Getting on the green

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


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Hole # 6, Kauai Lagoons GC, Lihue, HI

Hole # 6, par 4, 399 yards

Hole # 6 Tee Box

Hole # 6 Kiele Moana

What does a monkey have to do with hole # 6 on the Kiele Moana course? Drive up, grab the big stick and head down to the tee box and you will see. By the way, it’s not a monkey but a gorilla.

Ok, it is clear now. This is a gorilla hole meaning that you have to be a gorilla to hit it over the trees and onto the fairway on the other side of the world. At least it looks that way.

At 399 yards from the white tees, it almost seems unfair. Hole # 1 was 491 yards and it was a par 5. Standing on the tee box, you feel like you’re standing on top of the world.

Take a deep breath, hit it good and let it fly. Stick to your fundamentals and you will be fine. Try not to cut the corner too much because it’s a long way across. A straight tee shot will work better. If you do feel like a gorilla, try it but be forewarned that there are sand bunkers to your right, just behind the bushes.

Over the gulley

Tee shot has to clear the gulley.

My playing partner is lucky for playing the forward tees. Again, her tee box is on the other side of the gulley where you can see the green. On the other side, I find my ball in the middle of the fairway. I had to look across at the tee box where I just came from, just to see what I had to endure.

This is truly a spectacular hole and a picture of it doesn’t give it justice. You have to play this to believe it.

Her drive is always down the middle. In front of me, I have to make sure my second shot doesn’t spray right. A group of trees on the left is forcing me to hit it high so I chose my 6-iron from 165 yards. I have been practicing this shot over the last week in Hawaii. It’s going to start to the right and slowly draw in to the center. Bam, it’s on the green and I have a birdie putt. My playing partner isn’t so lucky. She duffs her 3-wood and her ball ends up in the sand bunker up ahead. She normally hits it cleanly but this time, she faltered.

She would blast her way out but short of the green, leaving her a nasty chip to a rather large green. I tap it in for a birdie and she had to settle for a double bogey.


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Hole # 1, Kauai Lagoons GC, Lihue, HI

Hole # 1, par 5, 491 yards

The staff at Kauai Lagoons Golf Club in Lihue on Kauai are so friendly that on a quiet day, you feel like you own the place. At least that’s what I would like if I ever won a lottery and bought the course from the Marriott. After checking in with the starter, they will give you a bucket of balls to warm up on. You can putt or you can head out to hole # 1. Because it’s a resort course, they will often let you out on your own rather than team you up with strangers.

Hole # 1 on the Kiele Moana course is a long par 5. At 491 yards from the white tees, the green is a long ways off. The fairway is nice and wide so your first shot doesn’t have to go down the middle. I am hitting my Taylormade Burner with a 10.5 degree loft and stiff shaft. With a slight draw on my driver, I end up in the middle. My playing partner Cynthia is teeing off with a Taylormade Superfast driver with a 13.5 degree loft. She always hit it down the middle – you know the type.

Both of our balls come up about the same. I am hitting my 4-hybrid and she chooses her 3-wood. With only 120 yards left, I chose my 9-iron and dropped the ball next to the pin. She had about 110 yards so she went with her PW. She also made it safely on the green. Both of us are putting for birdie and talk about birds. There are roosters, chickens and chick-a-dees everywhere. Kauai certainly is overrun by chickens. They don’t get in the way but they do make a lot of noise.

I two putt in for a par. She lipped out and had to settle for a bogey. That’s a nice start to a great round in Kauai.


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Hole # 5, Kauai Lagoons GC, Lihue, HI

Hole # 5, par 3, 170 yards

There are three 9-hole courses at Marriott’sĀ Kauai Lagoons Golf Club in Lihue designed by Jack Nicklaus. When you fly in to the Lihue airport during the day, you can see golfers practically underneath the plane because some of the fairways are adjacent to the runways.

Hole # 5 on the Kiele Moana course is a challenging par 3. All three tee boxes are located on one side of the gulley while the forward tee is on the other side where the green is located. When you drive up to the tee, the green looks like it’s a mile away. What?! It’s a par 3? Luckily for me, I left my ego in the car and came to play the white tees which is difficult enough. Besides, I am playing on a limited supply of golf balls. When you come to the island to play golf, you don’t pack a lot of balls because it weighs down your luggage and you can buy more on Kauai if you really need more.

 

Even from the white tees, the hole plays longer than 170 yards. Today, it looks more like 185 yards so I am hitting my 4-hybrid. I want a club that will give me the confidence of clearing the gulley. The only way I am going to lose my ball is to pull or push my shot because there’s trouble left and right of the hole. The green looks like it is sitting on a mountain with slopes on all sides. Coming up short is trouble. But since the forward tee is on the other side, you have plenty of room to the right of the green in case you have too much club.

I hit first and it was a good one. I would hit the edge of the green and roll back slightly. Hopefully, I can chip it close. My playing partner tees off from the other side of the gulley. Lucky for her. She hits a beautiful shot to the green. From the forward tees, it’s 137 yards and too much club is trouble. She hits the green with her 8-iron.

We are both on. I am putting for par and she for birdie. I come up short and bogey the hole. She two putts and pars it.


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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.