We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Ocean views...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kaanapali Golf Courses

Kaanapali Golf Courses
2290 Kaanapali Parkway, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761
(808) 661-3691
Improve this listing
Ranked #64 of 118 Outdoor Activities in Lahaina
Activities: Golfing
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: World-class golfing at the heart of Kaanapali Beach Resort, is home to the Senior PGA Tour EMC Kaanapali Classic.
Sacramento, California
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Ocean views...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

We played here every chance we get... There is now a couple of great dining choices after a round of golf... Roy's just moved down from Kahana...

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

216 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Top Contributor
171 reviews 171 reviews
66 attraction reviews
Reviews in 105 cities Reviews in 105 cities
272 helpful votes 272 helpful votes
“Grandad of Hawaiian Resort courses not showing its age”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

2012 marked the 50th anniversary of Robert Trent Jones Sr.’s Royal Kaanapali Golf Course, the granddaddy of Maui golf courses. Apparently Bing Crosby was in the first foursome to tee off in 1962. There is a great amount of history to the course as you will note immediately upon entering the clubhouse. All of the modern greats from Palmer onward, have competed here. With all the improvements to the game over the past half century you might think this course has lost some of its edge – in which case you would be 100% wrong. Royal Kaanapali remains a challenge to even the best golfers and is an overmatch for the average golfer. There are a number of things that make this course one of the Hawaii must plays.

First of all, the views of the ocean and the islands of Lanai and Molokai are outstanding – the course rises substantially in elevation so that the views get progressively better. From January through March you can expect to see breaching Humpback whales in the distance. Although only the fifth hole actually reaches the edges of Kaanapali Beach the views from the green will have you getting your camera out. Aside from the ocean views the course is lush with many varieties of flowing trees and shrubs, birds and some interesting houses on the back nine.

In terms of playability, the course has been designed so that almost all the holes play either directly into the wind or downwind – there are few holes with the wind pushing the ball left or right. Unlike many other Hawaii courses, Royal Kaanapali has not replaced its Bermuda grass so that reading the greens is difficult and putting them even more so. On top of that the greens are small and many have some severe undulations – in our foursome no one ever got an approach shot close enough to be considered a gimme. Three putts were more common than two putts. As with any Trent Jones’ courses, Sr. or Jr. expect well trapped greens.

For average golfers (18 hdcp. and above), I would recommend playing the golds at 5840 over the more normal whites at 6267. By doing that it increases the chance of hitting a more lofted iron to the green and a getting a par. Overall, you are probably not going to like your score on this course, but that is more than offset by the beauty and layout.

One final note, on a number of the holes on the front nine walkers share the cart path. This is particularly the case on number 5 where there might be fifty people walking to or away from you as line up your second shot. If you ever want a chance to find out what the pros feel like with spectators lining the side of the fairway this is as close as you’ll get.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Mixed feelings about the Royal Course”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We played the Royal Course twice last week. I have mixed feelings about it.

Unfortunately, I do not feel like it is worth $198 per person (resort guest price), but that is the going rate for the majority of courses on the island so it is what it is.

The course itself is very nice, well maintained, and varies in views of the resorts and ocean/nearby islands. The setting was wonderful.

However, the greens are a serious problem here. I consider myself an above average putter, but these greens are TOUGH, maybe unfairly tough. You can reach the green and have a birdie or par putt, and end up with double or triple bogey!

They are dry, fast, and very undulating. We had a nice time playing from the fairways (and even the sand a couple times), but the greens were just downright frustrating.

Other than that, we had a nice time and the staff is fantastic.

Might try the Kai course next time and see how that compares.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Poor Value”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

We booked a "twilight" for about $150.00 per person at the Royal. We started at 1:35 and the pace wasn't terrible in that we finished just at dusk. It's a pretty course with ocean and mountain views. The staff at the club house were friendly and helpful. However, there was no beverage service on the course except for one cart serving both Plantation and Royal. The lady serving 36 holes of golfers was trying her best but couldn't possibly maintain the level of service that this facility needs. Ka'anapali doesn't provide the provide the basic refreshments for its patrons that one would expect for a course of its calibre.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caledon, Canada
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Spectacular views!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

We played on Super Bowl Sunday so no crowds. The course is hilly, and challenging, (I'm a 10 handicapper), greens were fair, fairways wide open, but the wind will be a problem most afternoons and favours wind players. The staff were fine, helpful, and knowledgeable. A bit pricey, but can charge it and get it.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Kaanapali Golf Courses also viewed


Been to Kaanapali Golf Courses? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Kaanapali Golf Courses, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.