Updated: June 14, 2015

Best Maui Golf Vacations: Where to play golf in Maui and Hawaii

With many fine resorts, Maui receives millions of visitors each year, some coming for sun, some coming for pristine beaches, some coming for .... GOLF! There are quite a few world-class golf courses on Maui, and since Maui is a pretty small island, it is easy to visit and play a number of courses during your vacation stay. One thing to keep in mind is that the Kapalua area on the northwest side of Maui is very windy, which can make the game much more challenging - if you are a beginner, you may want to consider other, less windy courses. Let's start in the south, around Wailea.



Best Wailea Golf Courses

Wailea is home to the amazing Grand Wailea and Four Seasons Resorts, with a number of other fine properties nearby. And you'll find golf courses right nearby! WaileaGolf.com is the main site for the Wailea Golf Club, home of the famed Wailea Blue, Wailea Emerald, and Wailea Gold golf courses. The Champions Skins Game is held at the Wailea Gold, a 7000+ yard Robert Trent Jones designed course. You can see a map of the course here. These are not ocean-front courses, but you will get views of the ocean and nearby islands as you make your way around the course. The Emerald and Gold courses are next to each other and share the same clubhouse - consider playing 36 holes and seeing both courses in a day -- but bring the sunscreen! Green fees for these courses are $185 for the Wailea Emerald and Wailea Gold, and $175 for the Blue, with lower twilight and value season rates. The Gold course has the highest slope rating of 131. They have an online tee time and reservation system, making it easy to check and book times - we had no problem getting an 8AM spot 1 week in advance at the Blue Course, and the online price was only $125 per person for a foursome.

A little further south are the Makena North and Makena South Golf Courses (see MakenaGolf.com). These 2 courses are also designed by Robert Trent Jones, keepin' the man busy! The North course opened in 1993, and is a beautiful natural scenery course. Especially scenic is the 13th hole with views overlooking the ocean. And then there is the 14th tee with a 200ft elevation drop, again looking out over the ocean - wow! On the Makena South Course, wait for the 16th hole that's a little dogleg right that runs right along the beach. You can tour both courses on their website with diagrams and playing tips of each hole. The golfing weather is great here in southern Maui, with nearly constant sunshine and dry weather. Rates are $160-$170 for non-resort guests, $120 for resort guests. There is an online tee time reservation here as well. We like the Makena South the best with its 2 beachfront holes (we've seen whales while playing!), but you can't go wrong at either course here in the Wailea area.

Best Kaanapali Golf Courses - Getting Tee Times

Further north, past Lahaina, you come to the Kaanapali resort area. This is a great beach with lots of terrific hotels lining it. Since the beach real estate is so valuable, unfortunately you won't find golf courses right next to the sand, but they are only 100 yards away or so, with terrific views. We are talking about the Kaanapali North Golf Course and Kaanapali South Golf Course. Their official website is Kaanapali-Golf.com. You can check out a map of the North course below (also called the Royal Kaanapali):

kaanapali north golf course

This course runs right along the resort area, with hole #5 being the closest you get to the ocean, right next to the famed Black Rock area. The website does a great job showing you the course, with nice little 3-D pictures of each hole with playing tips included -- be sure to check it out before you play! The Kaanapali South course is also known as the Kaanapali Kai, is right nearby. Personally, we like the North course better. Green fees run $170 for the North, $130 for the South (rates are about $35 higher if you are not a guest at one of the Kaanapali resorts). They have an online tee time reservation system, or you can call them at (866) 454-GOLF.

Best Kapalua Golf Courses

The other main resort area on Maui is at the far northwest corner of the island, Kapalua. The lovely Ritz Carlton resort is here, and 3 terrific golf courses surround the region, the Kapalua Plantation Course, Kapalua Bay, and the Kapalua Village Golf Course. Their website is Kapalua.com. The Bay Course was designed by Arnold Palmer, and holes 4 and 5 are the higlights here, right next to the ocean. Hole 5 is a par 3 over-the-ocean hole to reach the green - awesome. The Plantation course is the most expensive at $295 ($190 for resort guests), but this 7400+ yard course is terrific. Designed by Ben Crenshaw, you'll play alongside and through pineapple plantation fields. The par-3 8th hole over a canyon is a real challege, while holes 11 and 18 have dramatic ocean views. If your goal is to play Hawaii golf near the ocean, then definitely make a point of getting a tee time at Kapalua -- but again be ready for some pretty serious windy conditions at all times of the day. You can book a Kapalua golf tee time by calling 808-669-8044 or at their website. The Bay Course green fees are $215 standard and $165 for resort guests (Ritz, Kapalua Villas). Check out the 9 hole rates that begin at 3:30 - only $60.