Golf the Garden IsleKaua‘i

Set 300 feet above the Pacific along the island’s rugged north coast, the PRINCE COURSE AT PRINCEVILLE RESORT is an 18-hole, par-72 course rated by many experts and golf publications as the No. 1 course in Hawai‘i. This rating isn’t given for the stunning scenery; the Prince is a golfing experience that will try your skills.

Inspired by Princeville’s rolling terrain, this challenging links-style course finds its roots in Scotland. The course runs uphill, careens downhill and is now being called the “PINE VALLEY OF THE PACIFIC.”

The reward at the 18th hole is the elegant, yet North Shore-casual PRINCE GOLF CLUBHOUSE. Amenities include a spa, a well-stocked pro shop, tasty Pacific Rim cuisine at the restaurant and, of course, the condolences of other duffers who have made it through the Prince’s 18 holes.

Princeville’s 27-HOLE MAKAI GOLF COURSE recently reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation. The Makai is really three courses in one: The OCEAN NINE ventures closest to the Pacific; the LAKES NINE winds its way around serene lakes; and the WOODS NINE is a pleasant diversion through native woodlands.

But don’t just stop at Princeville. The Garden Isle is a golfer’s nirvana brimming with lush courses and breathtaking scenery. So what are you waiting for? Peruse www.kauaigolfclubrentals.com, pick a course (like greens mentioned below) and perfect your par.

“Play where champions [like Tiger Woods] play.” PO‘IPU BAY GOLF COURSE—18 holes, challenging and stunning—is best known for hosting the PGA GRAND SLAM OF GOLF from 1994-2006. Lush emerald mountains, the backdrop to this rolling plateau designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., welcome players of all levels. En route, you’ll be in company of ancient heiau (places of worship), nene geese, Hawaiian monk seals, sea turtles and the course’s luxurious amenities. Call (800) 858-6300, or visit www.poipubaygolf.com.

KAUAI LAGOONS GOLF CLUB is an 18-hole dream. Recently renovated under course architect Jack Nicklaus, it boasts the longest stretch of oceanfront holes in Hawai‘i. Stroke through TifEagle putting greens on a half-mile of unparalleled oceanfront bliss.

Located at 3351 Ho‘olaule‘a Way in Lihu‘e. Call (800) 634-6400 to reserve a tee time, or log on to www.kauailagoonsgolf.com.

KIAHUNA GOLF CLUB, the first course on the south shoreline near Po‘ipu, touts 18 holes of aloha; Kiahuna owns some of the fastest greens on Kaua‘i, thanks to a renovation that featured Seashore Paspalum Greens. Architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. has yet again showcased his magic—crafting a design that integrates ancient Hawaiian village remains. Call (808) 742-9595 or visit www.kiahunagolf.com.

KUKUIOLONO GOLF COURSE is a 9-hole, par-36 local favorite. Perched on the hillside of Kalaheo, your focus may veer from tee to south and west shoreline views. Fun fact: Sugar plantation owner Walter McBryde donated the green to Kaua‘i’s people in the early 1990s. Call (808) 332-9151; no tee times accepted.

Initially a 10-holer, Sports Illustrated named PUAKEA GOLF COURSE a Top 10 nine-hole course in America before it was later expanded to 18, maximizing its Ha‘upu Mountain framework (seen in “Jurassic Park”). Learn about rates and specials for the Robert Nelson-designed playground at www.puakeagolf.com or (808) 773-5554.

Site of three USGA National Amateur Public Links Championships, WAILUA GOLF COURSE is among the world’s premier municipal courses. Finish the 18-hole, par-72 run along the ocean next to Lihu‘e’s historic coconut palm groves. Learn about rates and plan your visit at www.kauai.com.gov/golf or call (808) 241-6666.