Round Played: with Noel Shankar and Alaric Villatora –
By Wayne Halm –
On July 19th, 2014 I played the Kauai Lagoons course with Noel Shankar and Alaric Villatora from Lihue, Hawaii. Yeah, local boys on the course, you know we were going to have fun.
Partly cloudy skies, mid 80s, a light trade wind – a perfect day to be on the course.
My thumb was still sore so I continued my ‘thumb over’ grip. It didn’t feel as odd this round, but allowed me to drastically close the club face a couple of times.
Noel and Alaric, these lads can hit the ball off the tee. For the third round in a row I found myself the short knocker – that’s getting old. Or perhaps it’s me getting old – no, no ,no – I’m not ready to admit that. Exercise, I just need to exercise more.
It was all fun, we cheered the good shots – and laughed at the bad ones. We were in “enjoyment mode”, each hole our heads were either in the game or not.
On the par five 4th hole our heads were definitely in the game. Noel crushed a drive, then smashed a 5-wood around the hill toward the green. When I walked onto the green there was a ball about 15 feet from the pin. I urged Noel to study the eagle putt very carefully. He began looking at the green, then looked at the ball – his shoulders slumped and he announced, “That’s Alaric’s ball”. We found his in a green side bunker. But Noel had eagle on his mind. His ball came out of the bunker, bounced twice, and rolled directly into the cup. Not everyone on the course knew what happened – but everyone with ears knew that something good had happened. Yes, we celebrate eagles.
But the heroics were not over – not for this group. On the signature, 285 yard, par four, 16th hole the fairway runs over a hill then drops sharply to a green hidden between the ocean and bay. From the white tees the smart play is to hit a 180 yard shot down the right side of the fairway, this leaves a makeable chip to the now visible green. We all hit the smart shot. Then I noticed the group in front of us get into their carts, I looked back. No one was coming up behind us, so I pulled our three more balls and suggested we try to hit the green. All three balls flew over the hill on a promising line, but you just have to wait and see what happened. When we got to our “smart shots” we could see one ball lying on the green – but whose ball? We all chipped onto the green and two putted – nice pars. Only then did we look at the remaining ball – whose was it? Noel!! From the grin on his face I suspect he will ignore the “smart play” from now on. Alaric and me? Well the Memehunes got our balls.
This was a satisfying round. I had two three putts, but I don’t remember on which holes – but I do remember witnessing Noel’s eagle. And that’s the way it should be.
Come play golf with me.
The Kauai Lagoons Golf Club 800-634-6400 or http://www.KauaiLagoonsGolf.Com .