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| The Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course
1333 Maui Lani Parkway
Kahului, Maui HI 96732
Located on Maui's north coast, The Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course is a championship links style track designed by architect Robin Nelson, and opened for play in January 1999. The course is constructed over natural "dunes" created when the island of Maui was formed, and the design artfully follows this naturally sloping terrain.
The course also takes advantage of the Pacific tradewinds, which add challenge to play. The rolling fairways are characterized by massive elevation changes and the medium sized greens are undulating. The fairways are lined by dense kiawe forest, and strategically placed pot bunkers lurk throughout the design. Water comes into play on two holes.
More than one golf writer has described The Dunes at Maui Lani golf course as a "British Open course on Maui." The Dunes is indeed inspired by such great venues, with its clever hole designs and rugged terrain closely mimicking the "birthplace of golf."
A million years ago, The Dunes was submerged beneath the sea. Most classic links courses in Ireland and Scotland are by the water. But in Hawaii it is a little different because many of the shorelines are of lava. There are few real dunes in the islands.
Maui's Central valley however, known as the Kahului isthmus, rests between two separate volcano mountain ranges. Over tens of thousands of years, as the volcanoes rose, and the sea receded from the Isthmus, sand dunes formed where The Dunes at Maui Lani is today. Settlers over the past two centuries cultivated much of the land, but the site where The Dunes lies was mostly left untouched. It is one of the few spots in Hawaii where true dunes exist.
Minimal earth-moving occurred when The Dunes was designed and built six years ago; a departure from the modern-day American course architecture that has ruled for much of the last century.
Its layout routes up, down, over, and around the course's ancient alluvial sand dunes (not through them). These dunes, which were shaped by the winds over a million-year time span, are where the holes weave and turn. Golf shots must be played through these gaps formed by nature, much like they are in the greatest links courses on earth.
Like many classic links courses, the front nine heads out, and the back nine heads in. According to Nelson, "Anyone who has seen Ballybunion, Wild Dunes, or Shinnecock Hills will recognize a similar look and feel at The Dunes."