If you are staying in Maui, there is a magnificent golf course that you might miss because it is on the neighboring island of Lana'i. Lana'i is easily accessible though a great 50 min ferry ride, leaving from Lahaina Harbor in West Maui and if you go in the winter months, you can also save money on a whale watching tour as you are sure to see many whales as you make this picturesque short journey.
The Challenge at Manele golf course, carved out of the rugged coast sprawls across ancient lava fields, with 180-degree ocean panoramas from every hole. Red cliffs plunging down to blue sea, green fairways engulfing white sand traps, and blossoms from fissures in the black lava rock. This was the palette of designer Jack Nicklaus, who shaped the 7,039–yard, par 72 championship course, carefully protecting and preserving the archaeological ruins within its borders.
The spectacular natural setting of The Challenge at Manele guarantees an unforgettable round for every golfer who plays here. Perched atop 200-foot cliffs, the course offers dramatic views of the ocean from all 18 holes. Lush, green fairways are bordered by black lava outcroppings, reminders of the ancient origins of Lana'i. Teeing off from the cliffs at Hulopoe Bay with the Pacific surging below, you face perhaps the world's most unforgiving water hazard. The twelfth hole is nothing short of a leap of faith, with 200 yards of churning waves to cross.
Other holes demand shots over yawning ravines. Fortunately, the five-tee concept - with courses of shorter yardage mapped in red, white, blue, gold and "Nicklaus" - allows golfers of all levels to emerge unscathed.
Book through Hawaiiteetimes.com this wonderful 18 holes, par 72, 7039 yards. All prices per person and include golf cart, round-trip ferry service from Maui, and ground transportation to and from course.
Ferry's depart at 6:45 am or 9:15 am, and return at 2:00pm, 4:30 pm or 6:45 pm - Do not miss one of the best golf courses on the Hawaiian Islands.