Makani is the Hawaiian word for “wind.” But when you first take in the 150 acres off Māmalohoa Highway near the turnoff from Saddle Road, you could be excused for thinking it means “spectacular views.” 

Indeed, when one drives into Makani, the first view is of its signature 17th hole, a par-3 with an island green that architect Perry Dye modeled after the legendary 17th at TPC Sawgrass, known as the “most terrifying tee shot in golf.” Looking at this hole from the drive in is anything but terrifying, however. On a clear day, like the one my playing partner Dave and I experienced, one can see all the way to Maui. 

“We’re about 30% done on a complete makeover of the course,” General Manager Julie Rose told us before our round. “We’ve installed new cart paths. The fairways are getting kokui grass. The entire course is getting a makeover, essentially.”

What doesn’t need any improvement is the land itself. “The best part of the golf course is the land,” says Rose. “Almost every hole has jaw-dropping views of the mountains or the ocean. We’re at a 3,000-foot elevation so the vistas are truly amazing.”

What makes Makani Golf Club even more of a “must play” for the visitor is the value. Until 8 a.m. and after 10 a.m., rates are never higher than $99 and include cart, range balls and bottled water. Afternoon golfers can tee off after 1 p.m. for only $75. New Titleist rental clubs are only $45.

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