Liang Wenchong, and Anirban Lahiri.

History of Vijay Singh

Vijah Singh Professional Golf Player walking on the golf course taking his glove off
Vijay Singh (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

In a land where rugby football is far and away the dominant sport, it is remarkable that Fiji’s best-known sportsman is not a rugby player but a practitioner of what is definitely a minority sport in his native land: golf.

Vijay Singh rose from humble beginnings. He was born on February 22, 1963, in the sugar milling town of Lautoka in western Viti Levu, a descendant of Grimits, Indians who had been brought to Fiji by the British colonial government to work on sugarcane plantations in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The name he was given, Vijay, means ‘victory’ in Hindi, perhaps a portent of things to come.

His father, Mohan Singh, worked at the Lautoka sugar mill but later took up employment as an engineer at Nadi Airport, Fiji’s international airport, which had been established by the United States armed forces as part of their line of defence in the Pacific during the Second World War. Mohan was an avid golfer and became captain of Nadi Airport Golf Club.

Vijay’s interest in golf began when his father asked him to caddy for him at the age of ten, a job known in Fijian English as ‘carry boy’. By dint of the incredible talent and work ethic that has remained with him to this day, he soon graduated to player, and in 1980, while still only 17 years old, he won the Fiji Amateur Open. The next year, he won the Nadi Open. His appetite for international golf was whetted when he represented Fiji in the 1980 World Amateur Golf Teams Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina, and the USA—the first time Fiji had featured in an international golf tournament.

By 1982, he had made so much progress that he turned professional and started out playing in Australia, moving on from there to Malaysia to compete on the South East Asian Tour, where he won the Malaysian PGA championship in 1984. There followed a difficult time when he worked in Borneo as a club professional, keeping the wolf from the door by doing menial tasks such as giving lessons, mowing the greens, and working as a shop assistant.

Then began the long, hard slog: the Safari tour in Africa (he won the Nigerian Open in 1988 and 1989), the European circuit, the UK tour, and the Australia-New Zealand circuit, all the while honing his skills with constant practise. His rise to international stardom was not meteoric but the gradual result of constant hard work and dedication.

In 1993, he joined the PGA Tour and was acclaimed rookie of the year after coming in fourth. 1994 was a difficult year for him as he battled back problems, but he made a comeback in 1995, winning the Phoenix Open, the Buick Classic, and the Passport Open. He again hit a poor patch in 1996 but bounced back in 1997, winning the Buick Open and also the South African Open, the Memorial Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, and the World Match Play in England. In 1998, he reached another milestone in his career by winning his first major, the United States PGA Golf Championship, followed by the Sprint International in the same week. In 2003 and again in 2004, he was the biggest money winner in professional golf, and in 2005, he became the youngest golfer ever to be elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame during his lifetime.

At 6’2″ (1.88 metres) tall, Vijay is a true gentle giant, famous for his long drives, deft putting, and absolute dedication to the game, as witnessed by the time he spends on the practise range. While he enjoys success, he is not an extrovert and is indeed a very private person, even shy. Noted also for his clean living and respectful manner, he is married with one son and remains a Fiji citizen, being proud to carry the flag of Fiji wherever he plays. This unofficial role as ambassador of Fiji led to a popular move to grant him a diplomatic passport in 2004. He has achieved the almost impossible task of bringing together the different communities in Fiji. While many indigenous Fijians believe that the term “Fijian” should only refer to them and not to the other communities now living in Fiji, everyone is perfectly happy when the overseas press refers to Vijay as a “Fijian golfer”.

The demands of his career mean that Vijay now lives in the United States and spends most of his time away from Fiji. However, he has by no means forgotten the land of his birth. In 2005, he returned to his homeland to supervise the beginning of construction of a gold course he himself designed, situated close to his birthplace, at Natadola in the province of Nadroga in southwestern Viti Levu.

With an honourable appearance at the Fiji International in the years of 2014–2018. He truly is an inspiration to the younger population of Fiji for what is possible if you dedicate yourself to your dreams.

Video: Golf Courses in Fiji