Captain’s Log: Maui Golf Itineraries

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Our 2013 issue featured a Captain Cook theme which we took to a whole new level. We wanted to share with visitors some tips on where to play, and dubbed each snippet with an apt title, like Budgeteer’s Cornucopia, Power Loop, Old Hawaii, etc. Just one more interesting way to present Maui golf in a colorful light.

Budgeteer’s Cornucopia

Aye, well I daresay you can’t come to Maui and be squeezed by the tariffs imposed. In fact, of all the lands I have traveled, Maui is fraught with good golf bargains for the thrift in us all. I tell you fit in a round at Kihei’s elleair Maui Golf Club, if you’re a-stayin’ that side.Seafarers like us tend to like to anchor off of the 8th green at  Waiehu, because, ye see, landlubbers: this golf course has more waterfront holes than any other. But nothing like a full head of wind in me sails, and that’s why I like Kahili. She’s designed to buckle down in any conditions, and I can see me ship right there in the harbor from any hole. Long ago, I discovered Pukalani upcountry, when I was looking to buy some wood for me vessel. It’s cool and clear up there, and the course ain’t bad either. The Dunes at Maui Lani is where ye gots to go. Ye have no excuses because she is right by the airport, you hackers. Best design on this rock, in me humble opinion. I never come to Maui without a visit to Wailea Old Blue. It’s where it all began, and the price is right too.

Power Loop

Fer ye long ‘n straight knockers of da pellet, there’s what me mates call “Power Loop.” Tis  not for da faint o’ heart, mind you, as I tell ya you’re a gonna hate disin’ out all that coin to shoot big numbers, but hey, ’tis your call indeed. Head to The King Kamehameha Golf Club around 1PM. You’ll need to spend some time in the moon ship they have there after your get yer drummin’. Next is one Plantation at Kapalua, where I want ye to also tee er up late in the day, especially during a Kona. Now head south to Wailea Gold and play early: I want da little birds to enjoy our time on the beach. Alas: before ’tis too late: Makena Golf Course fer a lickin’.

Old Hawaii

Well, aye, there’s no one who knows old Hawaii like this old salty dog. Ye landlubbers will never know what it was like in da old days, when luaus were ashore with bounty devoid of those chemicals you so adore. Nay, we and the people of these Sandwish isles heard nothing of those scoundrels who live in Washington instead, we stole and murdered the old-fashioned way: up-front and purrsonal. Now, if yer lookin’ to play some old-style golf courses on this here rock then you have but two that date back to me grandchildren’s days: Waiehu and Maui Country Club. Now, Waiehu is really the working man’s choice as the bluebloods I liked to kill usually hung their hats at the club. So, if yer looking to ter er up on the seashore, like it was 90 years back, then go to Waiehu. If yer looking to get some stink eye from a bunch of new money braggarts, then go ahead and hobnob with the misguided bullies who have nothing ado except to charge pennies more for fuel, or a tad more for a morsel of food.  Waiehu is me choice.

Halls of Champions

My favorite for me classic game is Wailea Old Blue, home of many pro championships, where the best have competed for that pot o’ gold. Same goes fer me other favorite: Wailea Gold, where Arnie and the boys brawled it out. I got me some time with Jack ‘n Arnie there we had a good time indeed. I like that 24-carat Gold Course fer me teeth, and me ears too, you lackies. But I must also say the great players have made their rounds on both coasts here, and it all began in thee old days at Royal Kaanapali, when a young Hawaiian lad by the name of Ted Makalena gave Jack, Arnie, and Gary Player a run fer their money in da World Cup. Me lad Ted tied fer third, and I’ll wager me last shillin’ the South Africanas, Player, was burnin’. Ha! Ladies Tour made good use of Kai and Royal back in da day, and I can remember one wahinie dancin’ o’ hula is one grass skirt too! “The Hawaiian Home of Senior PGA Tour” was how they dubbed thee Kaanapali. Now, a certain old bird told me ’bout one Mark Rolfing up der at da Bay at Kapalua. He and da wife, Deb, rolled on in about 70 years ago and took the place over! Next thing ye know and the Bay Course is a hummin’ wit Tour pros. Then the TV got involved and boom: Kapalua was on da map fer good. Rolf, as I call da lad, decided da Bay wasn’t enough, so he built the Plantation Course at Kapalua for that pot o’ gold to grow even bigger. You see Rolf out there on, what is it, NBC? He’s a bigwig here and there and everywhere. Aye so there ’tis.


Well I daresay the Women’s Kemper Open at Wailea Old Blue Golf Club in the early ’90s was a big gala here on Maui, and mainlanders were agog when it was held at me favorite South Maui enclave Wailea: where we anchored off-shore regularly. Much ado was brought on by my fellow pirate and friend, Jeff Halpin, when the ladies were later hosted at the Kaanapali resort, another favorite stop for me and me lads by way of Lahaina. Kapalua’s Bay was yet another stop for the best lady golfers when the fabled resort hosted the USGA Women’s Amateur Championships, and I was, in spririt, there to watch the long-hitting females as they made their way ’round the old course. Then old-time Kapalua boss Gary Planos brought a climactic and exciting LPGA full-field event to the same old venue where his favorite young lady pro, a certain Ms. Morgan Pressel, figured into the mix and captured her crown on the 18th hole. Aye, there have been many an occasion here for the lady pros to strut their stuff, and you can follow them as I did.

Hana/Crater Run

Not all of yer brood is goin’ to love da game as much as you. Here’s a way to sneak in some folly whilst your bride and kiddies are diverted on sight-seeing excursions of your own design! Trust me lad, I have me own issues trying to fit fun with ship’s duty as I harpoon whales and send treasure back home to me own leadership. Legend has it I met my maker at the hands of some angry local denizens, but between us, I have never stopped swingin’ the old sticks and neither should ye. Kahili is right in your path if ye wants to see the  Iao Needle and old Hawaii Wailuku. In fact, she is even en route to Hana and the crater. The Dunes is right in line to the airport, and Hana, and Pukalani is fit for the slaughter if da crater is in yer sights. No excuses: golf and the lot await.

Shotmaker’s Conquest

Well, the snot-nosed bugs who play better than me and me lads are indeed harpoonists of the highest order. I remember once when I had to stick one Brit boy named “Tell” after his archery beat me to no end. Well, the better shooters like him love courses like The Dunes, a bleeding killer of a course. ‘T is sure to whip yer ego and yer confidence as those blasted trades whip up and throw yer percha askew. Me old chum, his majesty the king, Kamehameha, has his own club, and trust me, yer gonna need your mama and yer priest here as the gales and the length and the millions of gallons of H2O will have their way wit ya. The Royal at Kaanapali has always been a stop fer us as we like to harpoon whales, women, and golf holes, but Jones, that ole codger, makes the game tough here. We though little Ben’s Plantation Course would make chopped liver out of da Royal, but we were wrong: she’s a brute, with gales and big curling fairways to befuddle us. So we head on down south and Wailea’s Gold Course is a bit of a reprieve, but not much, as those bunkers lurk, and then there’s Makena: a sad story to tell as our dreams of conquering the South are doused.

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