Wailea Emerald (Wailea, Maui, HI)

The day after we played Makena North, we played Wailea Emerald. In stark contrast to the staff at Makena, the Wailea staff seemed snobby and somewhat rude. The attitude gave off the vibe that they were doing us a favor instead of just doing their jobs.

To get to the driving range, you grabbed a few clubs then took a cart up around the hill. Unlike the Makena course, the range balls at Wailea are free. We set up about a quarter of the way in from the left side of the range and the ground in this area was very uneven. After swinging quite well the day before, I struggled hitting balls from this uncomfortable lie. Also annoying was the fact that you were hitting balls up a hill directly into the sun. It wasn’t very pleasant looking into the sun to see each shot.

We were paired with an older couple, the lady was a 30+ handicap. Ugh. I played from the tips and even though I was driving the ball pretty well, I wasn’t able to think about trying to reach the par 5′s.

The course was in decent shape, but the bunkers had a lot of small pebbles and gravel in them. The combination of the dirt, fairway grass and rough were a lot different than what I’m used to playing in Colorado. The top layer of the soil is moist and soft and you can take a divot really easily. This made chip shots a lot different than I was accustomed to, since the club doesn’t bounce off the turf at all. The rough is wiry and thin looking, but it grabs the club a lot more than you’d expect.

The pro shop has a lot of merchandise including some nice hats by Imperial, my favorite golf hat manufacturer.

After the round, we ate at the clubhouse which has a beautiful view overlooking the ocean. The food was good, but both of our orders came out wrong. All in all, not a great experience. If we hadn’t already made the tee time later in the week for the Gold course we probably wouldn’t have come back.