Golf on Lanai
Often it’s quality, rather than quantity, that can truly make something great, and such is the case with golfing on Lanai, where despite being the island’s only 18-hole course, the Jack Nicklaus Signature Manele Golf Course draws visitors from across the globe.
When compared to Oahu, which has nearly 40 courses, or the 14 on neighboring Maui, you would think that Lanai would barely register as a blip on Hawaii’s golf radar. On the contrary, Lanai for a time was one of Hawaii’s best destinations for golf—particularly when the 18-hole Experience at Koele was still in operation. If you walked the docks of Lahaina Harbor on Maui at 6:30am, the morning ferry between Maui and Lanai would be packed with day-tripping golfers. There were specials where visitors could play 36 holes—sometimes for the price of 18—and tick off two different world-class courses in a single day on Lanai. Read more
The Jack Nicklaus Signature Manele Golf Course
Today, however, the Koele course remains closed, and while long-term plans involve re-opening the course along with the neighboring resort, there’s no definitive date for when the course will open for business.
You can still visit the Manele Golf Course, however, for the chance to tee off over the Pacific Ocean towards the green of the famous 12th hole, where Bill Gates was married, where whales spout offshore, and where the fairway is replaced by the crashing whitewater of waves thundering on rocks. The resort has spared no expense in crafting this oceanfront, elite-level course, from the GPS-enabled carts to the food at the 19th hole, Views.
Lanai’s Free 9-Hole Cavendish Course
The only place you can golf on Lanai that isn’t at the resort, is the public, 9-hole—and completely free—Cavendish course in Lanai City. This course was constructed in the days of Dole, when the plantation managed the town, and despite the fact it’s been 25 years since Dole moved off of Lanai, this play-in-your-slippers, bring-your-own-six-pack, course has managed to survive. There’s no need for tee times—since there isn’t any clubhouse—just drive up 5th Avenue, turn left towards the course, and prepare to walk the nine holes.
Golf Courses on Lanai
- Rates/Green Fee Key:
- $ under $55
- $$ $55-$99
- $$$ $100-$149
- $$$$ $150-$199
- $$$$$ over $200
Four Seasons Lanai – Manele Golf Course $$$$$
Cavendish Golf Course (Free)
Matsumoto’s Shave Ice on the North Shore has the best tropical flavors and toppings.
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