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 # 17, Kona CC, Kona, HI

Hole # 17 on the Mountain Course, par 3, 172 yards

Hole # 17

Chris @ Hole # 17

Between the two courses at Kona Country Club on the Big Island in Hawaii, the ocean course is the most popular and gets the most play because golfers like to tee it up next to crashing waves and see an errant drive fly into the ocean. That’s a stroke penalty to say the least and there’s no chance to find it nor retrieve it.

Hole # 17 on the Mountain course is a long par 3. With our Callaway rangefinder, it’s playing 189 yards. We are teeing off at the top of a mountain and down below is water guarding the green. It’s spectacular up here with views of Kailua-Kona below and ocean. I don’t know whether to grab my camera or my hybrid.

I hit first and concentrate on making a smooth takeaway. As I bring my club down, I could hear the sound of a sweet shot as my ball sails towards the green. It has a bit of air time before it sits and settles on the green just a few feet from the hole. My playing partner also from Calgary decides to hit his hybrid. He isn’t so lucky because his ball finds the water. He winds up for his third shot, laying down another Pro V1 ball on a tee. He tries to calm his nerves by telling me, “This can get expensive at $5 a ball”. He hit it thick and the ball travels half the distance. Unfortunately it’s wet. “One more time” he insists. Another Pro V1 ball and this makes it across the lake and over by my ball. We are now ready to head to the green.

He wanted me to putt out first even though his ball was away.  I obliged. I took a look at the green before putting. No breaks, just a smooth stroke. It was in for a birdie. Fist pumped – it felt good! Chris two putted and ended up with a 7.


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Hole # 17, Big Island GC, Kailua Kona, HI

Hole # 17, par 3, White tees, 144 yards

Island Green, # 17

Island Green, # 17

Off the tourist track and into residential communities, the Big Island Golf Club is a really nice course to play. Just click on the link and check out the fly over. When you drive up to the course, there’s a hidden gem sitting off to your right. Shrouded in a forest of trees is an island green – hole #17 awaits you.

Only 144 yards from the white tees, this island green is hard to hit. But if you do play it, try to get out in afternoon when there are less members bearing down on you. To get on the green, you need to be in Zen mode. Relax, take a deep breath and don’t try to look up. Trust your swing and let it go. Keep your head down and hear your ball land softly on the green.

I chose a 8-iron and it carried the water to the middle of the green. My wife had only 107 yards from the green tees so she used a 9-iron to get there. It’s a rush when you get on so enjoy the walk to the green. Close your eyes and feel as though you just played the island green at TPC Sawgrass in the Players’ Championship. Same as on the Big Island GC, the signature #17 hole is the most memorable and most recognizable hole on the whole golf course.


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Hole # 16, Hapuna Golf Course, Big Island, HI

Hole # 16, par 3, Regular tees, 157 yards

Hapuna Golf

Hapuna Golf

Some holes are plain simple. Now that’s not saying Hapuna Golf Course on the Big Island, Hawaii is easy. This course is not easy but hole # 16 can be. At 157 yards from the regular tees, it is not usually my favourite 6-iron shot. Today the wind isn’t as strong so I can go for the pin. Other days, the wind can blow off the ocean and there’s no way to get it close.

Pin placement is important too. I don’t like it when it is #2 because it is right up front. I like to draw my shots so having the pin in the back helps me with a roll. Luckily, I hit it sweet today and the ball is short but it hops up to the green. I’m putting again for a birdie after double bogeying the last two holes.

Did I make the putt? Yes I did. I end up with a 44 on the front nine and 44 on the back nine for a 88 score. I’m proud of myself for doing that.

How did you do? Let me know by leaving me a comment.


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Hole # 7, Hapuna GC, Big Island, HI

Hole # 7, par 3, Regular tees, 135 yards

Some holes are plain simple. Now that’s not saying Hapuna Golf Course on the Big Island, Hawaii is easy. This course is not easy but hole # 7 is. At 135 yards from the regular tees, it is usually my favourite 9-iron shot. Today the wind isn’t as strong so I can go for the pin. Other days, the wind can blow off the ocean and there’s no way to get it on the green.

Pin placement is important too. I like it when it is #2 because it is in the back. I like to draw my shots so having the pin in the back helps me with a roll. Luckily, I hit it sweet today and the ball curls around the green towards the pin. I’m putting for a birdie after bogeying the last two holes.

Did I make the putt? Yes I did. I end up with a 44 on the front nine and 44 on the back nine for a 88 score. I’m proud of myself for doing that.

How did you do? Let me know by leaving me a comment.


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Hole # 12, Kona CC, Ocean Course, Big Island, HI

Hole # 12, par 3, Ladies tees, 133 yards

Kona CC, Ocean Course

Kona CC, Ocean Course

Teeing off on the Ocean Course in Kona CC is a treat because the hole parallels the ocean. With a stiff breeze, 133 yards plays longer than it is. This is one course that if your spouse doesn’t play, it’s worth paying $25 for the rider’s fee because some of the holes plays alongside the ocean and the views are spectacular.

I’ve played other ocean courses before but this one is my favourite. Right before the “puka” hole which is hole # 13, the short par 3 on # 12 is easy for the ladies. I hit onto the green with my 8-iron. Two putt for an easy par. My husband has it harder as he has 167 yards from the white tees. He’s not hitting his 6-iron very well these days so he comes up right of the green. He has a tricky chip because he can’t keep his eyes off the surf. It’s too much for him so he duffs the shot. Two putts later, he walks away disappointed with a double bogey.