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Koloa, Hawaii – Island of Kaua’i
16th hole / 501 Yards / Par-4
Architect: Robert Trent Jones, Jr. (1991)

 

 

Many who make the trip to Hawaii often land on the Island of Oahu — the most populated and location of the largest city and capital — Honolulu. But to truly experience the majesty of the Hawaiian Islands it pays to head to a few of the other nearby islands to take in all the elements that make time spent here so meaningful and memorable.

Poipu Bay Golf Club is located on the Island of Kaua’i. Touted as the most naturally beautiful there are various golf options worth checking out. Poipu Bay hosted the end of year PGA Grand Slam of Golf — from 1994 to 2006 — bringing together the winners of the four major championships. In one year Phil Mickelson shot 59 in 2004.

However, do not be fooled in underestimating the course.

The longest par-4 at Poipu Bay generally plays downwind with the prevailing trade winds and commences from an elevated tee. The key is working the tee shot from right-to-left as the hole keeps turning in that direction.

Two fairway bunkers are located on the right and need to be avoided but the key element is giving enough respect to the rock wall that separate the hole from the ocean. Both fairway and green slope toward the sea.

The foremost decision is just how much of the left side do you dare taking on when standing on the tee. Those who do reach the left side of the fairway have a much easier angle to the putting green. Those opting further right will have to pay special attention as the slightest of pulls can easily find permanent danger over the rock wall.

The 16th green is the largest at Poipu Bay and is nicely contoured. Bunkers stand guard on the right side and when the pin is placed in the back left corner it takes a supremely confident and well executed approach to get to that location.

More than just the strategic elements — the 16th hole is awash with natural beauty — waves pounding the nearby surf only add to the moments when there. The key is realizing one’s limitations and playing accordingly with that in mind. Those who do — will succeed. Those who think otherwise — will find out quickly the 16th is a hole that treats miscalculation swiftly and with uncompromising certainty.

 

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