The way Robert Trent Jones II designed the Emerald is clever. It has respectable length, at 6,801 yards, yet plays among the easiest on Maui. Why? Jones pads the three-shot par 5s with extra yardage and shortened the average lengths of the par 4s and 3s. Then he made virtually every tee shot play either downhill or level. The result is a course that is easier but still offers plenty of variety and length. Scratch golfers will find the Emerald is Maui’s 6th most playable venue for them—an ego-booster for sure. Bogey golfers will love it even more, as the USGA slope rating team here in Hawaii ranks this course as the 4th easiest here. From the forward tees the Emerald is the 2nd easiest on Maui. Tee shots get plenty of roll. There is little if any wind. Keeping the ball in play is easier because many fairways run parallel, and are wide. Roughs are cut short and allow for recovery. Few sharp doglegs exist. Topography is hilly and felt mostly on the approach. The green sizes are varied and hold well. Most are average in size and accept running shots. Water comes into play on the side of the 10th and 17th, which share Maui’s only double green. The Wailea Emerald Course is where to go if a good score in the tropics is desired.

Dave’s Take:

An easier version of the Gold with all the same great qualities. The higher handicapper will appreciate the shorter length and the sloping fairways that will forgive your errant tee shots. Three of the par 3s on this course are less than 120 yards from the white tees but require a precise short iron to have a chance at birdie. I also like finishing a round on a high note…The 18th hole is a friendly par 5 that should end your day with a smile.