The island of Kauai is home to some of the finest golf in the world. With more than 153 holes of golf among eight courses, Kauai boasts three of the top five golf courses in the State of Hawaii. A golfer visiting Kauai can tee off on four courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., and two courses designed by Jack Nicklaus.
When you think about golf on Kauai, naturally you immediately call to mind three celebrated resorts: Poipu Bay, Kauai Lagoons and Princeville. But the story only begins there. Kauai's also home to one of America's finest public golf courses.
Wailua Municipal Golf Course is a par-72 layout that plays to 7,020 yards. The front side begins with two holes bordering the ocean and is primarily flat with few other water hazards. Wailua, which hosted the 1996 USGA Public Links Championship, also possesses one of the most picturesque par 3s in the nation.
Remnants of an ancient Hawaiian village are carefully preserved in 27 archaeological sites that pepper the landscape of the Kiahuna Golf Club in the heart of always sunny Poipu. This par-70 track was built by Robert Trent Jones Jr., who also authored the nearby Poipu Bay Resort Course. Kiahuna is drenched in bougainvillea and tropical shrubs and tough enough to have hosted Nancy Lopez and her LPGA pals for the Worldwide Championship of Pro-Am Golf. (Wailua: 18 hole, par-72; Kiahuna: 18 hole, par-70)
And just in case you haven't had enough Kauai golf, climb into the hills of Kalaheo and enjoy great views of sugar cane fields and the ocean as you experience true kama'aina golf on the nine-hole Kukuiolono Golf Course. (9 hole, par-36)
Be sure to inquire about the Kauai Golf Challenge, a unique promotion that allows visitors to experience one round each at the island's beast golf resorts for one special price. Involved in this challenge are the Kauai Lagoons, the Poipu Bay Golf course and the Princeville Resort.
Poipu Bay Golf Course has turned many a head in its brief existence. Robert Trent Jones Jr. built Poipu atop the ocean cliffs along Keoneloa Bay and inevitable comparisons were made to Pebble Beach. In this case, however, the parallel rings true both in terms of scenic beauty and challenge of play. Depending upon whether you are playing the prevailing trade winds or the contrary Kona winds, any one shot might require a difference of as many as six clubs. (18 hole, par-72)
Kauai Lagoons, situated just minutes from Lihue Airport, features 36 holes of celebrated Jack Nicklaus signature golf in a remarkable tropical park setting. More than just a great golf resort, Kauai Lagoons is a plush wonderland populated by a menagerie of rare animals, a network of gorgeous canals and grounds that are landscaped to perfection. Kiele is ranked among GOLF DIGEST's 100 Greatest Golf Courses. Its sister Lagoon Course is every bit as beautiful, but more forgiving, and especially recommended for high handicappers. (Kiele: 18 hole, par-72, Kauai Lagoons: 18 hole, par-72)
The Prince Golf and Country Club by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. opened in 1990 and debuted as No. 5 among GOLF DIGEST's 75 best courses in 1992. Since opening, the Prince Course has been consistently chosen among the top golf courses in the country by GOLF DIGEST, GOLF Magazine, GOLFWEEK Magazine and WESTERN LINKS Magazine. This challenging course spans 390 acres of stunning landscaped greens. Golfers enjoy views of "Bali Hai" and the rugged cliff sides of Kauai's North Shore from all 18 holes.
The Makai Course at Princeville is actually three separate nines: the Ocean, the Woods and the Lake which branch out from the clubhouse. The Ocean/lake combination is the most popular because of the dramatic vistas but all three courses offer something for everyone. (Prince: 18 hole, par-72; Makai courses: 9 holes each, par-36 each)
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