The Takeaway: I was underwhelmed by what I found a Ka'anapali. When I play golf I want a four hour escape from the world and a chance to appreciate nature. At Ka'anapali I never felt reprieve from the "real world" due to the amount of distraction created by the cars, people, and buildings found throughout the resort. There are some good hole designs on the routing but the conditioning is subpar for a course charging triple digits for green fees. If you are staying at one of the numerous nearby properties without a vehicle and value convenience above everything else then a visit to Royal Ka'anapali is better than not playing golf at all, however there are better courses and values found throughout Maui. Grade C
Designer: Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 1962
Cost: $125.00 - $255.00 (includes cart) Click for current rates
Phone Number: (866) 454-4653
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Royal Ka'anapali Golf Course's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 2290 Kaanapali Parkway, Lahaina, HI
Accolades: Ranked 15th on Golfweek's Best Public Courses in Hawaii list.
What to Expect: Royal Ka'anapali helped introduce resort golf to the state of Hawaii in 1962 with this Robert Trent Jones Sr. design. In typical fashion for a resort course of this era, the emphasis of Ka'anapali is more on the development of the resort hotels and condos with the golf courses winding around them. The course is located at the immediate entrance into the property with the hotels/condos bordering the stunning beach. While ocean views are afforded from many of the holes, those views are always hampered by these high rises peppering the foreground. The single hole that finishes down by the ocean doesn't feel like a pure coastal golf experience since a pathway separates the green from the beach and unfortunately features numerous joggers and resort guests bustling along it. The course features Bermuda grass which is not maintained to the level I was expecting though it is certainly playable. Players that struggle getting the ball high in the air may find themselves discouraged by the fact that three of the four par 3s and a handful of additional holes play uphill which can be especially bruising when played into the wind. Lastly, Roy's restaurant is featured inside the clubhouse and boasts views across the 18th hole from many of the tables for those looking to dine before or after their round.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 5th Hole – 474 Yard Par 4
Best Par 3: 17th Hole – 155 Yards
Best Par 4: 16th Hole – 437 Yards
Best Par 5: 1st Hole – 519 Yards
Birdie Time: 6th Hole – 460 Yard Par 5
Bogey Beware: 18th Hole – 440 Yard Par 4