Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 14th
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Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 14th
Ocean views and pristine conditions best describe one of Kauai's best golf courses: Makai Golf Club at Princeville. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Images
Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 2nd
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Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 2nd
The well bunkered par-5 second hole at Makai Golf Club can play as long as 611 yards. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 3rd
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Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 3rd
Makai Golf Club's par-4 third, said to be designer Robert Trent Jones Jr.'s favorite, mimics the ocean-mountain backdrop in its design. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 4th
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Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 4th
Playing back up the hill, players also usually face a stiff breeze into Makai Golf Club's short, par-4 fourth. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 5th
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Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 5th
The fifth hole at Makai Golf Club is a dogleg left, parkland par 5. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 6th
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Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 6th
The ocean comes right back into view on the par-4 sixth at Makai Golf Club on Kauai. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 7th
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Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 7th
Arguably Makai's signature hole, the seventh is among the most picturesque in Hawaii. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 9th
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Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 9th
The medium par-4 ninth is another example of one of Makai Golf Club's strong parkland inland holes. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 10th
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Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 10th
With water left, the par-4 10th at Makai Golf Club provides a challenging start to the back nine. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 14th
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Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 14th
Makai Golf Club's short risk-reward par-4 14th, which crosses water, is heavily bunkered. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 15th
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Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 15th
The par-4 15th at Makai Golf Club runs away from the Pacific Ocean. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 17th
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Makai Golf Club - Princeville - 17th
The pin position on the right is the most difficult on the par-4 17th at Makai Golf Club. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Makai Golf Club - Princeville - no. 18
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Makai Golf Club - Princeville - no. 18
The second shot can be a high-risk attempt at the green on the par-5 finishing hole at Makai Golf Club. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor

At Princeville Resort on Kauai, Makai Golf Course continues to reign

PRINCEVILLE, Hawaii -- Designed in 1968 and opened in 1971, Robert Trent Jones Jr. returned 40 years later to redo his original 27 holes at Princeville into the new Makai Golf Club. The result is a stronger 18-hole layout; one of the best golf courses in Hawaii and one of the top resort plays in the United States.

Playing to a par 72 and more than 7,200 yards from the back tees, Jones says the course is "an easy bogey, but a difficult par," with its wide fairways and extensive bunkering, which now features bright white sand instead of red. As part of the redo, the course also got Seashore Paspalum on the fairways and its new greens, which are meticulously maintained.

There are five sets of tees and a select number of Albatross tees, that moves the forward tees up even more on certain holes to make the course playable for all levels.

Operated by Troon Golf, the course also offers sunset tours in the late afternoon for resort guests who just interested in taking in Makai's spectacular views.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
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