MAUI, HAWAII — The home course of The Champions Skins Game from 2001 to 2007, the 7,078-yard Wailea Gold is a masterfully designed layout. Its strategic and rugged design takes advantage of the terrain’s natural undulations and phenomenal ocean vistas, but four to six tee boxes built into every hole makes it a suitable track for virtually every player.
Shortly after opening in 1994, the Wailea Gold was named by both Golf Magazine and Golf Digest as one of the country’s 10 best new resort courses. It was also hailed as one of the world’s best designed courses by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler in the magazine’s first golf resorts poll.
In more recent years, the Gold Course has collectively been honored dozens of times by Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, Golfweek, Gayot and Zagat. Local readers of The Maui News voted it one of their top choices in the “Best Golf Course” category.
The Wailea Gold was created by architect Robert Trent Jones II, and has been called a “thinking player’s course,” offering a true test of one’s golf skills. Strategy and finesse are important to playing the Gold well, and the course’s intriguing risk-reward choices makes it possible to use every club in your bag.
Perhaps the most difficult hazards on the Wailea Gold, however, are the distracting island views. Gold #8 is a prime example. This par-3 beauty has golfers teeing off toward an unbeatable view of the ocean and little Molokini, a crescent shaped islet and one of Maui’s most popular snorkeling spots. Juxtaposed between the tee boxes and the fairway is a dark papohaku wall, and the verdant green is ringed by coconut trees and a sparkling white bunker. It’s hard to imagine a more picturesque Hawaiian vista.