Wowie Maui: Hawaiian island offers scenic, championship golf at a variety of courses, resorts

Updated: December 3, 2018

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 island of Maui.

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:
• 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. If you’re traveling with a surfer or snowboarder in your group, they can ‘surf the earth’ with Ka’anapali’s Golf Boards available for a $25 fee with your round of golf.

• 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.

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 while on vacation.

• Wailea Golf Resort: Among the world’s great golf destinations, Wailea has plenty to offer with its sand beaches, resort setting and three golf courses – the Gold, Emerald and Blue. Renowned for its ideal golf weather – typically sunny with gentle breezes – Wailea Golf Resort is rated among the best golf courses in the country by both Golf Magazine and Golf Digest for the quality of its courses and accommodations. The Emerald and Blue courses at Wailea are also a must-play when you are on site.

• King Kamehameha: There are two things that get your attention right away at the private club, the views from every hole and the Frank Lloyd Wright clubhouse. Every hole features a view of the Pacific Ocean and the terrain rolls up and down the hillside. The 74,000 square foot clubhouse is a gem. The 700-foot elevation from the course and the clubhouse offer ocean and Haleakala views. The course gets your attention from the opening tee box, a downhill tee shot on a par-5 with an elevated green and the Pacific Ocean in the background. Troon manages the facility as well as the course down the road called Kahili.

• Places to stay: The Ka’anapali Alii is a popular stop for visitors. Sitting on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, the Alii also is next door to the Ka’anapali Resort golf courses. The resort offers a state-of-the-art fitness center, oceanfront swimming pools, outdoor barbeque grills and tennis. The rooms are 1,500-1,900 square feet and offer everything you need.