Best Golf Courses on Maui

Boasting more miles of accessible beach than any of the state’s other islands, in addition to water-filled jungles and the largest dormant volcano in the world at Haleakala, it’s no surprise that Maui is, perhaps, the most popular destination for Hawaiian vacationers. With an endless menu of activities from snorkeling to whale watching, paddle-boarding, helicopter tours, surf lessons and more, the “Valley Isle” also sets the stage for a world-class variety of golf courses designed by some of the world’s elite architects.

Feature Photo: Courtesy of Hualalai Golf Course
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Photo: Courtesy of Kaanapali Golf Course

Kaanapali Golf Courses

KAANAPALI

Once known as sacred lands to the Royal Chiefs of Maui, Kaanapali is home to 36 holes of golf. Hugging the shoreline before winding its way to the West Maui Mountain foothills, the Royal Course (6,700 yards) opened in 1962 and is one of only two courses (Mauna Kea) in Hawaii designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The Kai Course (6,388 yards), plays more forgiving with subtle, undulating greens that in 2008, hosted 12 ladies on Golf Channel’s Big Break Kaanapali. kaanapaligolfcourses.com

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Photo: Courtesy of Kahili Golf Course

Kahili GC

WAIKAPU

At the foothill of the West Maui Mountains in Waikapu with bi-coastal views of Mt. Haleakala and the Pacific Ocean, Kahili Golf Course (1991) is a quick 10 minutes from Kahului Airport. Designed by Robin Nelson and Rodney Wright, the 6554-yard test serves up strong par 5s and fun par 3s that will challenge club selection. One of the many course highlights is that there are no homes, condos or hotels lining the fairways. kahiligolf.com

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Photo: Courtesy of Kapalua Golf Course

Kapalua

KAPALUA

On Maui’s northwest shore with grand ocean vistas from every hole, the Plantation Course, designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, stretches out across natural geographic formations and pineapple plantation fields. As host for the annual PGA TOUR Sentry Tournament of Champions, its lengthy 7,596 yards challenges pros but the wide fairways and generous greens make it very playable for amateur golfers. The Arnold Palmer and Francis Duane-designed Bay Course (6,600 yards) is highlighted by the only hole (#17) in Maui to play over the ocean. golfatkapalua.com

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Photo: Courtesy of Maui Nui Golf Club

Maui Nui Golf Club

KIHEA

Benefitting from some of the island’s best year-round weather in Kihei, Maui Nui GC (formerly Silversword), combines fairness and challenge with an inviting opening hole, reachable par 5’s, plus exceptional views of the Pacific Ocean, Mt. Haleakala, Molokini and the West Maui Mountains. Architect Bill Newis designed the 6,801-yard layout with the trade winds in mind, which usually hit the course in the late afternoon. As such, Maui Nui is one of Maui’s fairest tests of golf and rewards those who play the fundamentals well. mauinuigolfclub.com

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Photo: Courtesy of The Dunes at Maui Lani

The Dunes at Maui Lani

MAUI LANI

With his ability to see the land for what it was and shape the holes according to what nature provided, minimal earth was moved by architect Robin Nelson to create Mauis only links-style course and the only course in Hawaii built on natural occurring dune terrain. Located in central Maui, The Dunes plays to 6,841 yards and calls for creativity, finesse, strategy, and good shot-making to capture the full course experience. dunesatmauilani.com

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Photo: Courtesy of Waiehu Municipal Golf Course

Waiehu Municipal Golf Course

WAIEHU BEACH PARK

Sharing the white sand beachfront with Waiehu Beach Park and overlooking the famous Waihee Reef, the Waiehu GC opened in 1945. The first 9 holes are set along the dramatic coastline, while the back 9 holes head toward the mountains. Measuring 6,330 yards, this popular course for locals offers terrific views and challenging play for golfers at every skill level. Well-groomed fairways and greens keep Waiehu Municipal GC difficult, yet friendly. mauicounty.gov

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Photo: Courtesy of Wailea Golf Club

Wailea Golf Club

WAILEA

Three meticulously designed courses with awe-inspiring views of Mt. Haleakala and the Pacific Ocean offers more golf than at any other resort destination in Hawaii. The Gold (7,070 yards), designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., is the most challenging of the trio but 4 to 6 tee boxes on every hole make it playable for all skill levels. Wailea’s original layout, Blue (6,545 yards) is a classic island resort course designed by Arthur Jack Snyder. The eye-candy Emerald (6,825 yards) with bright bougainvillea, fragrant plumeria, green fairways, blue ocean backdrops has been honored for its women- and couples-friendly features. waileagolf.com

Looking for more places golf in Hawaii?

Robert Kaufman of Picture PARfect has you covered. Visit his best of the Oahu, Kauai and The Big Island golfing posts!

Robert Kaufman

Robert Kaufman

Robert Kaufman is an internationally published golf & travel writer and award-winning photographer with an observant eye and insightful journalistic style that has guided him around the world, including all 50 states...and playing golf in 24 countries! During his entrepreneurial career, Robert founded Northern California’s first monthly golf publication and was instrumental in directing Visit California’s golf marketing initiative to raise global awareness for the state as a top-tier golf destination. His work can be viewed at Picture PARfect.

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