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When And Where To Play Golf On Maui

Feb 28th 2020

Where and When to Play Golf on Maui

--By Clif Council, PGA owner of the Maui Golf Shop

Call us for advise and the best rates on Maui Tee Times and Club Rentals 

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Most think of golfing in the Hawaiian Islands as a sunny and warm experience with gentle trade winds. But those who have been here know that the conditions vary and each island has its own unique weather pattern. Being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and in the tropical section 23º above the equator gives Hawaii some of the best weather conditions in the world. The yearly temperature only changes 2 degrees between summer and winter but most prefer the winter conditions because it's slightly cooler and the trade winds can stop for weeks at a time.

Prevailing Trade Winds

So where do I play and when?

Here are some of my suggestions for playing Maui Golf Courses as a 30-year resident and PGA teaching pro.


Rule of thumb:
Play the windy areas early morning or late afternoon. It can rain in the morning.

The prevailing East to West trades come from southern Mexico and run into the Hawaiian islands after 3,000 miles of open sea. Warmed by the tropical waters, the trades sometimes produce rainsqualls and short showers as they bump into the old volcano slopes on the eastern or windward sides of Maui. From Hana to Paia, and Wailuku to Kapalua the trade winds and showers prevail during the morning hours, since the wind is moving slower during the cooler periods of the day. As the temperature increases the trades increase in velocity and blow the clouds over the island faster making the rainsqualls shorter.The Dunes at Maui Lani was recently voted one of the best new courses in America. Great course with lots of natural sand dunes, large lakes in the middle of the front nine and on the finishing par 5... one of Maui's toughest finishing holes with the trade winds blowing. I'd rate The Dunes one of the must plays in Hawaii. Book here. They are recently rplaced all their green and are some of the best in the State, Great Value only $58 and Thursday, $99 am Daily

The Dunes

Pukakani Country Club. This upcountry course is fun and not expensive. It gets lots of play in the winter as the weather is normally very nice early in the morning. The 1500-foot elevation makes for cooler playing conditions and nice views of West Maui and Haleakala. The trade winds start around 11am so play early and get back to the condo for an afternoon on the beach or relax by the pool. Summer Special on Thursday $45 all day, Summer $63am , Winter $83am

Kahili Golf Club, formerly Sandalwood, is nestled into the windward side of the West Maui Mountains. It can catch a good deal of wind and sometimes drizzles in the afternoon. Kahili is a fun course, but watch out for those raised par 3s and the side hill lies. Book here. We Recommend a 8 - 9 am, We can get you the lowest rates as we have their tee sheet and other up to $30 off the rack rate. Also our club rentals are lower priced so get tee time and rentals for Maui Golf Shop in Kihei, about 10 minutes for golf course

Kapalua Golf Courses- Kapalua Plantation & Kapalua Bay. Known for hosting the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Kapalua Plantation is an exciting wide-open golf course that plays tight because of the crossing trade winds and waist high tall grass surrounding the boundaries. Conditions can be calmer in the morning but it rains frequently until the trades blow the clouds away. Both Kapalua Bay and Plantation Course, I recommend playing in the Midmorning, 11am -12noon as the course plays easier with the trades blowing downwind on the long tough holes and take advantage of the mid day 11am Discount twilight rate . Call us up to 30 days in advance, as the twilight times go fast. Plantation Course will reopen with new greens in late Nov 2019 but cart path path only until after the TOC in Jan 2019 .Book here. This are Must Plays for golfers wanting the most challenging Ocean View Courses in Hawaii

Kapalua - Plantation

Maui Nui GC in Kihei Town, this is our homecourse as its only 3-5 minutes from Maui Golf Shop in Kihei Longs Center, and offers a challenge Maui Course thats very popular for budget golfers, Book with us as we have lowest rates online or in the shop, with our $29-$39 club rentals you save over $25 pp, Maui Nui has excellent ocean and mountain views of West Maui and three other island in the Bay. This is our most booked course year round as its price afforable and has good greens and conditions $49 at 2pm


Rule of thumb:
Perfect conditions in the morning, windy in the afternoons.
The West & South coasts or leeward side are known for their sunny calm conditions which golfers and beach lovers enjoy. It is calmer and drier because the trade winds blow around these areas leaving a pocket of still air and sunny conditions for most of the morning. These windless areas are Lahaina & Kaanapali on the West and Kihei, Wailea & Makena in the South. The most popular resorts are located here behind the big volcano that dominates and shelters the areas. Even the whales like it as they come into the calm waters to give birth and mate again.

The Makena Golf Course is now a total private Course owned by Discovery Golf. We cannot book Makena, you must know a member. Makena offers incredible views of the entire southern coast of the island, with Molokini lined up behind many of the greens, like a true landmark. Closed to Public.

Makena North

Wailea Golf Courses- Wailea Blue, Wailea Emerald & Wailea Gold Courses are near Makena, so approximately the same weather conditions apply. Morning play is cooler with less wind. Wailea Blue offers wide fairways making it popular with the high-handicappers. For the ladies and couples, Wailea Emerald Course is a MUST PLAY... Golf Digest voted the Emerald Course "most friendly short hitters." However, from the back tees it's no pushover. Most challenging of the three is Wailea Gold with its great ocean views. It has lush fairways and fast greens. Wailea Gold is a "must play for a Challenge." Book Now We highly recommed all three courses, as have special mid day rates that save you $20 pp and additianl $30 on rentals so save $50 each when you book with Maui Golf Shop

Wailea - Blue, Emerald & Gold

Maui Nui GC ( Formerly Elleair) is best played in the morning before the wind kicks up around 11 am. The course was designed by lengendary Canadian course architect Bill Newis. The holes feature wide fairways with a good mixture of long and short par 4s. Maui Nui Course is a great course for the budget minded golfer. Book Now Save on green fees when book with Maui Golf


Kaanapali features two courses for great AM play- Kaanapali Royal and Kaanapali Kai. Kaanapai Royal is the former PGA Senior Tournament site and plays two holes along the beach. Kaanapali Kai is "easier" with wider fairways and is perhaps the only golf course in the country transversed by a steam railway line, Maui Golf Shop offer hotel rate for our golfers Book here.

Top Tip: Call Maui Golf Shop 808-875-4653 for latest info on all the best Maui courses and course discount.

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