Anyone Ever Golf in Hawaii?

Me and my big mouth…

So a couple of years ago, my wife and I, my in-laws and my sister-in-law and her husband were on a family vacation in the Florida Keys.

One evening, while lounging under a few palm trees and sipping on some rum-based concoction, my aforementioned gigantic mouth blurts out: “Hey, next time, we should go to Hawaii!”

The next day, my wife reminded me of how crazy my suggestion was: “Hawaii? You realize I’m pregnant, right? When will we have time to go to Hawaii with a baby?” “Relax,” I told her. “Your step sister is pregnant too. It was late, I had a few in me – no one took me seriously. We’re not going to Hawaii…trust me.”

Fast forward to present day. It’s midnight and I just spent the last several hours online booking our flights to Hawaii. Maui, to be exact. Turns out my sister-in-law not only took me very seriously, but considered my suggestion a splendid idea to boot (babies or no babies).

Anyone ever try to book a vacation to Hawaii from the East Cost of the United States with a toddler in tow? Making the trip all in one day is an impossibility (our son would be off the wall by the 8th hour in). So we have to break-up our flights.

Initially, I tried to fly into LA and then catch a non-stop flight to Maui the next day, but it turns out to be much cheaper to go to San Diego first, then to LA and then to Maui. Yep – a flight from LA to Maui was like $300 more per-person than a flight from San Diego to LA to Maui (same airline). WTF?

Of course, you can’t go to San Diego with a toddler and not go to the zoo. So we’re flying into San Diego two days before our flight to Maui (via LA) and going to the zoo (now I know why I was saving all my hotel points…geesh).

So, when we finally get to Hawaii, we’ll have seven days to lounge under a few palm trees while sipping on a Mai Tai (AKA: a rum-based concoction) – which is just enough time for my fat yap to suggest we all go to Greece next.

All that being said, I’m pleased to report there will be time for a round of golf while I’m in Maui…But where should I play? Since we’re staying on the west coast of the island, I feel like Kapalua Plantation (home of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions) should be high on my list. Anyone ever play there?

How about other suggestions? I’ll probably only have time for one round so I want to make it count. But Kapalua is pushing $300 and this trip is costing me a small fortune already – perhaps there’s another awesome course with lower greens fees? Don’t get me wrong, I’ll go a bit more in debt for Kapalua, but I just wanted to weigh all my options first.

My trip is in April – any suggestions beforehand would be greatly appreciated! And I plan on posting about my experience on whichever course I end up playing, so stay tuned for that too.

Wish me luck!


  1. I have heard great things about kapalua. While I have not played there, I do have a divot repair tool a buddy of mine brought back and I must say it is the coolest one I have ever had. So if nothing else, make sure to pick one up at the golf shop.

  2. It is definitely worth playing Kapalua. It is gorgeous, and you can stand on the 18th tee, hit the ball and it will roll forever. Aim for the right side of the clubhouse for optimal roll! Kapalua was one of my all time favorite rounds.

  3. Play the Plantation course but wait until the twilight. You’ll get more wind but the price is right.

    Avoid the Kannapali courses. They’re boring and tourist heavy.

    The Wailea courses are very nice and worthwhile. Makena is also nice. The Dunes at Maui Lani course is great and off the tourist path as is the The King Kamehameha Golf Club if you can get on or its neighbor the Kahali – but watch the afternoon winds for those.

    The Pukalani CC is a nice muni and cheap with a few great holes as well.

    Have fun!

  4. Ya know how to play cheap golf in Hawaii?

    Don’t Play.

    There’s no such thing as cheap…or even value…to be found. So suck it up…fork over the 3 bills and enjoy your round.

  5. I’ve been to Hawaii several times and highly recommend the Wailea Golf Club. Amazing course, friendly staff and breathtaking views.

  6. Golfing in Hawaii is beautiful. During our stay in Oahu we golfed almost every single day. It was absolutely stunning and completely relaxing!

  7. Check out a book called The Golf Fanatic’s Guide to Hawaii. It’s full color, covers all the major Hawaii courses, has island background, tips, etc.

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