Golfing on Maui

Amazing Maui morning. Photo – soham_pablo at Flickr.com Creative Commons.

Playing golf on Maui is sure to be an unforgettable and almost surreal experience. Some of the most prestigious courses in the world are to be found here, and it just sounds impressive to say you have played golf on this Hawaiian Island paradise, doesn’t it? The golf courses on Maui have a reputation for being expensive, but if you look, there is actually something to suit every budget.

Links to Golf on: Molokai and LanaiOahuKauai

Some of the Best Golf Courses on Maui include:

The King Kamehameha Golf Club
2500 Honoapiilani Highway, Wailuku, Maui, HI 96793
Website: KamehamehaGolf.com
Yelp Rating: 4 Stars (based on 5 reviews)
Contact Details: email – info@kamehamehagolf.com or telephone (808) 249-0033
18-Hole Course: Par 72

The King Kamehameha Golf Club was designed by Ted Robinson (aka the King of Waterscapes) in 1991, and is located in idyllic surroundings – just beautiful Hawaiian terrain and no traffic or signs of habitation for miles. This is the only private 18-hole golf course on Maui, and it is par 72. The course is located in-between two inactive volcanoes (one that formed the West Maui Mountains, and the other being Haleakala), and the greens are maintained in always perfect condition.

The clubhouse at King Kamehameha Golf Club is considered to be one of the most innovatively designed in the world. Frank Lloyd Wright created the original plans for this building in 1949, but it wasn’t actually completed until 1988. The clubhouse covers an area of 74,000 square foot, and it contains a fully stocked pro-shop, a member’s dining area (Wai Kahe Room), Kahili Restaurant, hot tub, sauna, luxury spa, Jacuzzi, gym, lounge areas, and the locker room. The Ho’oheno Room (capacity 100) and Kahalawai Terrace (capacity 150) can be rented for special functions such as weddings.

This is a members-only club but visitors have the option of ‘Guest for a Day’ membership which costs $170 (as of mid-2013) – this includes a golf cart to use for the day. Members of other private golf clubs around the world may be able to play here as a ‘reciprocal club member’ – they just need to contact the club manager to see if they are eligible. Unlimited membership costs $24,500 with $5,335 annual fees – this means you can use the course whenever you like. Part-time membership costs $21,000 with $2,940 annual fees – this entitles you to 20 rounds of golf per year. There are also membership packages for the spouse of existing members and for children.

Waiehu Golf Course
Lower Waiehu Beach Road, Waiehu, HI 96793
Website: N/A
Yelp Rating: 2.5 stars (based on 2 reviews)
Contact Details: telephone – (808) 244-5934
18-Hole Course: Par 72

Waiehu is an 18-hole public golf course that was built in 1945. Players here get to enjoy some splendid views of the sea and Waihe’e Reef. The par-72 course itself isn’t too challenging, so highly skilled players may feel a bit underwhelmed. It can also get busy here with groups of up to six taking their time on the greens, so you can expect it to be slow going during these times. Players may notice a different feel to the course between the first nine holes (along the coast) of the course and the second nine (beside a mountain) – this is because the latter were not added until 33 years later. Waiehu Golf Course has hosted a number of amateur championship matches. It opens weekdays at 6:30 am. and on weekends and bank holidays at 5:30 am. – the course closes every day at 5:00 pm.

Waiehu clubhouse offers a reasonable number of amenities, all of it on-par with typical public courses. There is a pro-shop which is fully stocked with clubs and other golfing paraphernalia. The restaurant is open to the public, but it is also possible to book it for private functions. There is also free parking close to the clubhouse complex.

The greens fees for Waiehu Golf Course are affordable. Residents and active military personnel can play here for $10 on weekdays and weekends. Non-residents need to pay $55. It costs $20 to hire a golf cart (all prices correct as of mid-2013). Waiehu Golf Course also has a lighted driving range that is open to the public.

Elleair Maui Golf Club
1345 Piilani Highway, Kihei, HI 96753
Website: ElleairMauiGolfClub.com
Yelp Rating: 3.5 stars (based on 9 reviews)
Contact Details: email – mseki@elleairmauigolfclub.com or telephone (808) 874-0777
18-Hole Course: Par 71

Elleair is another public golf club which has been open since 1987. The course here is suitable for players of different skill levels – even those with a low handicap should find that there is plenty here to keep them challenged. The fairways are nice and wide. There are some nice views of the Pacific Ocean from a couple of the holes, and you also get to admire the West Maui Mountains. The greens (made from Bermuda turf grasses) here are kept in excellent condition. A game at this course starts off easy with a par-4 hole going downhill – overall the course is par-71. This course becomes more challenging when the trade winds are blowing, as you might imagine!

The facilities at Elleair have an excellent reputation – the staff members here are very friendly and helpful. Kono’s on the Green functions as the nineteenth hole. It offers some nice views of the course, and it is possible to dine and drink inside or outside. They have a fully qualified chef who is happy to serve up local dishes as well a good selection of burgers, pizzas, and pastas. The pro-shop is fully stocked with all the well-known brands, and they are also able to arrange golf club repairs.

Elleair Maui Golf Club has a lighted driving range and other practice facilities. They are also able to provide lessons with one of their four golf pros – it costs about $60 for a half-hour lesson (as of mid-2013).

The Elleair Maui Golf Club has a special offer at the moment (mid-2013) whereby people who register with them will receive a free round of golf on their birthday. They have a number of different packages available such as six rounds for the price of five ($300), Aloha Fridays ($55 for a round), weekday 9 holes ($15), and a two-round package ($110). Junior players get to play here for free if they are accompanied by a paying-adult.

Maui Country Club
48 Nonohe Street, Spreckelsville, Maui, HI 96779
Website: MauiCountryClub.org
Yelp Rating: N/A
Contact Details: telephone (808) 877-7893
9-Hole Course: Par 36

Maui Country Club is a private 9-hole golf course (par-36). Players can enjoy a full game by going around the course twice using a different tee. The layout makes this a great walking course, and it takes about two hours to do 9 holes an easy pace. The grounds here are well manicured and the greens are made from Bermuda grass. There are regular amateur tournaments played here each year, as well as weekly tournaments for men and women.

The facilities at Maui Country Club are top notch. The dining area in the clubhouse offers a nice view of the ninth hole. It is possible to eat or drink indoors or outdoors. It is also very family-friendly. Their menu includes specialty burgers made from Maui Cattle company beef. The pro shop is run by Mark Shimamura – he is not only a professional golfer, but he is also a certified club fitter and club repairer. Maui Country Club also has a large swimming pool, fitness gym, and six tennis hard courts.

Visitors to Maui Country Club pay $40 for 9 holes, or $70 for 18 holes (this includes the price of a cart). They have a special price on Mondays when it costs $24 for 9 holes, and $45 for 18 holes – this can only be booked the day before. Guests of a member of Maui Country Club pay the Monday price every day.

Kaanapali Kai Golf Course
2290 Kaanapali Parkway, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761
Website: KaanapaliGolfCourses.com
Yelp Rating: 3.5 stars (based on 27 reviews)
Contact Details: email – emailus@kaanapaligolfcourses.com or telephone (808) 661-3691
18-Hole Course: Par 70

Kaanapali Kai benefits from some amazing local scenery, and it is set in what used to be a sugar cane plantation – it is still possible to catch glimpses of the sugar cane steam train. This par-70 course has something to offer every level of player. The boundaries are marked by lava rock, and there are a number of natural canals that now act as water hazards. There are also plenty of colorful exotic flowers and coconut trees on the course, and this just adds to the attraction of the grounds.

Kaanapali Kai has a Hawaiian-style clubhouse overlooking the green of the 18th hole. There is a restaurant for those who wish to eat a meal, and there is also the Mango Café which serves snacks and beverages. The pro shop has a nice selection of clubs, logo shirts, golfing shoes, and balls. There are also locker facilities and shower rooms. Kaanapali Kai Golf Club has a driving range beside the clubhouse which stays open between 6:30 pm. and 4:30 pm.

Anyone staying at the Kaanapali Resort usually pays $150 for a round of golf. Those who are not staying at the resort need to pay $195. It is possible to get a cheaper Twilight rate ($95) if players book to tee-off after 14:00. All prices are correct as of mid-2013.

The Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course
1333 Maui Lani Parkway, Kahului, Maui, HI 96732
Website: DunesAtMauiLani.com
Yelp Rating: 4.5 stars (based on 16 reviews)
Contact Details: telephone (808) 873-0422
18-Hole Course: Par 72

The Dunes at Maui Golf Course was designed by Robin Nelson – he also designed a number of other popular courses in Hawaii and South East Asia. The 18-hole course is designed in a very traditional way, but it benefits from all the latest technology. This is a challenging course (72-par), especially the back nine, but this is also a fun place to play golf so it will be suitable for beginners as well as experts. The winds can be strong here, and this tends to spice up both the long and even the short games, depending on how hard they’re blowing.

The Dunes Clubhouse looks like a plantation-style mansion – it covers an area of 40,000 square feet. Most players will retire to the Cafe O’ Lei after they have completed a round. This bar and restaurant is tastefully designed and is large enough to seat up to 250 people – there is both indoor and outdoor seating. The bar is fully stocked and they have a good selection of snacks and meals created by Dana and Michael Pastula (they are both the chefs and the owners). There is also a pro shop in the clubhouse which stocks a good range of men and women’s golfing apparel along with clubs and other equipment.

The standard greens fee for Dunes Golf Course is $112. If players are willing to brave the midday sun (teeing-off at 11:00 am.), they only have to pay $99. There is also a twilight rate of $70 (after 2:00 pm). Players who wish to book another round only have to pay $50. They charge $30 for rental of a set of golf clubs and $10 for a pair of golfing shoes. The practice range at Dunes Golf Course opens daily from 6:30 am. until 7:30 pm (except on Wednesdays when it doesn’t open until 8:30 am.).

Pukalani Country Club
360 Pukalani Street, Pukalani, Maui, Hawaii 96768
Website: PukalaniGolf.com
Yelp Rating: 2.5 stars (based on 11 reviews)
Contact Details: telephone – (808) 572-1314
18-Hole Course: Par 72

Pukalani Country Club is located right on the slopes of Haleakala Mountain (an inactive volcano, towering some 10,000 feet above). The course enjoys a 1,100 foot elevation above sea level, so this is one course where you can look forward to some nice scenic views of the valley. Pukalani has a reputation for offering the right combination of an enjoyable golfing experience with reasonably priced green fees. The course was designed by Bob Baldock who has designed almost 70 courses around the US.

The old clubhouse at Pukalani was destroyed by a storm a few years back, but the new facilities are pretty good. They have an open-air dining area which offers a super view of the ninth and tenth holes. There are special events here throughout the week – Friday night is prime rib night, and they have live music on the first Tuesday of the month. The bar has a happy hour between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm. The pro shop opens between 6:30 am. and 6:00 pm. and sells the usual golfing equipment as well as branded apparel for men and women.

It costs $61 for visitors to play golf here before midday. The rates go down at twilight (12:00 pm. to 2:30 pm) to $35 and there is also a super-twilight rate (after 2:30 pm) of $31. Residents of Hawaii get a discount on these rates. It costs $25 to hire a cart and a set of clubs costs $35 before 2:30 pm and $25 after this. There is also a driving range which opens from 6:30 am. until 6:30 pm and it costs $4 for a full bucket of balls.

Makena Golf Course and Resort
5400 Makena Alanui, Wailea-Makena HI 96753
Website: MakenaResortMaui.com
Yelp Rating: N/A (previously 4.5 stars based on 20 reviews)
Contact Details: 800- 321-6284 (toll free) or (808) 874-1111
18-Hole Course: Par 72

Makena Golf course is currently closed for extensive renovation. It is due to reopen in early 2014.

Links to Golf on: Molokai and LanaiOahuKauai

Maui’s “Elleair” Golf Course – Video:

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