By George C. Thomas, Golf Writer
KAANAPALI, MAUI, HAWAII – On one of the most beautiful islands in the world, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, is an exceptional golf course. The Kaanapali Kai is the sister course of the Royal Kaanapali Golf Course, if you have the time I suggest playing both. But the Kai course is every bit as fun and challenging as her uber famous sister, with sweeping views of the ocean and the island of Lanai off in the distance.
Now I did play on the golf team in high school, but did not have the patience or skill to turn pro, and the first hole at the Kai course reminded me of this fact. After starting off with an 11 on number one, I birdied the second and then pared the third hole. My round was all over the place, as were my golf shots, but the scenery and ambience made up for that tenfold. The hospitable and knowledgeable golf staff take care of your every need, and the vibe and feel in Kaanapali reverberates onto the golf courses.
Be sure to buy a hat in the pro shop, their insignia is a cool looking whale tail. And enjoy every shot and every hole out there. If memory serves, the fifth hole has the Maui Sugar Pine Train Locomotive that runs by from time to time, and there are several holes where you will have to hit more than one tee shot. (They are called “fun balls” and do not count towards your overall score).
Everything about playing the Kai course is wonderful. And when you look around after all, you are in Maui. Time seems to slow down and not matter in Maui, and that is called Hawaiian time. If you come from the mainland, it takes a couple of days to get used to, and additionally when you go back home, everyone and everything will feel a bit rushed. Enjoy hitting golf balls and playing the Kaanapali Kai golf course, and try to not start off your round with an eleven on the first hole. (Kā‘anapali Golf Courses | Golf Courses in Maui, Hawaii (kaanapaligolfcourses.com))