Greens fees can equal plane fares in Hawaii, but not at Mui Nui, home to affordable golf and unbeatable weather.
Maui’s year-around warm and sunny weather makes it an ideal golfing destination. But as more than one vacationing golfer has discovered, tropical islands come with tropical rains that can cancel a golf outing quicker than you can say albatross.
In Kihei, on the dry South Coast, rain remains a rarity even in the wet season, giving the ocean-side community the most reliable golfing weather on the Valley Isle. As they’re fond of saying at Kihei’s only golf course: Aloha, it’s another beautiful day at Mui Nui Golf Club.
Affordable golf on Maui is alive and well at Maui Nui where visitors never pay more than $99, making it one of Hawaii’s most wallet-friendly courses. Multi-play cards reduce rates even further. Afternoon, twilight, and 9-hole rates are also available. All rates include a golf cart with GPS.
The Lei of the Land
Designed by course architect Bill Newis and opened in 1987, the par-71 course is lined by palm trees, gifted with views of the blue Pacific, and remains fun and fair from any of its four sets of tees. The design, while not overly long, presents challenges on each hole to test golfers of all skill levels. Doglegs left and right, ponds, and greenside bunkers are just some of the tests on the 6,665 yard track, where no two holes are alike.
My two favorite holes reside on the back nine and give golfers an opportunity to sight-see while teeing it up.
The par-5 13th hole points directly at Haleakala, the island’s massive 10,023 foot shield volcano. Known as the House of the Sun, the dormant volcano is a stunning backdrop to this 524 yard dogleg left. Don’t let the views distract you from your third shot into a heavily-bunkered postage stamp green.
An elevated tee box overlooks the fairway and ocean at the par-5 18th hole. During whale season, December-May, it’s common to see visiting humpback whales shoot spouts of saltwater spray into the sky. A well-struck tee ball soars towards the rugged West Maui Mountains, and gives players a chance to hit this 524 yard hole in two shots, offering an opportunity at a closing birdie and a celebratory fist pump.
Pupus Burgers and Cocktails
After your round, settle up any friendly bets with your foursome at Sunsets Bar and Grill. The full restaurant and bar, with outdoor lanai seating, happy hour, and gorgeous sunset views, boasts some of the best handmade burgers on the island. Live music can be found here every weekend. The ongoing drink special is easy to remember: Bring your scorecard in after the round and your second drink costs the same as your golf score. Shoot an 85, and your second drink costs a mere $.85. Affordable golf at its best!
Practice Makes Perfect
A lighted grass driving range stays open daily from 7 am to 9 pm (except on Sundays when it closes at 3 pm for maintenance). An assortment of fun and unique island-themed targets including surfboards and two beached boats make practicing at Maui Nu all the more fun. A pitching and chipping area, practice sand trap, and practice putting green give ample room to hone your short game. Several golf instructors at Maui Nui help golfers of all ages improve their game and understanding of the sport.
For affordable golf on Maui, where the weather and prices can’t be beat, look no further than Maui Nui Golf Club. As you leave you might find yourself nodding in agreement: “It’s another beautiful day at Mui Nui.”
Scoring well at Mui Nui requires strategy. Afternoon trade winds, common across Maui, make proper club selection crucial to hitting fairways and greens. When putting on these mid-sized, undulating greens, take note of the grain of the grass, which generally pulls putts towards the ocean. To find the grain, walk to the hole and look at the cut of the cup. One side of the grass is usually browned; an indication the grain is growing in that direction.
Tee times can be booked in advance online or by calling the pro shop at (808) 874-0777. Play cards can also be purchased in advance. Rental shoes and sets of Taylor Made irons and woods are readily available. The pro shop carries golf accessories and Mui Nui merchandise that make for great keepsakes.
Maui Nui Golf Club
470 Lipoa Parkway
Kihei, HI 96753
Sunsets Bar and Grill
Open 10 am – 8 pm 7 days a week.