Sure, Maui is known for its pristine oceans, luxury resorts, and waterfall-filled jungles, but the “Valley Isle” has a lot more to offer when it comes to recreation than the average traveler might expect. Among the obvious surfing, snorkeling, and hiking, Maui is also a world-class destination for golf, with some of the most sought-after golf tournaments in the world taking place within its unique landscape. Enjoy a relaxing round while nestled at the base of volcanic mountains, in the middle of the wild rainforest, or along the clear blue coastline under the warm Hawaiian sun.
Widely considered the best course in the entire state, the Plantation Course at Kapalua should be on every golfer’s bucket list. Most famously, this 7,596-yard par 73 course is the setting for the PGA TOUR’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions that takes place each January. While legends the likes of Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, and Justin Leonard have graced the green here, the course offers wide fairways and plenty of space for average-leveled golfers as well. Even better, the course’s location along the West Maui Mountains gives golfers a view of the ocean from almost every hole.
Maui’s only 18-hole private golf club can be found on the slopes of the West Maui Mountains, 750 feet above sea level. After a round of golf, members can hit up the club's 74,000-square-foot clubhouse designed by Frank Lloyd Wright with views of Haleakala above and the sea below. If you’re just visiting or don’t have the funds for a full membership, contact the club to see if they’re running one of their “Member for a Day” package promotions.
This beautiful course near the Kahului Airport has sand dunes at every corner. The only course in the state built on natural sand dune terrain, there’s a nod to sustainability that every golfer can appreciate here. Unlike the majority of modern-day golf courses, minimal earth was moved during the design and construction of The Dunes at Maui Lani. The only thing better than the mountain is the local-favorite Cafe O’Lei restaurant right on property.
The Blue Course at Wailea Golf Club is also known as the “Grand Lady of Wailea,” and as the first course built at the historic property back in 1972, it is easy to imagine why. Enjoy coastal vistas of Ma’alaea Bay alongside the club’s lakes and coral sand bunkers, scattered throughout 6,765 yards. Right on the foothills of 10,000-foot dormant Mount Haleakala volcano, the 18-hole course not only offers incredible views but protection from the famous Maui winds as well.
Considered the most difficult of the courses at the Wailea Golf Club, the Gold Course is as challenging as it is picturesque. Golfers can take full advantage of the exotic floral greenery and the stunning ocean views of Molokini while their skills are certainly put to the test. Rugged lava rock formations in-between holes and smaller fairways earn this course its nickname as the “thinking player’s course.”
The Emerald Course at Wailea has been called one of the most women-friendly courses in North America, giving it a reputation that the property is extremely proud of. One of the course’s most talked-about features is the 2.7-million-gallon lake boarded by a double green shared by the 10th and 17th holes.
If you’ve watched a major professional tournament in the last few years in Hawaii, chances are at least one of them has taken place on the grounds of the Kapalua Bay Course. The iconic property has hosted more than 20 professional tournaments over the years (the most in the state) since it first opened in 1975, while still maintaining a friendly, down-to-earth vibe. The course’s signature hole—which requires a shot over Oneloa Bay—has thwarted many players, so be ready!
The Ka’anapali Kai Course on Maui’s west coast is known as one of the island’s most versatile courses. It can be played by both easy-going and skilled golfers who want to enjoy the gentle slopes and wide open spaces, all while taking in the ocean views of Molokai and Lanai islands in the background. Be sure to check out the course’s Twilight package to catch an epic sunset session and the Kids Play Free promotion where children (ages 7-17) play free with paying adults after 2:30 p.m.
This 18-hole, 6,700-yard course opened back in 1962, and is one of only two Hawaii courses designed by famed American golf course architect, Robert Trent Jones Senior. One of the best features here is the 5th hole, which takes golfers directly down to famous Black Rock Beach. The course has a rich history of legendary golfing throughout the years, having hosted Champions TOUR Ka’anapali Classic and LPGA Kemper Cup in the past. According to the property, Arnold Palmer himself once called the 18th hole at Kaanapali Royal one of the best, most challenging finishing holes he’d ever played.
Waiehu Golf Course
Waiehu is undeniably a local favorite on the island, thanks to the highly reduced rates for residents and the nearby oceanfront Waiehu Beach Park and Waihe’e Reef. You’ll often find a number of local golf leagues here enjoying the green on their days off. The course is situated between the two towns of Waih’e and Waiehu, and features a clubhouse complex with a restaurant, pro shop, and starter’s booth. It is easily accessible from the north shore-spanning Kahekili Highway.
"Pukalani" translates to the Hawaiian "Entrance to Heaven,” a name that becomes all-too obvious once golfers catch sight of the Upcountry Maui views from the course. The property overlooks the ocean and is situated high enough (1,100 feet above sea level to be exact) to provide the most stunning panoramic views of the rest of the island.