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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Wailea Gold Course • Hole No. 8
216 Yards • Par Three
Course Designer: Robert Trent Jones II
“You’ve got it all right here on this little par three.”
—Rusty Hathaway
Head Golf Professional
Wailea Golf Club

Although Robert Trent Jones II frowns on designing “signature holes” for his courses, Wailea Gold’s No. 8 has become the poster child for the Wailea Golf Club. It is “the most photographed hole on the course.”

Jones aimed this downhill par three directly toward the neighboring islands of Molokini and Kaho‘olawe. Beyond the green, boats ply the deep blue waters, and during whale season, it is common to see the leviathans spouting and splashing offshore. Don’t let them distract you. To reach the green, your shot must clear a dry gulch and a section of historic rock wall.

Wailea Head Golf Professional Rusty Hathaway says that when people dream of playing golf in the Islands, this is the kind of hole they envision. “You’ve got it all right here on this little par three,” he says. “The beauty of it makes it stand out.”

How to Play It

The most common mistake golfers  make on this hole is leaving their tee shots short. They tend to read more downhill slope than there really is, and it’s easy to misjudge the wind, especially if you hit a high approach. The ball must carry a trio of traps that guard the front of the green.

“Club selection is real important,” Hathaway says. “A lot of people don’t take enough club. It plays longer than people think. You could sit out here all day watching and hardly anybody would be long.

“The wind knocks it down. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s windy, but the higher you get up, the more wind there is.”

The large green slopes from back to front and is receptive to an aggressive shot.

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