Getting on the green

Blogging about some of the world's best golf holes.


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Hole # 7, Kona CC, Kona, HI

Hole # 7, par 4, 373 yards

Hole # 7

Hole # 7

Playing golf in Hawaii is always memorable, especially when you can play with Head Professional, Jason Souza at the Kona Country Club. If it wasn’t for running out of electricity, we wouldn’t have had the chance of meeting Jason nor playing a few holes with him. If you do play the ocean course and plan to play the mountain course back-to-back, be sure to change carts at the turn. Stupid us, we didn’t and paid for it on hole # 4. The unthinkable happened – our cart died in the middle of the fairway.

Hole # 7 is the hardest hole on the Mountain course. It plays 373 yards from the white tees and requires a good drive. Jason played from the back tees because he was a pro and he sailed it down the hill. From the back tees, you really couldn’t see the fairway below. Jason told me to aim right of the palm tree that was situated on the left side of the fairway. With a clear purpose, I hit a good drive and it went down the middle. However, I didn’t see it land but Jason was smiling at me so I presume it was good. Chris was next. I could see that he was nervous and he ended up leaving most of his weight on his right side. His ball flew left, straight for someone’s back yard. He would hit a provisional just in case he couldn’t find his first ball.

Jason went looking for Chris’ ball but couldn’t find it after 10 minutes. It was deemed lost. Chris decided to play his second ball which ended up right of the fairway. He had a long way to go and had to clear a lake on the right hand side. Chris played it safe and decided to lay up.

I found my ball in the middle of the fairway with just 120 yards to the green. Jason’s ball was just a few feet behind mine. It was his turn. He chose a wedge and hit it high. His ball landed at the back of the green. Chris was next. At 150 yards, Chris hit a low boring shot to the green and cleared the water. He would end up with a double bogey. I was next up. I chose my 9-iron and hit it crisp. It sailed in the air and landed at the back of the green, next to Jason’s ball.

I would watch Jason’s roll and see that it would break left. I followed and two putted in for a par. Jason congratulated me for scoring a par on the #1 handicap hole.


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Hole # 1, Wailua Golf Course, Lihue, HI

Hole # 1 par 5, 520 yards

If you’re looking to play an ocean course at a reasonable rate then head out to Wailua Golf Course on Kauai. Just 10 minutes north of Lihue and before Kapaa, the Wailua Golf Course is a pleasure to play. First of, you can’t go wrong with a $50 green fee in the afternoon. Second, you play right next to the ocean on holes # 1 and # 2.

Hole # 1 is a beautiful long par 5, slight dogleg right. When you tee off, you think you’re hitting toward the ocean but you’re actually playing parallel with the beach. Try to keep your tee shot straight. If you happen to slice it off the tee, your ball will come to rest among the trees that line the fairway. In most cases, you’ll find your ball because it isn’t a dense forest that is on your right.

The fairway is free of sand bunkers so blast away. There are only two sand bunkers at the green but there’s an entire beach on the whole left side of the fairway. The wind can play havoc on your shot so take that in account on club selection.

If you hit the green in three then you’re in for some easy putting. The greens are relatively slow and if it’s raining, it’s slower than molasses.


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Hole # 5, Kauai Lagoons GC, Lihue, HI

Hole # 5, Kiele Mauka 9, Kauai Lagoons GC, par 3, White tees, 176 yards

DSCN5510If you like challenges and ocean holes then get on the plane to Kauai and play this spectacular par 3. This hole will take your breath away, especially when your ball clears the Pacific Ocean and lands on the other side of the cliff. Hole # 5 on the Kiele Mauka 9 at Kauai Lagoons Golf Club is a beautifully designed hole by Jack Nicklaus. From the white tees, it measures 176 yards but with the Kauai harbour on your left and cliff in front of you, it is truly a breath-taking hole.

I chose to go long, just in case there were wind and plenty of it too. Just look down at the jagged rocks below and see the surf crash along the shore. I hit a 4-hybrid and made sure I kept my head down. The execution was perfect. The ball sailed straight across the cliff and was pin high to the right of the green. I would putt on and in for a par.

My playing partner also cleared the cliff and landed back of the green. She chipped on using her lob wedge and had to settle for a bogey.