Princeville Makai Golf Club - Makai Course

4.3629294118 4.4 stars from 5 (61)
  • Holes: 18
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 7223 yards
  • Slope: 134
  • Rating: 75.4
  • Layout

  • 4080 Lei O Papa Rd, Princeville, Hawaii 96722, Kauai County
  • (808) 826-1912
  • (808) 826-1017
  • makaigolf.com

Year built: 1971
Architect(s): Robert Trent Jones, Jr. (1971), Robert Trent Jones, Jr. (2009)
Type: Resort
Greens: Seashore Paspalum
Fairways: Seashore Paspalum
Golf Season: Year round

Rentals/Services

Carts: Yes
Clubs: Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving range: Yes
Pitching/chipping area: Yes
Putting green: Yes
Practice bunker: Yes
Practice hole: Yes
Teaching pro: Yes

Policies

Walking allowed: Yes
Metal spikes allowed: No
Dress code: Proper golf attire.
Credit cards accepted: VISA, MasterCard, Amex Welcomed

Tees | Layout | Full Scorecard

Tee Par Length Rating Slope
'Aina 72 7223 yards 75.4 134
Koa 72 6535 yards 71.7 129
Kai 72 6522 yards 71.6 127
Ahi (W) 72 6155 yards 75.5 132
Ahi 72 6155 yards 69.8 123
Lani 72 5534 yards 66.9 117
Lani (W) 72 5534 yards 72.1 122
Ka'upu (W) 72 4978 yards 68.9 117

Accolades

Rating Snapshot

GA Rating Index 4.4 stars from 5
Off-Course Amenities: 3.8 stars from 5
Value: 3.6 stars from 5
Pace of Play: 4.6 stars from 5
Staff Friendliness: 4.1 stars from 5
Course Layout: 4.4 stars from 5
Course Conditions: 4.3 stars from 5
Rating Breakdown 61 Reviews
5 stars:
39
4 stars:
19
3 stars:
2
2 stars:
0
1 stars:
1

recommend this course

54 out of 58 reviews


What Golfers Are Saying

Location is at a resort   Great for wildlife/ scenic views a bucket list/top 100 pick advanced golfers   Challenges include bunkers forced carries water hazards   Great for drinks  

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Reviewer Photos

Reviews


Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender

"Pass on it"


CM1OIlnb5hrDmh9VBZaO's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week

1 1.0 stars from 5 Played on 12/16/2018
Previously played

Reviewed on

Your money is best spent elsewhere. I’ve played this course twice. My most recent experience will be the last here. Facts: I booked a tee time at 7:00 am via telephone for 2 days in a row. I was staying at Princeville Resort. I get there and the pro shop had failed to reserve my tee time. I pay for a 7:36 am tee time. They tell me I can goto the putting green while waiting. As I go to the putting green, the starter—a rather unprofessional chap—yells at me. I tell him I’m going to practice putting and he shuts up. Later I’m ready for my tee time, and the starter point blank yells at me again (unprovoked), “I can’t have you running all over the golf course!” Excuse me? You pay five star prices here, but don’t expect five star service. Expect some discriminatory behavior.

Btw the course is in average condition. Views are nice.


Pace of Play: Average

Course Layout: Average

Course Conditions: Average

Staff Friendliness: Poor

Value for the Money: Poor

Off-Course Amenities: Poor


I don't recommend this course


"We will be back"


vrussela's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  15-19

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 10/07/2018
Previously played Used cart Wet weather

Reviewed on

Wife and I played on a Sunday 9:45 AM tee time, Callaway rental clubs.

Greeted upon arrival in the pro shop like we were old friends (the old part is pretty correct). Ditto with the Starter who we were in touch with several times through the day.

Besides the tremendous views, cool and unique holes, magnificent course maintenance, the STAFF puts Princeville Makai at the top of the food chain. Over the decades, I have never encountered a more accommodating staff, from greens keepers to bag guys and everyone in between, anywhere. Certainly there are some probably as good, but I don't see how they can improve on the personnel side.

We love #17 and 18, had an extra bonus by making the putt of my life on 17. Even received applause from people walking nearby.

Greens slow, but they were everywhere on Kauai the past 2 weeks, plus on and off rain which was light and welcome.

course was wide open, seldom waited on a tee box, no pressure from behind.

Conclusion: Pay the $$, play this golf course and bring a camera. Tee of early if you can as the winds pick up later.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Nice Golf Course But Bad Timing For Me"


Thomas8153277's avatar
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  10-14

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/18/2018
First time playing Used cart Perfect weather Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Very nice golf course but a few issues. (1) The posted schedule on GolfNow for punching the greens was September 19th. When we arrived on the 18th, they told us that they had been done "a week or ten days" earlier. Recovery was really slow. The greens were still rough and putting very difficult. (2) Most of the staff was friendly and helpful. However, I had an incident with a course marshal that will likely keep me from returning to Princeville.

While this was certainly not the day I expected on a quality resort course at another time the greens and the staff could be different.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Fair

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I don't recommend this course


"From Cali with Love"


Jared6677058's avatar
Age:  25-34
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a month
Handicap:  15-19

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/15/2018
First time playing Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

I purchased the 3-day package which provided great value and played 6/15, 6/17,&6/18. The greens had recently been aerated(barely noticeable) which is the only reason for the 4/5. The staff was awesome and super accommodating from the pro shop staff to the starters. They really went out of their way to ensure that my group was having the best time possible. The pictures on the site are great but do no justice to seeing it person, absolutely breathtaking. From breathtaking views, to great imaginative golf holes, to all types of birds throughout the course, to finishing off the round with a cool cucumber water soaked towel everything was top notch. Bottom line is if you are in Kauai and are looking to play golf go see Dave at Makai you won't regret it.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Oceans holes are stunning"


BrandonWebb's avatar
Top 10 Contributor
Birmingham Advisor
Age:  35-44
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/06/2018
First time playing Used cart Windy weather

Reviewed on

This is my favorite course that I have played in Hawaii, and ranks among my most favorite rounds played anywhere.

I was sent out on the back nine first to avoid an outing that was taking place, so the course unfolded differently for me.

The spectacular scenic value of the ocean holes at Makai will give you pause. As will the shot value on these holes. To me, these holes are a poor man’s Cypress Point. The view you get playing the approach into the par-4 12th hole sets the stage. The par-3 13th hole played 223 yards into the wind toward the ocean. The par-4 14th is one of the finest designed short 4s you will find, playing around the barranca and ocean cliffs to a fairway littered with bunkers.

My back nine, or the course’s front, is marked by the par-3 third that plays 2-3 clubs downhill and downwind across a hazard. The view from the tee box with Hanalei Bay and the mist-shrouded mountains in the background was fantastic. The short par-4 fourth that plays up the hill offers another breathtaking view from behind its’ green. The sixth and seventh holes offer similar postcard-worthy views to the three-hole stretch on the inward nine.

The course plays a bit wet just because of its proximity on the island. The north shore gets a lot of rain, so mud balls were prevalent, although the fairways were not soggy.

The greens were still recovering from recent aeration, so the pro shop took $25 off the rate to accommodate for this. I found the greens to be excellent, with only 2 or 3 showing the signs of the aeration.

This course isn’t necessarily that exacting off the tee, but it demands that you hit precise iron shots. Often times there is no margin for error, particularly to the approaches on the short 4s, where pins were tucked behind bunkers. The par 3s require deft clubbing.

The staff was very helpful and accommodating.

In summary, Makai, is big on scenic and shot value and you will be sorry if you don’t include it on any trip to Kaua’i. It is one of the course’s where it is hard to narrow down the six pictures you want to include on the GA review because there are so many good ones to choose from.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Average

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course



"Tough but fair for a hacker"


u000004755012's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  15-19

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 01/20/2018
First time playing Used cart

Reviewed on

Beautiful course with breathtaking views. We got rained out after 16 holes but worth it anyway. I would play again in better weather. Hard course but keeps your interest.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"Great course in a stunningly beautiful setting"


LICC's avatar
Top 100 Contributor
NY-NJ Advisor
Skill:  Intermediate

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/27/2017

Reviewed on

This is one of the most beautiful settings for golf you will see. Kauai and Hanalei Bay are stunning. The course makes great use of the setting, with holes at the bay with the mountains in the background and right at the ocean cliffs. The course is fun to play- great condition, tricky greens that can punish bad shots, nice variety and fairway movement. Many holes can be played multiple ways. The course is not walkable due to long treks between greens to tees, but otherwise the layout varies nicely through different parts of the property. Just a great experience.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good


I recommend this course



"Course and staff"


Amaaciotra's avatar
Age:  45-54
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 05/24/2017
First time playing

Reviewed on

This course had a great layout, great views, great playability but challenging

The pro, Tom and rest of staff were extremely accommodating to my schedule and helpful

I would recommend playing if in the area


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good


I recommend this course


"Best on the Island"


u000007152317's avatar
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 05/26/2016
First time playing

Reviewed on

With The Prince closed, this is the best course on Kaua'i. The paspalum greens and fairways are in perfect shape. Layout lots of fun. Several dramatic mountain and ocean views.

Only negative was they only had three motor boards in operation , so none was available for us.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good


I recommend this course


"Hawaii Golf Perfected at Kauai Makai Golf Club"


GreerGolf's avatar
Top 500 Contributor
Texas Advisor
Age:  45-54
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  20-24

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 03/26/2016
First time playing Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

The knowledgeable Expedia concierge at the Courtyard Kauai Resort made our tee times. The sense of arrival at Makai Golf Club is exceptional. The course has holes surrounding the road and they give a hint of what to expect. Checking in, the pro shop staff was professional, kind, and enthusiastic. Doug serves a special mention. The starter was very thorough in giving us tips for the greens and the wind. Practice areas are top notch. The course plays shorter than you would think it would. We had wind but no clouds. 12 great holes, 5 almost great, and only one short par 4 that was kind of quirky. This is a Robert Trent Jones Jr course, so that means bunkers. A lot of them. The course is currently ranked #3 in Hawaii. Should be #1. Golf Digest ranks it as Top 100 you can play. Do it.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course



"One of my all-time favorites"


MikeBaileyGA's avatar
Golf Advisor
Age:  55-64
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 03/07/2016
Previously played Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

It's too bad this golf course is thousands of miles from me. Otherwise, I'd play it with regularity. It's that good, and I'd never get bored. Every hole is unique and memorable, and the ocean comes into view on half the holes. Outstanding conditions don't hurt either. I love the ocean holes, but also in the inward holes. In fact, 17 and 18 are one of the best finishing holes in all of golf. Easily, the Makai is in the top 20 golf courses I've ever played, and I've played around a thousand courses.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"Nice Round"


tomwallace13's avatar
Age:  45-54
Gender:  Male

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 03/03/2016
First time playing Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

Nice course. Good condiontions. Just wish you saw the ocean more.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Geat course, great people"


vrussea's avatar
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  15-19

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 01/29/2016
First time playing Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

Played with wife, son (6 handicap), and his wife. Course conditions excellent, great course for our range of expertise, as advertised, some killer views. No one behind us so we spent 1/2 hour watching the whales about 3/4 miles offshore.

Have to mention the level of service. Way over the top. Clubhouse staff, cart guys, starter, all with exuberant personalities, fell all over themselves to make us feel welcome and appreciated.

Marshall Rick cannot be topped. As often as I have played golf, from muni's to 5 star resorts, never met a more concerned, accomodating, human beaing of a Marshall than Rick. Hats off, the bar has been raised.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"One of Hawaii's best"


MikeBaileyGA's avatar
Golf Advisor
Age:  45-54
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 11/17/2014
Previously played Played with a group Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

The Makai Course, especially after a facelift four years ago, remains one of my all-time favorites. With ocean views on more than half the holes, great turf conditions and inland holes that rival some of the ocean holes, this is an enjoyable experience from start to finish. Truly, this is a course that Robert Trent Jones did right more than 40 years ago and had the chance to make his own improvements on it after designed scores of other courses in between. If you get to Kauai, this is a must-play, even moreso than the Prince Course, which is shutting down and turning private.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Quality of food & beverage: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Tale of Two Nines"


Jpante's avatar
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/23/2014
First time playing Played with a group Used cart Played 18 holes Poor weather

Reviewed on

Makai has great warm up facilities. We went on a day that was looking to be OK but the north shore of Kauai had decided that Makai needed a bath, of course this meant we had no traffic! The first nine it rained hard and sideways, second nine it cleared up but there was still a fair bit of water around. Having said that still managed to post an OK score. Fairways and greens were in good shape. The course is great and some holes with amazing views of the ocean. Carts have tablets with hole details and GPS which is great as you can set them up for yards or metres. Pro shop was fine and club service was top notch.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Good

Quality of food & beverage: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I recommend this course



"Nice Views"


daletgolden's avatar
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 12/25/2013
First time playing Played with a group Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Nice golf course. Some spectacular views. Pace of play was slow. Course permitted a guy wearing swim trunks and a camp shirt to play in front of us. Then, did nothing to move them along.


Pace of Play: Fair

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"What a way to start my trip!!!"


u000004396021's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 10/20/2013
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Place is awesome. Great rate on Golf Now, $125 at 11am. $35 extra for the wife to ride along. Well worth the money. The ocean views are fantastic. Hard to focus on your shots at times. Had a rough start but tore up the back for a 77! Greens rolled nice, not too fast but not slow like other tracks on Kauai. (Puakea, pass on this one) Both tracks at Princeville are a must play! To save some cash, try the Muni near the Airport. Aloha!


Pace of Play: Average

Course Conditions: Average

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Average

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I recommend this course



"Very good course design and condition!"


idebjr57's avatar
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  10-14

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/21/2013
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Diverse course layout. Difficult par 3s from the black tees. Fairly wide fairways, but tighter areas near most greens. A few 'all or nothing' shots at about half of the par threes and one third of the par fours (either over ponds at the front edge of the green or over cliffs that are 100 feet deep or more!) Easy, of course, when you know where and how far your ball is going!


Pace of Play: Good

Course Conditions: Average

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"Majestic beauty"


ayamamoto's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 9/8/2013
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

I got a great deal from golf now to play this course and I must say I was in golf heaven. The course was pristine, the views were amazing, and the staff was extremely friendly. The overall feel was relaxed and low pressure... making it well worth the green fee. I liked it so much that I booked another round for 3 days later.


Pace of Play: Average

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I recommend this course


"This was a very challenging but fair course."


rickberg99's avatar
Age:  65+
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 9/5/2013
Previously played Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

We enjoyed the course and felt the staff were extremely friendly and accomodating. The trade winds made this a very challenging course from the blue tees!


Pace of Play: Average

Course Conditions: Average

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Average

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course



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