I was lucky enough to have been invited to play a ProAm tournament in Maui last November at the beautiful Wailea Golf Club. It was 4 rounds at each of their courses (blue, gold and emerald x 2) teeing off at 7am each day so it gives us plenty of time to vacation in between rounds. Our team consisted of Cory Renfrew (Pro), Scott Walker, Max Kettler, and myself.
The playing conditions were some of the best I've ever experienced. Greens ran true, light fluffy sand in the bunkers, and the fairways were in great shape. One of the most challenging things I faced, apart from the distraction of the beautiful views, was the bermuda grass! It was the first time I've ever played on it and it took a while for me to adjust. I shot 91 (Blue), 80 (Emerald), 87 (Gold), and 86 (Emerald) and although we didnt make any prizes for the team event, Cory Renfrew won the Pro portion of the tournament for the 2nd year running.
The Blue course (Holes: 18 | Back Tee: 6545 | Par: 71 | Slope: 129 | Rating: 71.6) is the original Wailea course designed by Arthur Jack Snyder. It had really fast greens and a lot of the holes were lined by homes, but the good news is the fairways are quite wide...
The Emerald course (Holes: 18 | Back Tee: 6825 | Par: 72 | Slope: 135 | Rating: 72.8) was my favourite of the 3. If it thought the views were great on the Blue course, the Emerald's was even more stunning. Designed by Robert Trent Jones II, I found that this course had the most risk v reward chances.
Lastly, the Gold course (Holes: 18 | Back Tee: 7078 | Par: 72 | Slope: 138 | Rating: 74.5). It played the hardest for me even though I had a worse score from the Blue course (I was adjusting and dealing with nerves ok?! :)) There were a lot more bunkers in play on the Gold and a few more force carries.
If you're trying to decide which one to play on, any of these courses are quite spectacular but Emerald would be my first choice.
The Fairmont Kea Lani
During my time in Maui, I stayed at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Kihei as they were the tournament host. Even though they were in the midst of a renovation to their rooms, there were only a few minor inconveniences. Nothing to ruin a trip or even talk about.
My room had a Garden View and was one that was newly renovated. It was an accessible room so my lanai was ground level which made the room feel even bigger since I was able to step out and have more room to walk around. You get your usual amenities with a few extras: a Keurig coffee maker that is refilled every day, an electric hot water kettle, and a microwave. Since I had really early tee times, having these was a godsend. I was able to make a proper breakfast before I got out to the course.
The Fairmont resort grounds was beautiful. There was plenty of space for every one: a pool for families, a pool for kids, and one for adults only. Located on the ground floor is the market, clothing shop and theatre that had a magic show. The restaurants are also located nearby.
The Polo beach is about a 5 min walk from the pool area past the villas. There, you can rent lounge chairs with an umbrella, and snorkel gear. The first hour is included with your stay.
The Fairmont is really promoting to reduce plastic waste so located throughout the property are water stations. The water is filtered and cold. I really appreciated this amenity and used it many times during my trip. Each of their cabanas also has reef safe sunscreen, cooling lotion (in case you get burned), water and, of course, towels.
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