MAUI, HAWAII — Ka’anapali Kai Course was originally created as an executive course and was later redesigned by architect Arthur Jack Snyder in 1976. At 6,400 yards, the Par 70 course is a more forgiving golf course with subtle, undulating greens that accomodates all levels of play and in 2008 hosted the 12 ladies of Big Break Ka’anapali – the Golf Channel’s #1 series!
The land which Ka’anapali Golf Courses was founded, originally housed a sugar cane plantation. Players will see the Sugar Cane Train steam past several holes on the course (now used for tours) and are reminded of Hawaii’s rich culture and history.
Along many holes on the Kai Course lie natural canals, gulches and lava rock boundaries. The course is landscaped with native flowers along the trails like the hibiscus, bougainvillea and plumeria, as well as the Norfolk Pines and coconut trees that border many fairways. These features are part of what makes the course most enjoyable.
The Ka’anapali Kai Course was recently renovated by Hawaii’s most prolific golf course architect, Robin Nelson. This course focuses on strategy of your round, not necessarily distance or strength, which is why this course is enjoyed by both the beginner and avid golfer. When it opened in 1967, Kaanapali Kai offered a much shorter alternative to the more imposing Royal Kaanapali Course. Even after a redesign in 1977, it was still considered the easier, and more easygoing, of the two Kaanapali layouts. While this Maui golf course meanders over the same gently rolling topography of its more accomplished sibling, Kai’s greens are far more forgiving. Due to another major redesign in 2005’this time by Robin Nelson, Hawaii’s most prolific course designer, there have been noticeable changes.
Still relatively short, the par-70 Kai now plays 6,388 yards. Yet, it’s a course all golfers can enjoy. For the advanced player it can be a perfect warm-up round to acclimate to Maui’s finicky trade winds. For the occasional golfer it delivers all the golf they can handle due to its more-tapered fairways. Nelson’s redesign includes total remakes of several holes to accentuate views of the ocean and the islands of Molokai and Lanai. The renovated layout takes full advantage of natural hole-defining features canals, lava rock formations, and gullies plus significant plantings of Norfolk pine and coconut palm. Nelson also introduced two new forward tees on each hole that appeal to those new to the game. (www.kaanapali-golf.com)