Maui is famous for its beautiful sandy beaches, warm weather and spectacular golf courses. Several resort areas offer a choice of different course designs and layouts, including Kapalua Resort on West Maui, Wailea and Makena.
Makena Beach & Golf Resort in offers a secluded beach, a tennis center and a Robert Trent Jones, Jr-designed golf course. The Clubhouse is a great place for lunch before or after a round.
Wailea is a luxury resort area with several hotels, courses and an upscale shopping area. The Wailea Golf Academy offers individual lessons and golf schools for all levels of play. Stay at the Grand Wailea or at the Fairmont.
The Wailea Golf Academy offers individual lessons and schools for all levels. Half Day Schools at the Academy will teach you the basics. The schools take place from 7:30am to 1:30pm and cost $300 per person, including lunch at the SeaWatch or Mulligans on the Blue. Full Day Schools for experienced players (18 handicap or less) take place from 7:00am to 3:00pm and cost $450 per person, including lunch. You'll be able to take advantage of digital video analysis of your swing and practice putting, chipping, pitching and full swing. For more information, visit the Wailea Golf Academy web site at www.waileagolf.com, or call 888.328.MAUI.
Kapalua is home to two championship courses. The Plantation Course is the most famous because the PGA TOUR Championships are held here every January. The Bay Course is located near the ocean and the Plantation course high above with beautiful views. Each course has its own character, scenery and signature holes.
It seems that every golfer wants to play at least one round on the course made famous by the PGA TOUR Mercedes Championships which are held here each January. The Plantation Course features open fairways, scenic ocean views and six signature holes. In the winter, bring a pair of binoculars to watch the humpback whales swim in the ocean.
If you want to play near the ocean, the Bay Course features a par 3 hole where you have to hit over the water. The Bay Course at the Kapalua Resort on Maui is a 6,600-yard par 72 course, designed by Arnold Palmer and Francis Duane in 1975. The Bay Course winds through palm trees and hibiscus plants down to the sea. The signature hole number 5 is right next to the ocean, offering scenic views of the island of Molokai in the distance. The hole is a par 3, so your tee shot must carry 100 yards over the Pacific Ocean. The Clubhouse at the Bay Course offers a pro shop with golf apparel and logo items. Rates for a round start at $200 for non-guests and from $140 for resort guests. Twilight golf is $95.
There used to be a third course at Kapalua years ago, but it became an adventure trail, rising 800 feet above sea level, offering scenic views and shade provided by pine trees.
Vacationers interested in improving their game have access to the Kapalua Golf Academy, a 23-acre practice area with putting greens, driving range, chipping and bunkers. Kapalua features a staff of PGA instructors offering individual instruction, corporate clinics, golf schools and daily clinics. If you are planning on playing several rounds, you'll get much better rates if you are staying at one of the properties within the property: The Kapalua Villas or The Ritz-Carlton. The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua offers luxury accommodations and a choice of restaurants.
Golf on Lanai
The Experience at Koele golf course, designed by Greg Norman, is one of the top courses in the U.S. Visitors come to the small island of Lanai for a chance to play on one of the two island's spectacular courses. Take a day trip or stay a few nights on this unique island which can be reached via a high speed boat from Maui.
Next read: Best Beaches on Maui
The Experience at Koele features upland terrain, lush greens and century-old Cook Pines. The front nine holes are surrounded by old pineapple fields. The back nine offer spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, Maui and Molokai. For resort guests staying at the Lodge at Koele or Manele Bay Hotel, unlimited golf at the Experience at Koele costs $185 per person. For non-guests, the cost is $225 per person per round.