on June 4, 2006
Playing golf at Kapalua is expensive. The courses will run you $90 (twilight at the Village course) to $295 (full price at the Bay course). If you're staying at the Ritz-Carlton, you get a discount, which is like giving Bill Gates a discount at Blockbuster when he rents Xbox games.But if you want to enjoy Kapalua and don't want to spend the big bucks, there are alternatives. Play the putting course—it's only $10/adults, $5/kids. Even though they advertise that price as per round, the exceedingly nice folks in the pro shop told us we could play as much as we wanted and if we had our own putters (they'll lend you ones if you don't have your own), we could play past 5pm when the pro shop closes. Or hit a bucket of balls. They charge only $10/large bucket (90 to 100 balls). When we decided to hit a bucket after playing the putting course, those nice folks gave us a bucket for free.The driving range and putting course are rarely crowded and though they enforce the typical golf dress code on the courses proper, on the putting course and driving range, it's pretty much anything goes (shorts, T-shirts, flip-flops). We were also told (encouraged, actually) to feel free to also use the practice putting green and chipping area. The view from the putting course and driving range is gorgeous as well, looking out towards the water with Molokai in the background. On the driving range, my best shot was when I rang one off the cage of the ball retriever/sweeper (or whatever they call that thing), startling the driver. Everything else I sliced—fortunately, the real golfers on the range didn't seem to mind us hackers. The only person who told me I sucked was my son.When you're done playing, eat and drink at the Vino restaurant. We had great appetizers and drinks and enjoyed it so much we came back for Easter brunch and had a terrific buffet meal for $32/person, which was $10 to $20 less than the hotels were charging. They even had a made-to-order frittata bar!The pro shop is well stocked with clothing and other items with the Kapalua butterfly/pineapple logo. It's high-quality stuff, and fairly pricey, although there were a few good deals on the clearance rack—if you don't mind a green and orange striped Tommy Bahamas polo shirt.
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