Golfing in Maui Hawaii
With stellar year-round weather, and stunning surroundings, it’s hard to stay focused on your game when golfing on the magical island of Maui, also known as the Valley Isle. Golf on Maui is so memorable that you may end up wanting to frame your scorecard, regardless of how you perform that day out on the course. From Kapalua to Wailea to Kaanapali, the views at these popular Maui golfing destinations are nothing short of intoxicating.
You will have the choice of 14 phenomenal Maui golf courses, some of which are rated in the top 10 list world-wide. The PGA TOUR’s Tournament of Champions is held here each year, so if you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a real pro in the clubhouse.
Some of these 18 hole masterpieces have dramatic settings. They are like seaside jewels alongside deep blue lagoons, with fairways neighboring ancient lava flows, tees that are amongst tropical palm groves, and beautifully manicured greens where you may even get the opportunity to putt under a colorful rainbow formed in the ocean mist. It’s no wonder why so many Hawaii visitors seek out the Island of Maui for the ultimate golf getaway.
Best Golf Courses in Maui
The Island of Maui is proud to be the home of some world-renowned golf courses. A few of them host major golf tournaments including the PGA Tour. There are many Maui public golf courses, and a few private ones too. Our focus here will be on only a few of the golf courses that everyone can enjoy. It is time to find your best golf course in Maui.
Rated #1 in Maui, and located approximately 55 minutes from the Kahului airport in the northwest region of the Island, you will find two world-famous and challenging golf courses - the Plantation Course and Bay Course. This is the place every golfer dreams of playing when they visit Maui. The Plantation Golf Course is not only where the PGA TOUR's Sentry Tournament of Champions is held every January, this course is also set amongst some of Maui’s most postcard-worthy scenery. The ocean views are breathtaking, and you will be all smiles and in awe at every hole, no matter what you shoot. Ernie Els, Tiger Woods, and Vijay Singh, just to name a few, have played here. After a great round of golf, be sure to quench your thirst and satisfy your taste buds at the gorgeous and charming Plantation Course Restaurant. It offers both an elegant yet casual dining experience, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Enjoy the warm tropical breeze flowing through and the sweet sound of the songbirds while taking in the magnificent views.
The Bay Course
The Bay Course, opened in 1975, is another championship golf course. It too provides amazing views, but this course is a little closer to the water than the Plantation Course in many places, and is a little bit easier too. For a delicious bite to eat, be sure to stop in at the Bay Cafe Snack Shop. It’s located at the old Bay Course Clubhouse, below the Outrigger Villas Reception.
Kaanapali Golf Resort (includes the Royal Course and Kai Course)
These two golf courses are located in west Maui, approximately 45 minutes from the Kahului airport is Ka’anapali. Long ago, this area was home to the Royal Chiefs of Maui. So when you step onto these two beautiful golf courses, think of all the history. Each tee on the Royal Kaanapali course has a historical plaque for you to read while enjoying the jaw-dropping views. In some spots along the Royal Kaanapali course, you can see the neighboring islands of Molokai and Lanai. There are a number of restaurants close by to grab something to eat and drink after your round of golf.
The Ka’anapali Kai Course
The Ka’anapali Kai Course begins oceanside (Makai) and then into the West Maui Mountains (Mauka) foothills. When up in the foothills, you’ll want to get your camera out as the views of the Kai (Ocean) and surrounding islands are so very picturesque. What’s interesting about the fairways on the Kaanapali Golf Course is that many years ago, they were the place the Royal Chiefs of Maui would escape to for some fun and relaxation. They played many games on these sacred lands which included a type of lawn bowling where they used large stones.
There are a number of restaurants close by to each of these courses should you wish to grab something to eat and drink after your round of golf.
Maui Nui Golf Club (Kihei)
Maui Nui Golf Club (Kihei) - This course is located in Kihei, 25 minutes from Kahului and is ranked as America’s top overall valued golf course by GolfAdvisor. This course is suitable for all players and all skill levels. Recently, new hybrid Bermuda turfgrasses were installed, and the greens have been re-shaped and are larger. A big bonus for many are the golf specials offered here such as the Sunset Golf and Range Card that allows you to play everyday after 4pm for $20 or LESS! Be sure to check with them first to get all of their current specials. The views of the shimmering Pacific Ocean, Mount Haleakala, and the West Maui mountains will not disappoint. Almost everyday of year, the Maui Nui Golf course gets warm sunshine, light winds, and less than 10 inches of rain per year. After a day on the greens, stop in at Gilligan’s Bar and Grill for some great food and a cocktail. There is ample parking available for guests.
Pukalani Country Club - (Public/Semi-Private)
This lovely Country Club, accessed via the Haleakala Highway (HI-route 37, is well priced and kept up beautifully. It is located at an elevation of 1,100 feet of the world-renowned Mount Haleakala. Driving to the top of Haleakala to catch the sunrise is on many people's bucket list. Maybe a good idea to plan to see the sunrise followed up by a round of golf at this great course. A long day, but worth every minute! Because the Pukalani (means Entrance to Heaven in Hawaiian) Golf Course is set in the foothills of “Up-Country Maui”, and you will be graced with magnificent views of the Valley Isle, Maui, both the ocean and the mountains. A bonus too for many is that this location offers cooler temperatures.
If you’re a golfing enthusiast, you may recognize the name, Bob Baldock. He’s a very sought after golf course architect, now having designed over 65 public and private golf courses in the United States. This beautiful 18 hole golf course, built in 1980, is one of his many works of art. There is a very good mix of uphill and downhill driving holes.
Stop in at the Pukalani ClubHouse for a cold one and a delicious meal. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Wailea Golf Club
Wailea Golf Club (includes the Blue Course, Emerald Course, and the Gold Course) - The Wailea Golf Club is located approximately 30 minutes from the Kahului Airport, in Wailea, which is situated on Maui’s picturesque southern coastline. It consists of 3 incredible golf courses, all boasting spectacular views from every hole. There are two pro shops, and the courses provide many options for golfers of all ages and all skill levels. The Emerald Course is geared more towards families, women, and newcomers, while the Blue and Gold courses are a little more challenging. The Wailea Golf Club Academy is a great place to learn more about the sport and improve your game with the help of the PGA Professional Staff.
There is ample free parking for whichever course you plan on enjoying. Serving the Gold and Emerald Courses is Gannon’s Restaurant and Red Bar. Gannon’s is a great restaurant to enjoy classic dishes that are inspired by local and fresh ingredients found in Hawai’i. There’s also a lovely outdoor lanai where you can relax and enjoy both spectacular ocean views and magical sunsets. The Red Bar is a hot spot for happy hour and usually has great live music on the weekend.
Have you ever heard of Footgolf? If not, you may wish to check out Ka'anapali Footgolf. It’s played on a 9-hole course and is a combination of golf and soccer. It’s a wonderful activity to consider for individuals and families.
How Much does Maui Golfing Cost?
The cost to golf in Maui all depends on whether you want to play at a high-end resort at the most sought after times of the day (early morning), or whether you’re flexible on what time of day you play, and what type of challenge you are looking for. Booking a tee time between the hours of 1:30pm – 4:00pm can be a great way to obtain a discount, helping to keep your budget intact. Even the best courses offer specials to golf in the mid-late afternoon hours. Having said that, overall, rates to Golf Maui can range from $20 – $240. Be sure to check in advance with the course of your choice as rates can change anytime. Maui public golf courses may have better rates, and are worth investigating if you are looking for any Maui golf deals. Keep in mind you may need to take advantage of Maui golf club rental as well, and this can add to the cost. Valet parking is another option that can add to your budget as tipping is commonplace.