Article: The Puakea Golf Course
By Wayne Halm —
I am a fool. Many people have known that for years, but it took a round of golf to make me realize it. Golf can be a real eye-opener. In the four years I’ve lived on Kauai I’ve played a lot of golf; Kauai Lagoons, Prince, Makai, Wailua, Poipu Bay, Kukuiula, but I am a fool, in all that time I missed out on a real treat – the Puakea Golf Course in Lihue.
Then last week I was asked to show a big time professional meeting planner the golf courses on Kauai; we played a different course each day. The day we played Puakea I saw why the man makes the big bucks; in only four holes he recognized what it took me four years to realize – Puakea is a great golf course.
This Robin Nelson, par 72, design runs 6,964 yards from the back tees – plenty of golf course. The play goes upcountry, across rolling hills, through deep ravines, along mountain feed streams, and over lakes – plenty of challenges. Lush jungle creeps up to much of the course, the beautiful lakes and flowing streams complicate many holes, almost aerial views of the Pacific provide a setting for others, and the imposing cliffs of Mount Haupu tower over it all – plenty of spectacular views.
Of interest to bogie golfers like me. The course had fewer houses than expected, and those were set well back, they were not a concern. The roughs were friendly, the grass was long enough to keep my ball on the course, yet thin enough to play from. The orange bunkers played well, and the smooth greens had a comfortable speed. At my level of play, this was a very enjoyable course.
Adding to my enjoyment, the course was in great shape; the grass was manicured even where I hit the ball. The 12th and 13th holes with the split fairway, guarding trees, and ball hungry stream are memorable to me. Not because of my score, bogie bogie, but for their beauty. Director of Golf, Kellie Hines and Greens Superintendent, Dan Eurwiler are doing a great job, this is a beautiful golf course.
It is true, the Puakea club house is less grandiose than those at the resorts, and you can see Costco from the large driving range. That seems to matter to some folks. However, my check-in was friendly and efficient, and the Costco building simply did not come into play. So I can now say to those folks, “Get over it – Get on the course – you will be glad you did.”
My meeting planner is now back on the mainland organizing his event. He tells me that Puakea is definitely in their mix of courses to play. So I suggest to all visiting golfers, “Put this hidden gem in your mix of courses to play – you will be glad you did.”
For tee times or more information call 808-245-8756 or visit http://www.puakeagolf.com.
Come play golf with me.