Kapalua Golf Academy is one of several resort courses using TrackMan to study a player’s swing. // © 2017 Dave Sansom Photography
Feature image (above): Players of all skills are invited to Ko Olina Golf Academy’s Aloha Daily Clinics. // © 2017 Ko Olina Golf Academy
Duffers and pros alike agree: When it comes to golf, there’s always room for improvement. In Hawaii, hotels are helping make that happen with not only superb greens and fairways, but also via the assistance of top-notch professionals.
The following five Hawaii resort courses feature innovative teaching programs that are scoring a hole-in-one with visitors.
Mahalo Monday Mixer (Princeville Makai Golf Club, Kauai)
Princeville Makai’s golf pros imbue their duties with aloha spirit. As a result, they’re coming up with fun ways to make the game accessible to players of all levels.
Consider the Mahalo Monday Mixer, which starts with a 30-minute clinic, followed by a three-hole scramble and culminating in a glass of Prosecco at sunset on the signature seventh hole ($60 per person). In a drive to keep down costs, the facility also offers one-hour clinics on Saturday, Sunday and Monday ($10, including clubs and balls).
Play and Learn (Ko Olina Golf Academy, Oahu)
With Ko Olina’s Play and Learn program, clients experience the course one-on-one with a golf pro while gaining insights into strategy, club selection, shot preparation and execution.
Before the nine-hole playing lesson, guests get warm-up coaching. Afterward, they receive additional guidance on the driving range ($300, including green fees and rental clubs).
For a shorter, more economical option, Ko Olina’s one-hour Aloha Daily Clinic appeals to everyone from beginners to longtime linksmen ($40).
Play Smarter, Not Harder (Wailea Golf Academy, Maui)
Created for golfers looking to take their game to the next level, this new clinic in course management helps players make wise decisions and hit the right shot at the right time. The ultimate goal: a better score.
Priced at $99 per person, each session begins at Wailea Golf Academy’s 12-acre training facility and continues on either the Wailea Gold or Emerald course. Presented two Fridays per month starting at 4 p.m., the two-hour class is limited to six students.
Rock ’N Range (Manele Golf Course, Lanai)
Patterned after an apres-ski party at a mountain resort, this late-afternoon gathering on the oceanview driving range provides a casual atmosphere for picking up free advice from the club’s PGA pros. The easygoing staff even brings out some golf boards for clients to test-drive.
Held each Thursday and featuring piped-in music and a cash bar, it’s ideal for the younger generation of players who are in the market for a few tips in between sips.
TrackMan Tuesdays (Kapalua Golf Academy, Maui)
Most professional players swear by TrackMan, a revolutionary approach to game improvement. Calling on Doppler radar technology, the machine — which resembles a laptop — examines all parts of the golf swing, tracking the ball from flight to landing. The new procedure is popping up at resort courses, providing everyday golfers with a chance to hone their skills.
At Kapalua Golf Academy, 15-minute assessments take place each Tuesday and cost $35.