Picturesque Maui, Kauai, with most golf in Hawaii

Updated: December 1, 2021

By Steve Turcotte, Inside Golf Editor

Tired of the weather that Mother Nature throws our way in the Pacific Northwest every winter? The cold, the wind, the frost delays …. everything? Then it might be time to make that investment in your golf game and take a trip to the islands of Maui and Kauai.

OK, let’s be real here first. Any time is a great time to head to the islands for a golf trip. Every island has its own golf treats from terrific course to great views to the best resorts. But winter time is especially the right time of year considering the weather in the Northwest is not exactly the best for wearing shorts, a golf shirt and playing 18 holes.

Let’s take a look at some of the golf on Maui and Kauai:

• Ka’anapali Resort: Ka’anapali Golf Courses is home to not only 36 holes of championship golf, but also Maui’s only FootGolf course layout available daily after 4 p.m. So whether you’re a hard-core golfer looking to test your skills on the Royal Course where legends Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Nick Price and Jan Stephenson have played, or you’re looking to take the family out or plan a corporate team building event on the FootGolf layout, Ka’anapali is the place to be. Several resort hotels offer golf packages and the courses offer multiple round packages direct, for those playing several times during their stay. After your round, be sure to treat yourself to the award-winning 19th hole at Roy’s Ka’anapali.  Roy’s Pacific-rim cuisine has something for everyone and ask for the chocolate lava cake for dessert.    

• Kapalua Resort: The Plantation course is known for its hosting of the PGA Tour’s Sentry Tournament of Champions every January featuring the tournament winners from the past season on the PGA Tour. Television does not do the course justice. This is a course with some great views, rolling terrain and a set of closing holes that are terrific.  The 17th hole is a downhill par-4 with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop. Long drivers will find trouble off the tee if they don’t back off. Dramatic elevation changes, and nature’s challenges, as you test your ability and experience golf at its finest. A recent renovation shut the course down before it re-opened in November with new grass on all fairways, greens and tees plus a new capillary concrete liner system on all bunkers.

The Bay Course at Kapalua hosted the 2008 Kapalua LPGA Classic, the Bay Course winds its way through towering palms and flowering hibiscus. The tee shot on the fifth hole carries nearby Oneloa Bay. Views are at a premium all along the Bay Course.

The Kapalua Golf Academy sits near the Bay Course and provides a terrific place for some instruction in case the golf game has gone sideways.

• Ocean Course at Hokuala: One signature hole after another. One picture postcard after another. Here, where the ocean meets the land, is as good as a golfer’s life gets. The Ocean Course at Hokuala is the longest stretch of oceanfront golf in Hawaii and the recipient of several awards, making Hokuala the premier golf resort on Kauai, Hawaii.

“I think of Kauai as a laid-back tropical paradise. The island is quainter and less commercial than Oahu and Maui. I put forth my best effort in the design process. The quality of conditioning, maintenance, and playing experience is important to me. It all reflects on my name and brand. It’s reassuring Timbers Resorts is willing to make a commitment to ensure that the product I have produced is taken care of, enjoyed, and thought well of for generations to come.” – Jack Nicklaus

The Hokuala Ocean Course winds through mango and guava groves to seaside cliffs, earning its many accolades along the way—including an MSN Travel nod as one of the world’s 12 most beautiful courses.

There are plenty of ways to explore the Garden Isle from the luxury oceanfront residences at Hōkūala. Find your private oasis on our 450-acre exclusive Kauai resort, featuring a collection of luxury vacation rentals.        

Timbers Kaua‘i has been honored as a “Top Resort Hotel in Hawaii” in the 2021 Travel & Leisure’s World’s Best Awards. Resorts were nominated by travel enthusiasts around the globe and voted to the top by Travel & Leisure readers. We are thrilled to be in great company with fellow high-caliber resorts offering stunning ocean views, serene spa treatments, and full concierge.