Hang on! Seven days of golf paradise on Maui

By Bill Bowman, Contributor

You have seven days in Maui and you're looking to get the most bang for your golf buck.

Ka'anapali Kai golf course
Spend a day at Ka'anapali Golf Resort playing 36 holes.
Ka'anapali Kai golf courseElleair Maui Golf Club - 1st holeEmerald at Wailea Golf Club - 4thKing Kamehameha golf courseThe Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course - 5th
If you go

Where to start? Well, we have you covered.

Here's a seven-day golf explosion that will let you see and play some of the best courses in one of the world's great golf destinations.

Load up the car, grab your map and let's go!

Maui Golf Trip: Day 1

Let's start with 18 holes on the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort in northwest Maui.

You've seen this one every year as the PGA Tour's winners from the previous year take on 7,263 yards of picturesque beauty in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. With severe elevation changes, PGA Tour-quality conditioning and views to die for, the Plantation Course is one that needs to be on your must-play list.

The 18th hole is one of the most impressive in golf. It's a par 5 that stretches to 663 yards -- all downhill. It will definitely let you measure your game against the big boys.

If you have time, Kapalua's Bay Course may not get the notoriety of its sister course, but it's still plenty of challenge -- especially the fourth hole, a par 3 that plays over the ocean.

Maui Golf Trip: Day 2

Just down the road -- but worlds away -- is Ka'anapali Golf Course. With two 18-hole layouts (Royal Ka'anapali and Ka'anapali Kai), players will find 36 holes in the heart of the Ka'anapali Resort.

Staying at any one of the many resorts will get players preferred rates at either of these courses. With the Royal hugging the ocean and the Kai moving a little up the mountainside, players will find elevation changes from tee to green that add to the challenges -- and the beauty.

Maui Golf Trip: Day 3

We're going to hit central Maui for 18 holes at Elleair Maui Golf Club.

Located in Kihei, it's an underrated course that will surprise players with its value -- and its challenge. If you play early enough, head down the road a little to get a good night's sleep for the next day. We're going to play 36 holes -- at least.

Maui Golf Trip: Day 4

We're going to spend a long day at Wailea Golf Club.

The resort is home to three great layouts -- the Gold Course, the Emerald Course and the Old Blue Course. Set up a tee time at the pristine Emerald for the first round of the day and then take on either the Gold or the Old Blue for an afternoon 18 holes.

After the long day, grab a drink at Mulligan's On The Blue restaurant before hitting the road to Makena on the southern tip of Maui.

Maui Golf Trip: Day 5

The Makena Beach and Golf Resort beckons with a resort and 18 holes that offer golfers luxury. With severe elevation changes and dramatic views, it's a beautiful and challenging golf course.

And if you're looking for that ideal spot to get married, this might be it. Between the 13th green and 14th tee box is Makena Vista, an area big enough to hold a wedding party with views you won't soon forget.

Maui Golf Trip: Day 6

King Kamehameha Golf Club awaits. This private course (along with its sister course, Kahili Golf Course) does allow outside play and definitely should be on your must-play list.

Ted Robinson Sr. (designed) and Ted Robinson Jr. (recent renovations) showcase a course that is immaculate. With first-class amenities in the clubhouse as well as fine dining, it's a course that offers all the comforts of home -- and so much more.

Maui Golf Trip: Day 7

It's time to get out of town, but we're saving two little golf gems for the finale.

Just west of the airport is the Dunes at Maui Lani. This links-styled course is located at the base of a mountain, and the sand dune terrain and elevation changes make for a great change of pace from the oceanside courses. The par 5s will let players take their best shots at eagles, and the finishing hole is one that can make or break the round.

Down the road from the airport is Pukalani Country Club. This tree-lined layout offers challenging par 3s that will test players' club selection and nerves. The par-3 third hole features two greens. You can hit an easier downhill shot or a challenging shot that is all carry over a deep gorge.

There you have it, seven days of golf paradise in paradise. Catch your breath, save your money and book your return trip to play your favorites -- or just use this list again next time.

Bill BowmanBill Bowman, Contributor

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 16-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas and has teed it up for magazine profiles with celebrities including comedian Bill Engvall, actor Jeffrey Donovan (USA's Burn Notice), ESPN personality Colin Cowherd, NASCAR's Kurt Busch, Collective Soul's Ed Roland, the Baltimore Ravens' Jonathan Ogden and many others.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Golf of course!

    Sally Rotchford wrote on: Oct 25, 2014

    My husband and I have played these courses when visiting Maui and have not been disappointed. We're going back to play most of them again!