Article: Poipu Bay Course –

by Wayne Halm –

Last Saturday was a great day for me – I got to play the Poipu Bay Golf Course on the southern shore of Kauai.  This was special and I want to tell you about it.

The conditions were perfect – lots of sunshine, light trade winds, and my buddy Brad completed our twosome. Brad is a little better golfer than I – oh yeah, this was a chance for me to up my game.

Our 9am tee time allowed time for breakfast at the clubhouse.  As good ideas go, breakfast at The Poipu Bay Grill and Bar overlooking the 18th green is near the top of the heap.  Aside from golf, this restaurant is a destination of its own.

After a quick, easy, and friendly check-in – we hit a few ball on the range – rolled a couple of putts on the practice green – and we were on the course.

My driver worked fairly well.  There were some worm-burners, sky balls, fades, and draws in the mix, but they all stayed on the golf course.  Staying on the course probably speaks more of the Robert Trent Jones, Jr. course design that of my abilities – still, I was happy.

My iron shots came crisply off the smooth fairways, and even out of the close cropped roughs – that felt good.  A few times I pulled them and missed the greens – that’s to be expected, I am a bogie golfer.

The new Sea Shore Paspalum greens are something to behold – they are flawless.  The same greens are something else to experience – they are quick and difficult to read.  I don’t know why the greens were such a challenge, maybe a mysterious grain, maybe odd lighting and shading, or maybe the laws of gravity are just different there.  None of my putts were impressive, but 18 of them were satisfying.

The course has 85 bunkers, but I only remember one of them – the green side bunker with my ball buried near the lip.  Two strokes later I was on the green and happy about it.  Two putts later I walked off the green with a double bogie – a well played double, if there is such a thing, and I felt good about it.

The views from the holes along the ocean (15, 16, and 17) were spectacular; the red cliffs were particularly bright that day.  Like everyone else, we stopped, gawked, and took pictures.  The Marshall didn’t urge us to move on, but he thought about it.

The manicured beauty of the course, the ocean, and the four other water hazards did a good job of distracting golfers.  Still, I managed to keep my concentration long enough to birdie one hole – that was a good feeling.  However, I also played the 18th hole.  And if you will suffer a piece of advice from a guy who wrote a snowman on the card, the 18th is not a place to get aggressive.

In spite of 18 crushing my hopes of beating Brad, I had a lot of fun on this round and experienced something not often encountered on a golf course.  I could hear laughter from the other fairways.  I wasn’t the only player having a great time on this course.

For tee times call 808-742-8711 or visit http://www.poipubaygolf.com.

Come play golf with me.

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