Calling all golf enthusiasts! Those who love golf, know that visiting Maui means more than just snorkeling and waterfalls. Maui is home to the PGA’s Sentry Tournament of Champions every January and attracts visitors from all over the world. The Sentry Tournament, held at the incomparable Plantation Course in Kapalua, is unique in that only PGA Tour Champions from the previous season may compete. The outstanding list of previous winners includes Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, and Jordan Spieth. This year, we got to watch Cameron Smith’s impressive rounds to take home the trophy! My teenage son had the privilege of walking with him one day as standard bearer, so it was a memorable experience for the whole family!
As a seasoned “Golf Mom,” I have now been to every public golf course on Maui and am excited to share (with my kids’ endorsement) what I believe are the Top 5 Public Golf Courses on the island.
1. The Plantation Course in Kapalua
The Top Public Golf Course on Maui goes to the Plantation Course in Kapalua. Built in 1991 and remodeled in 2019, the Plantation Course provides the most breathtaking views of the vast Pacific Ocean and neighboring islands of Lanai and Molokai. Every hole seems to be more beautiful than the next. Even the most experienced golfers will be blown away by this challenging course; it’s definitely one to play while on Maui!
2. The Bay Course in Kapalua
The Bay Course in Kapalua takes the second spot on our list. This gorgeous golf course opened in 1975 and was designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer. The views are similar to the Plantation Course and the 17th hole is one you’ll never forget as it’s the only hole in Maui that plays over the ocean. I’ve watched my kids hit that shot several times — it’s quite a feat!
3. The Wailea Emerald Course
Third on the list is the Wailea Emerald Course on the South side of Maui. Wailea is home to several impressive golf courses — Emerald, Gold and Blue. The Wailea Emerald and Gold Courses were masterfully created by Robert Trent Jones II. The Emerald Course is gorgeous and features majestic lava rock, incredible ocean views and an occasional mongoose to steal your snacks off the golf cart. You won’t soon forget this golf course!
4. The Wailea Gold Course
The Wailea Gold Course is high atop the list of best golf courses on Maui for good reason. Similar to its sister course, the Gold Course provides sweeping views of the ocean. Arguably the most challenging course of Wailea’s trio, this course plays a bit longer than the Emerald Course which should provide a good test for all skill levels.
5. The Royal Ka’anapali Golf Course
Rounding out our Top 5 Public Golf Courses on Maui is the course my kids play the most: The Ka’anapali Royal Course. Located in the heart of Ka’anapali Resorts, the Royal Course recently hosted the Hawaii High School State Golf Championship. This course, winding up the hills of Ka’anapali, offers golfers a challenge, especially when the trade winds are blowing. Hang onto your hats!
Grateful for Maui Golf
One thing all Maui Golf Courses have in common is their commitment to the junior golfers on the island. My kids play in tournaments year-round and every course is supportive of their playing time and has been very generous with their resources. We are so impressed with the life skills our kids continue to gain through the sport of golf and are thankful to Lahaina Junior Golf, Maui Junior Golf, PGA Junior League, and US Kids.
Please reach out if you have any questions about golf on Maui or Maui real estate; I would be honored to help you! Check out my website for the newest Maui listings and happy golfing!!