Golfing on Kauai
The Garden Isle offers a spectacular paradise for all types of vacationers, including honeymooners, families, and golf enthusiasts. While it’s a fairly small island, there is no shortage of places to get lost among breathtaking scenery that includes picturesque beaches and turquoise waters, tropical rainforests and some of the most scenic golf courses on the planet.
A wide diversity of courses is offered on Kauai, designed by some of the most well-known architects, including Jack Nicklaus. Some feature all of the best the island has to offer, including towering waterfalls, emerald colored mountains, dense jungle and rugged ocean cliffs.
The Prince Golf Course at Hanalei in Princeville is often rated by Golf Digest as the number one course in Hawaii. It also ranks as a top-100 course in the entire nation with the chance to play 18 holes among lush jungle, tropical streams and cascading falls, as well as take in magnificent views of the ocean coastline from 300 feet above.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones, it’s not the incredible scenery that has earned it so many accolades, but the design he created, turning rolling terrain into a links-style golf course that challenges like no other. The par-72 course climbs slopes and twists down hills, requiring only the very best shots.
Princeville Makai Golf Course
An 18-hole round can be played on two of the three 9-hole courses, the Ocean, Lakes and Woods with each offering exceptional views. It was recently renovated by Robert Trent Jones to negotiate the beautiful combination of ocean front bluffs, woodlands and lakes.
Poipu Bay Golf Course
This championship course on the southern end of Kauai offers an idyllic location between the spectacular coastline and emerald mountains, sprawling across 210 acres of tropical flowers and vegetation. The site was originally the home of an ancient Hawaiian village, with its remnants incorporated into the course. Countless golf legends, including Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, have competed here enjoying commanding views of the Pacific as well as Mahualepu, a distant rock formation that appears to be a relaxing giant Hawaiian god, completely submerged, other than his pointed nose.
Puakea Golf Course
Puakea is a local’s favorite and often referred to as one of Hawaii’s best kept golf secrets. It originally opened in 1997 as a 10-hole golf course, hailed as a top ten course in America by Sports Illustrated. Designed by Robin Nelson, today it’s been expanded to 18 holes, taking advantage of the spectacular backdrop of the Ha’upu Mountain Range, famed as the setting for much of the film, “Jurassic Park.”
Pukea offers a fun experience for recreational golfers, while still challenging enough for more advanced players.
Wailua Municipal Golf Course
Known as one of the finest municipal golf courses you’ll find anywhere, this course is also popular with local residents, offering great rates along with Pacific Ocean and mountain views. This 18-hole seaside course includes historic coconut groves and pine trees that can be found throughout the property.
Kukuiolono, or Kuks as the locals call it, offers the very best bargain when it comes to golfing on Kauai. The nine-hole course perched on a hillside can be played for less than $10 a round and offers amazing views of the island’s south and west shores. This is a great course for beginners, originally built as the personal course for sugar king Walter McBride.
Kauai Lagoons Golf Club
This course features the longest stretch of oceanfront golf courses in all of Hawaii. A recent renovation was undertaken with the direction of famed architect and legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus, with the terrain lending itself so well to his vision that he was said to have made just one change to his original design. Kauai Lagoons has received numerous accolades as one of the finest courses throughout the Pacific, now featuring three unique nines for 27 holes of golf on the island’s east shore.