Hawaii, naturally, has some of the most fabled courses in the world. How can you beat the scenery and lush tropical environment in which the island state’s layouts are routed.
Designed by architect Robin Nelson, Puakea Golf Course in Lihue, is a premier daily fee golf course. This “resort quality” layout is located on more than 200 acres of what was once a sugar cane plantation. Puakea was named among the “Top 10” nine-hole facilities (prior to it being enlarged to 18 holes) in the U.S. by Sports Illustrated. The land on which Puakea is situated is known as Grove Farm.
Work on Pukea began in 1992. Unfortunately, Hurricane Iniki came through the area and caused extensive damage. Construction of the golf course stopped for a time as the island recovered from the storm.
Puakea now also has a state-of-the art practice facility that includes a 40-stall driving range, putting green, and a spacious short-game practice area. The facility has a complete schedule of clinics, private and group lessons. Before or after golf you must stop by the club’s Ho’okipa Café, open for breakfast, lunch and “pupus” from 7 a.m. until sunset.
The famous Ka’anapali Resort’s golf courses, located in Lahaina on the island of Maui, offer Fit Club, where golfers walk and play holes numbers one through six on the Royal or Kai Course anytime after 4 p.m. There is a monthly fee and players check in daily in the golf shop and then walk the course (playing) from 4 p.m. to close.
Ka’anapali also expanded its reach to the non-golfer by offering Foot Golf on the Ka’anapali Kai Course. The game is played the same way as golf, except that players use a football instead of a golf ball, and the ball is kicked rather than struck with a club, working to a 21-inch “cup” in place of the usual golf hole. Foot Golf allows not only the golfing guest but non-players to experience and take in the beauty of the courses in a fun and healthy environment.