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.

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The King Kamehameha Golf Club • Hole No. 18
559 Yards • Par Five
Course Designers: Ted Robinson Sr. & Ted Robinson Jr.

“It’s a great birdie opportunity.”
—Wendell Inamasu
Pro Shop Manager
The King Kamehameha Golf Club

This downwind, downhill par five is without a doubt the most photographed hole on the private course nestled on the slopes above Waikapu.

Pro Shop Manager Wendell Inamasu says No. 18 reminds him of the “finish” a person gets after a fine glass of wine. “You play the course and it all leads up to this hole,” Inamasu says. “This is a great finishing hole. And you can’t beat the views.”

The green rests next to the course’s distinctive clubhouse, a pink-domed building taken from the blueprints of a home the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed for actress Marilyn Monroe. High on the West Maui hillside, overlooking the island’s Central Valley, the hole features unobstructed views of Haleakal¯a, Ma‘alaea Bay and Maui’s North Shore. Endangered n¯en¯e—Hawai‘i’s state bird—are common sights around its lake and waterfalls.

How to Play It

No. 18 at King Kamehameha gives short hitters a chance to finish strong against players who may bite off more than they can chew if they try to reach the green in two. Off the tee, golfers should aim a bit right to take advantage of a slope that will roll the ball downhill to the left. A good drive will put you about 250 yards from the hole

“If you want to go for it, you can, but that’s a lot more risk to go with the reward,” Inamasu says. “You can play it different ways, depending on how much risk you want to take.”

The right-to-left slope will carry errant or short shots into the lake guarding the left side of the green. Hit it long and you can also find water. Inamasu says that when he lays up, he tries to leave the ball about ninety yards short of the green. That provides a good angle to get on in three and a putt for birdie.

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