Getting on the green

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


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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 # 17, Wailua Golf Course, Lihue, HI

Hole # 17, par 3

P1040324One of the reasons why golfers choose to lug their golf bag to Kauai is to play by the ocean. Instead of shelling out $450+ for green fees at Pebble Beach, you can play Wailua Golf Course for about $50 and get the same feeling as you would at Pebble. On hole # 17, you can see the crashing waves of the ocean as you prepare to get on the green from 173 yards. From any of the three tee boxes, you are treated to a spectacular view that consists of a green fairway, undulating green, sand bunkers and ocean.

Hole # 17 is no easy hole because with the crashing waves, you have wind playing off the ocean and it’s not just blowing right at you. It’s swirling left to right then right to left. Look at the flag and see that the wind is blowing opposite from what you think. Just do it.

Take a club worthy of getting you past those sand traps that guard the green and you’ll be putting. Don’t take anything that you can’t land softly, otherwise your ball will be on the beach. And there’s no chance of playing from there, unlike at Pebble Beach.

Get on the green or come short and chip on. Aim for a par and be happy.