You’ve anticipated this moment for a while. The starter calls your name. You select your driver and walk with a purpose onto the first tee box. Somehow your ball looks whiter sitting above the lush grass in the warm Hawaii sun. A couple of practice swings, a glance to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you and you’re off on an unbelievable round in Paradise.
With 15 golf courses and gorgeous weather year-round, Maui is one of the world’s premier golf destinations. The Valley Isle offers challenging play, spectacular layouts and enough thrills to satisfy even the most die-hard golf fanatic. Here are 3 of our favorite courses:
In South Maui, the Wailea Golf Club offers a trio of 18-hole, par-72 courses: Boasting wide open fairways, the Blue course is considered the easiest of the three; that is, if you can manage the 74 bunkers and four water hazards. The Gold course, named one of Golf Magazine’s ten best new courses in 1993, features ancient lava rock walls. The Emerald course, framed by sweeping views of Haleakala and the ocean, is highlighted by its signature 18th hole—a 553-yard, par-5 stretch of green with a challenging downhill slope.
Wailea’s Gold Course is the setting for the Wendy’s Champions Skins Game at Wailea, an annual event that brings together four of the sport’s greatest legends for two days of golf action. Past participants have included Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Raymond Floyd, Lee Trevino, and Tom Watson.
Neighboring Makena has a pair of championship courses, both designed by acclaimed architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Golfers here are challenged by the deep slopes and fast greens, but on the plus side, Makena is virtually free of strong winds.
Head west to Kaanapali’s two excellent 18-hole courses. The North course boasts one of Hawaii’s toughest finishing holes, with water hazards lined up on the right side and the green framed by a pair of bunkers on the left side. The North course is host to the annual Kaanapali Classic, a Champions PGA Tour event.
Kapalua Resort offers three championship courses: the Bay, Village, and Plantation. The Bay course’s fifth hole is renowned as one of the world’s most dramatic signature holes, requiring a strong tee shot over spectacular Oneloa Bay. The Plantation Course serves as host to the annual Mercedes Championships, a top-flight PGA Tour event that draws the game’s best, including Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Davis Love III, and Vijay Singh.
These are just the highlights. No matter what your skill level maybe, you’ll find a course to your liking on Maui, a true golfer’s paradise.