Hole # 1, par 4, Blue tees, 390 yards
When playing on Kauai, leave your ego in the car and plan to play the white tees because when the wind starts to blow, a simple 300 yard hole plays like 600 yards. The starting hole at Puakea from the blue tees is no easy hole. A straight drive is critical as you have a road to your left and part of the driving range on the right. I normally drive the ball 250 yards but with a strong wind, I was left with over 200 yards to the green. From the middle of the fairway, there is a small creek running down the fairway and across your approach. It’s intimidating as there is rough on both sides so I decided to lay up. I hit a 9-iron sweetly and left me an easy wedge shot to the green. Again the wind was blowing hard so I chose alittle more club than needed.
There was a lot of air time as the wind played the ball. Luckily when it dropped out of the sky, it landed softly and beside the hole. I had a 6 foot putt for par. I didn’t spend any time on the putting green and it showed. My first putt came up short and my second putt lipped out. I had to settle for a bogey.