Some of the most well-known (notice I didn’t say “best”) golf courses on Maui are found on the western side of the island, mostly because a lot of tourists choose to vacation in Ka’anapali. The two courses at Ka’anapali and two additional courses at Kapalua are all a short drive from the row of hotels, so many visitors don’t get the opportunity to play some of the other great courses found in central and south Maui.
When it comes to golf on the Southside of Maui (I am talking about Kihei and Wailea), the collection of three courses that make up the Wailea Golf Club are pretty unforgettable. The Blue, Emerald, and Gold course are all maintained with a keen attention to detail and holes are laid out to take advantage of views of the Pacific Ocean and crescent moon shaped island of Molokini.
I have played all seven courses I have outlined above and highly recommend all of them. Today however, I had the opportunity to play a Mauigolf course that I had never played before, Elleair, located in Kihei.
What drew me to Elleair was the low green fees. It was only $35 for 18 holes if you are a resident of Hawaii. This is quite a bargain when you consider the fees at Wailea or Ka’anapali can be over $200. With the low rates, I did not expect the fairways to be maintained or the greens to be too friendly, but I was pleasantly surprised! I would argue the fairways, tee boxes, and greens were just as immaculate at Elleair as they are at the other top notch courses on Maui.
If you like playing a course with water hazards (and I do), you will be pleased to learn that Elleair has about five holes that incorporate a large blue pond which must be maneuvered. My favorite hole on the course was the 15th, which will have you carefully selecting which club to use as you opt to lay up before the pond on the dogleg left, or drive for show and clear the water hazard along the right side of the fairway.
All in all, I highly recommend a trip out to Kihei to play Elleair. You won’t be disappointed.