LuxeGetaways Magazine – Fall 2016 | With the vast number of world-class golf courses around the world these days, golf getaways are now better than ever. Kaua’i is one of those heavenly destinations with everything required for the ultimate golf getaway of a lifetime. But beware… if you are someone looking for a destination with action-packed days and late night festivities, this is not the place for you. What Kaua’i does offer is incomprehensible amounts of natural beauty, insane golf courses and a complete escape from the daily grind. Here are our top five places to tee it up on Kaua’i this season.
1. Ocean Course at Hokuala
Timbers Resorts purchased this property in late 2015, and they are now enhancing the resort so it will be better than ever. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the back nine includes the longest stretch of oceanfront holes in all of golf-rich Hawaii. Two of the par-3s are simply unforgettable – the 5th hole is a daunting one-shotter over a mango jungle ravine, while the 14th is a breathtaking hole with a shot required over an ocean cove to securely find a coconut tree-framed green. Make sure to swallow your pride on these holes, and take an extra club since the forced carries are stout.
2. Puakea Golf Course
Located in Lihue, near the airport, Puakea Golf Course is adjacent to the locations used by Steven Spielberg when filming Jurassic Park. This becomes abundantly clear on the 14th hole, which is a par 4 that typically plays downwind, and is framed by lush mountains that evoke primal awe. The 3rd hole is a short (yet tricky) par 4 where hitting less than driver will keep you from reaching the water that comes into play as you approach the green. Make sure you avoid the fairway bunker however – it is deep with a steep-faced front, and not much fun for even the best golfers.
3. Poipu Bay Golf Course
Part of the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, Poipu Bay was the host course of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf for 12 years, and Phil Mickelson holds the course record of 59. While his 59 infers that the course is a pushover, the trade winds often blow with gusto here, and makes players work for every shot. The best tip is to remember to focus. The views are astoundingly beautiful, and they tend to make it very easy to get distracted (in a good way).
4. Wailua Golf Course
As a municipal course owned and operated by Kaua’i County, it admittedly does not have the resort grandeur as many of the other Kaua’i golf courses. However, it is outstanding nonetheless, evidenced by having hosted three USGA Amateur Public Links Championships over the years. It is long, well maintained and has great ocean views. As an added bonus, it is a very affordable option, and the pace of play is brisk… a golf win-win if there ever was one!
5. Princeville Makai Golf Club
As part of The St. Regis Princeville Resort, this Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed course is a pure delight, and a true must-play experience when on Kaua’i. The 7th hole offers views of Mount Makana (the mythical Bali Hai from South Pacific fame), and it requires a tee shot over Turtle Cove. It is both intimidating and thrilling at the same moment. As an added option, they also offer Sunset Golf Cart Tours that offer spectacular vistas for golfers and non-golfers alike.