When Golf is Not Enough; Exploring Maui

By Brandon TuckerJanuary 4, 2011, 7:53 pm
maui golf off course

KA'ANAPALI, Hawaii – After 18 holes of golf on Maui, enjoying some sun on your beachfront lanai listening to the waves may be about as much action as you desire.

But when you're up to explore, the island has plenty to do after golf – and it's practically all outdoors. Here are some of the best ways to discover Maui's incredible ecology as well as the culture and tastes of the people who live here.
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Mount Haleakala Sunrise Bike Tour
No trip to Maui is complete without driving up 10,000 feet to the summit of mighty Mt. Haleakala for sunrise.  

To make it in time, you'll have to get up around 3 a.m. and get to the summit before 5 a.m., before watching the black sky fill with colors.

After a little post-sunrise eco-tour at the top, we chose the downhill bike ride option with MauiDownhill.com, who provided us one-speed cruisers and helmets.

We plunged down about 4,000 feet of mountain switchbacks back toward civilization, taking in sunny panoramic views of the islands the whole way down.

You don't have to do the bike ride to see the sunrise, you can actually drive up yourself ($10 per car) though there is a capacity limit and cars can be turned away during the busy times of year.

Taste of Maui
Hawaii's multicultural heritage stems largely from the plantation-boom years that drew immigrants from all over Asia to find work in paradise. It has led to a fusion of culinary tastes, from sushi to the countless ways to prepare fish, fruits and other island fare.

The Banyan Tree restaurant at the Kapalua Ritz-Carlton offers a tasting menu, a $150 dinner with four courses. Or get their tasting appetizer, which lets you select a trio of mostly seafood-based small bites, from dungeness crab to pan seared scallops.

For a cheaper meal and a little local street cred, try a Spam musabi for breakfast or a traditional plate lunch, consisting of pork, rice and macaroni salad with a good dose of salt.

Watch surfers wipe out, or take your own lesson
We took the five-minute stroll from the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua down to the beach and watched surfers of many abilities take on angry ocean swells of about 6-10 feet. I saw enough spectacular wipe-outs to determine this will always be a sport viewed by me from afar.

But it you simply must try it with your own two feet, most resorts offer surfing lessons. Be sure to tell them your ability.

Stand-up paddle boarding
Stand-up paddle boarding isn't quite as difficult as surfing for the mainlander but is still a good morning workout and rewarding once you get your balance and can paddle across the bays. We rented out some paddleboards at the Sheraton Ka'anapali on a morning when the seas were a little rough. It took a few falls and some advice from the instructor ('Dude, you're on the board backwards.') to figure it out, but it was worth it.

Make it out past 'Maui Midnight'
On the weekend, book a later tee time so you can stay out later than 'Maui Midnight'  (known to us mainlanders as 10 p.m.). For some after-hours action, head to one of two Sansei locations for late-night karaoke and sushi happy hour. You can find Sansei in Kapalua Village and in the heart of Kihei in South Maui.

If you're in sleepier Wailea, head to Mulligan's, a lively Irish pub at Wailea's Old Blue clubhouse, which has live music and open mic nights.

Coral reef snorkeling
You can find coral reefs along many parts of the coastline in Maui. The Sheraton Ka'anapali has a reef near Black Rock, and so does the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea.

When snorkeling, in many places you can hear the sound of whales (in season), and you'll also be swimming with huge sea turtles who often hang around the coral reefs.

Kapalua Adventure Ziplines
Maui has a handful of zipline tour operators. We opted for the Kapalua Adventure afternoon zipline tour ($150 per person), which trudges up into the Maui mountains, high above the Kapalua Plantation course and has four tandem ziplines that total about 5,000 feet.

The first zip is a warm-up, but the next three are fast and dramatic over gorges and valleys. The final zip is about a half-mile long, plenty long enough to pick up some serious speed as you sail high over a bamboo forest and deep gorge toward the ocean.

Take a canoe trip
Canoeing is a good way to head out into the waters, gaze back at the islands and look below for fish and sea life. Maui has enough sheltered bays, like around Kihei or Wailea, that you shouldn't be tipped over by any rogue waves.

At the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, we took their morning historical canoe ride. Guides talked about native Hawaiians' relationship with the sea, and we paddled out to the reef and observed sea turtles and sea urchins in their habitats.

Find your perfect sunset spot
From honeymooners to natives sitting in pick-up trucks drinking beer, everyone makes time to get to a beach and catch the sunset in Maui.

Maui has 120 miles of coastline and 30 miles of beaches. You can either find your own little secluded part of the coast – or grab a stiff Mai Tai at the Sheraton Maui Resort  & Spa in Ka'anapali and watch the ceremonial sunset cliff divers.
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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.