The Pros’ Favorite Holes

We challenged five Maui pros to pick their favorite hole on their home course and share tips for playing it successfully.


Royal Ka‘anapali Course • Hole No. 9
485 Yards • Par Five
Course Designer: Robert Trent Jones Sr.

“Make two good shots here, and you can be on in two and have a chance at three.”
—Tim Murphy
Director of Golf
Ka‘anapali Golf Resort

This uphill par five faces straight into the teeth of the trade winds. Its location at the highest elevation of the Royal K¯a‘anapali Course gives it outstanding views of the resort, the West Maui Mountains and the neighboring islands L¯ana‘i and Moloka‘i. Director of Golf Tim Murphy says the rolling terrain and challenging winds make this hole his favorite.
“You make two good shots here,” says Murphy, “and you can definitely be on in two and have a chance at three.
“One of my favorite memories on this hole is that it’s where Arnold Palmer made a great putt for birdie [in the 2008 Wendy’s Champions Skins Game]. That’s something I will always remember.”
Fairway bunkers and sidehill slope make placement of the tee shot critical. A figure-eight-shaped green is guarded by bunkers and thick rough.

How to Play It

On this short par five, golfers can choose to play safe and steady and still have a chance for birdie, while big hitters can take their chances and strive for an eagle.

“There is certainly a risk-reward factor on this hole,” Murphy says. “You can bite off more, but you’re going to bring the bunkers into play.”

The fairway slopes right to left, so favor the right on your drive. Headwinds tend to exaggerate any spin you have on the ball. Hook it left and there’s a good chance to roll off the course and into someone’s backyard. Slice it right and you’ll be in the uphill condos. If you are going for the green in two, keep in mind that the greenside bunkers are quite challenging. Land your approach shot on the green to the right of the hole and it will roll left toward the cup.



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