Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
With no disrespect to the Big Island, Maui is the best place for golf in Hawaii—and one of the best anywhere. Something about the island’s emerald coastal courses makes for memorable moments (if sometimes forgettable scores). Now there’s a golf outing on Maui that, true to its billing, is guaranteed to lodge permanently among your most pleasant recollections: the Unforgettable Golf Adventure from the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. The literally over-the-top experience, which debuted last fall, begins with a morning flight with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters accompanied by Eddie Lee, director of instruction at the Wailea Golf Club. Lee helps your twosome or foursome analyze fairways and greens while soaring over the club’s three courses and the surrounding sea and mountains. Necessary? Absolutely not. Exhilaratingly beautiful? Most definitely.
After the flight, he leads you to the Wailea Golf Academy’s practice range, where views look out to Kahóolawe island, and a breakfast spread might include a craft-cocktail-worthy Bloody Mary bar. Pace yourself, though, because you will want full recall of every nugget of knowledge Lee imparts.
The expert instructor will help you apply your improved technique on the course as he joins you for a round that is far more than just another 18 holes. The Four Seasons blocks out multiple tee times on your Wailea course of choice, so there is never anyone in front of or behind your group.
That means you can take your time with the delectable lunch spread that awaits you after the ninth hole, as well as any other surprises the resort might conjure up along the way.
The outrageous golf outing is part of the Four Seasons Maui’s Unforgettable Experiences program, which includes everything from coffee-plantation and volcano tours to private evening takeovers of the resort’s Serenity Pool. The program originated from bespoke tours and events that the Four Seasons’ personal assistants set up for people staying in the premier suites—which themselves are unforgettable. The resort recently put the finishing touches on a property-wide renovation that has introduced 21 upgraded oceanfront suites (five of them presidential level), as well as complete redesigns of the other 362 guest rooms and suites. The renovation also involved updates to the poolside cabanas and other nooks and sanctuaries that make the Four Seasons one of the world’s most beloved beach resorts (from $12,000 for two golfers).—Bruce Wallin
Mossy Oak Golf Club
The good news about Mossy Oak Golf Club is that the course is open to the public. The bad: To play it, you have to get to northeast Mississippi, which isn’t exactly a travel hub (unless you root for nearby Mississippi State). Those who do make the journey will quickly become a big fan of Gil Hanse’s easy walk over the gentle hills of an old dairy farm. The design, which debuted last September, features large greens and even larger bunkers, and generous fairways lined with long, wispy grasses ($132).—James A. Frank
The temptation when playing Tom Doak’s Loop is to look back after each hole. Opened last June, the reversible course in Michigan plays clockwise one day and counterclockwise the next, using only 18 greens in the process. Doak’s design is a feat of the imagination, but it is certainly not a novelty alone. Both routings of the course are challenging, with firm, fast fescue fairways and undulating greens. Each successive round on the course reveals multiple strategies and angles of attack no matter which way you’re facing ($109–$149).—Michael Croley