Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i – Kaua‘i’s spectacular collection of golf courses welcome 2023 while celebrating a memorable and meaningful 2022. Not only is interest in the island golf destination at an all-time high with visits to the GoGolfKauai.com website up over 130%, but more importantly the golf courses continue to convey the spirit of Aloha and the cultural pillars of Mālama – to care for, protect and preserve Hawaii’s precious natural resources.
2022 saw Puakea Golf Course reopen following a nearly two-year pandemic-related closure, with Kaua‘i native TJ Esakai-Kua taking over as director of golf, under the leadership of Casey Watabu, who played in the 2007 Masters, and is a leader in Kaua‘i’s junior golf programs.
Kaua‘i golf courses were also honored in 2022 by national media outlets, including Golfweek magazine naming Princeville Makai Golf Club, Po‘ipū Bay Golf Course and the Ocean Course at Hōkūala to their prestigious ranking of the “Best 200 Resort Courses in the U.S.” Golfweek also named four Kaua‘i courses among the 15 “Best Courses You Can Play In Hawaii” with Princeville Makai ranked No. 4, Po‘ipū Bay No. 7, Wailua Municipal Golf Course No. 11 and The Ocean Course at Hōkūala No. 12. What’s more, Princeville Makai also placed on Golfweek’s “Top 100 Best Courses You Can Play in the U.S.” ranking (No. 75), and on its “Top 200 Modern Courses” list (No. 199). GolfPass also recognized Po‘ipū Bay and Princeville Makai in its “Golfers’ Choice 2022: Best Golf Courses in Hawaii” annual ranking, with Poipu Bay No. 1 and Princeville Makai No. 2 in the Aloha State.
In May of 2022, the Go Golf Kaua‘i golf courses and the Kaua‘i community were featured in an episode of the Fire Pit Collective’s “Journey’s With Matt Ginella.” On Ginella’s journey to the “Garden Island,” he immersed himself in the culture and community of the oldest and northernmost island. In the 36-minute webisode Ginella did an immersive deep dive into Kaua‘i to understand the island’s past and learn about what is being done to preserve its future, in the spirit of Mālama. Ginella visited five of Kaua’i’s golf courses and along the way sampled local eateries, beaches and farms. He shared with viewers an education about the focus on regenerative tourism while interviewing Kaua‘i Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami and other cultural caretakers of the island.
In October, the Go Golf Kaua‘i courses banded together for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, reminding guests abouts the importance of early detection. Courses flew pink flags, executed charitable fundraising events for Breast Cancer Research and more throughout the month. Also in October, Wailua Golf Course hosted the 13th World Deaf Golf Championships with more than 100 deaf or hard of hearing golfers from 14 countries descending on the island to compete in a 72-hole stroke play tournament over 12 divisions.
“2022 saw a return to a sense of normalcy for our community and for travel to Kaua‘i,” said Sue Kanoho, Executive Director of the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau. “We were thrilled to welcome golfers to our stunning courses, while also educating visitors on the importance of caring for and protecting our beautiful island. We look forward to an exciting 2023 with enhanced resort offerings opening in the New Year.”
Nicknamed the Garden Island for its lush tropical foliage, waterfalls and ever-present Pacific Ocean scenery, Kaua‘i boasts numerous daily-fee and resort golf courses. The destination is perennially recognized for its beaches, award-winning golf courses, ideal playing weather and stunning natural beauty. For more information on Kaua‘i golf, visit www.gogolfKauai.com.
About The Go Golf Kaua‘i Courses
- The Ocean Course at Hōkūala – The Ocean Course at Hōkūala is a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course that boasts the longest stretch of oceanfront holes in all of Hawai‘i. The picture-perfect course winds its way through papaya and guava groves to dramatic seaside cliffs. A 2016 renovation added sparkling white sand to all the bunkers, framing holes to be even more spectacular than before. The Ocean Course at Hōkūala has been rated as Hawai‘i’s Best Golf Course by the World Golf Awards 2018 – 2020.
- Po‘ipū Bay Golf Course – Po‘ipū Bay Golf Course was designed by renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr and is set between lush mountains and rugged ocean bluffs. The course incorporates more than 30 acres of colorfully landscaped tropical plants and flowers, making it one of Hawai‘i’s most beautiful courses. Po‘ipū Bay hosted the PGA Grand Slam of Golf from 1994 to 2006.
- Princeville Makai Golf Club – Princeville Makai Golf Club opened in 1971 as the first solo effort of Robert Trent Jones, Jr. The course was completely renovated in 2009, introducing spectacular new Seashore Paspalum turf grass on all fairways and greens. Princeville Makai features surreal vistas of Mt. Makana (aka Bali Hai) and Hanalei Bay, including the signature par-3, 7th hole that offers a 213-yard shot over scenic cliffs.
- Puakea Golf Course – Designed by architect Robin Nelson, Puakea is a spectacular layout built along massive ravines and lush tropical undulating terrain, with the backdrop being used for the Jurassic Park series. Named one of the top courses in Hawai‘i by Sports Illustrated, Golf Advisor and Golfweek, the dramatic 18-hole golf course is also known for its high-quality, “Kaua‘i-style” customer service. Puakea was rated “Best of Kaua‘i” by Garden Island Newspaper from 2013 – 2019.
- Wailua Golf Course – Wailua Golf Course offers classic, golden-era seaside golf holes just a few steps from the Pacific Ocean. First built as a 9-hole course in the 1930’s, and expanded to 18 holes in 1961, Wailua has hosted three USGA Amateur and three US Public Links Championships. This wonderful municipal layout was designed by Toyo Shirai and features stunning mountain views along the Royal Coconut Coast.