Featured Courses - Wailea — Hawaii golf vacations


by Michael Castello


Wailea is a Maui paradise for the avid golfer, with abundant ocean views and a classic design by Robert Trent Jones Jr. 

My entourage and I set out on a partly cloudy day to play this amazing course. I had heard many great things about the "Grand Lady" of Maui and had looked forward to this golf adventure for months.

Wailea has three distinct courses, the Blue, Gold and Emerald, which we took to task.  The Wailea Emerald course is rated one of the "best new courses" by Golf Magazine and Golf Digest, as well as "one of North America's most women-friendly" by Golf for Women.

The tropical terrain cascading down to the ocean was inspirational.  We would take a few moments to gaze at the views, hoping not to slow down the pace of play.  Luckily the course moves at a relaxing pace, and we did not hold up the players behind, who were most likely stopping to take in the same views.

6,825 yards from the back, the Emerald has multiple tee boxes on every hole. You can expect to see blooming flowers including plumeria, bird of paradise, allamanda, bougainvillea, and "firecracker" plants, among many others.

The large double green shared by holes 10 and 17 is flanked by water on one side and bunkers on the other, and hole 11 is almost 600 yards from the emerald tee. A lot of shots roll downhill and are challenging and I was careful to keep out of trouble by not over reaching on my drive.

Lava rock is a native obstacle and the marshall prefers you not try to retrieve your ball if you get caught in it. Carts are GPS- equipped.

All in all this is one of the best courses I have ever played. Exquisite scenery combined with a superbly maintained course at a relaxing pace make this course a true gem.


Photos by Michael Castello