When it comes to golf, the island of Kauai is number one, and in this blog I will describe all of Kauai’s great golf courses.
Kauai has top-rated courses designed by the world’s most prominent designers, and is also known for having the most spectacular ocean and mountain views to be found anywhere. With temperatures in the 70s and 80s all year around, the golfing conditions on Kauai are excellent.I have just spent two weeks golfing on Kauai every day, staying in a beautiful Poipu vacation rental the first week, and then an ocean view Princeville condominium the second week. These were perfect base camps for my golf adventures.
A variety of settings are available, from the north shore’s lush and tropical terrain to the lava cliffs of the south shore. The Garden Isle doesn’t disappoint, with pristine fairways and well-kept greens, and three of the five top rated golf courses in the state.
On the north shore atop the coastal cliffs at the world famous Princeville Resort are two luxurious golf courses: the number one rated Prince Course and the 27-hole Makai Course.
The Prince Course is arrayed over the coastal hills atop the north shore seacliffs. Designed by renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the Prince is regularly listed among America’s top 100 golf courses, and has also been rated number one in the state by Golf Digest.
The elegant clubhouse at the Prince Course includes a pro-shop as well as the luxurious full-service Princeville Health Club and Spa where you can soothe your muscles in the jacuzzi and relax in the sauna or steamroom.
I was quite impressed by the floor-to-ceiling windows in the fitness room overlooking the golf course and the azure Pacific Ocean beyond.
Not far from the Prince Course is the Makai Golf Course which includes the Ocean Nine, the Lakes Nine, and the Woods Nine.
The Mokihana Golf Course is located in Lihue on the eastern shore of Kauai at the Kaua‘i Lagoons Golf and Racket Club. Designed by Jack Nicklaus in the Scottish style, the course features guarded greens and open fairways. The only problem with this challenging course is the jet noise from the nearby airport.
The Kiele Course in Lihue is part of the Kauai Lagoons Golf and Racket Club and has been ranked among Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. The Kiele was designed by Jack Nicklaus and is one of Kauai’s toughest courses as it winds its way through wooded valleys amidst lagoons and cliffs, featuring panoramic ocean views.
The Puakea Golf Course, also in Lihue has great views of the formidable Mount Hā‘upu as well as the azure Pacific. Designed by Robin Nelson, this 18-hole course opened in 2004.
Poipu Bay Golf Course at the Poipu Bay Resort (Hyatt) on Kauai’s south shore was designed by renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr. This is a championship links-style course that has often been compared to Pebble Beach.
Poipu Bay Golf Course has been rated among the top 18 courses in America by Golf Magazine, and hosted the prestigious PGA Grand Slam of Golf from 1994-2006. Holes 15 to 17 are among the most scenic holes in Hawaii, and keep an eye out for humpback whales breaching offshore.
Kiahuna Golf Club in southern Kauai was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., and hosted the LPGA Worldwide Championship of Pro-Am Golf. Kiahuna is suitable for all skill levels, but with lots of bunkers and exposure to the tradewinds, the course is quite challenging.
The Wailua Municipal Golf Course is a beautiful oceanside course on Kauai’s east side along the “Coconut Coast.” Designed by Toyo Shirai, the Wailua course has been rated the best municipal course in the United States, and one of the top 15 in Hawaii. Three times the course has hosted the USGA Amateur Public Links Championships.
Kukuiolono Golf Course is a 9-hole golf course located on a hillside above the town of Kalāheo and includes a Japanese garden. This south side course features great views of the ocean.
The quaint Kukuiolono also features a variety of culturally significant stones that were gathered from around Kaua‘i by Walter McBryde, a sugar magnate who donated this course and the surrounding land to the people of Kauai.
I can’t imagine a better place that Kauai to take a two week golf vacation. If that is a little ambitious for you, perhaps just choose the south or north part of the island and focus your energies there.
Whatever you decide, you can find some affordable yet very luxurious accommodations on Kauai, from great Poipu vacation rentals to wonderful North Shore condominiums, and wherever you stay you will be very near to some of the most scenic and also highly rated golf courses in the world.