Location: Koloa, Hawaii
Course architect: Robert Trent Jones Jr.
Yardage | Rating / Slope: 7,123 yards | 73.9 / 134
Saturday morning green fee: $$$$$ (Over $200)
Caddie service: No
Walker friendly: No
Greens: Seashore Paspalum
Starter: Start with the scenery. The course truly is spectacular, and it isn’t just the ocean holes. The views of the mountains are not to be dismissed.
Play because … : Besides the scenery, Poipu is a good test of golf. Many strong holes, and there’s the challenge of dealing with the ocean winds. It adds a unique element to the round. The wide fairways, though, are forgiving. You can score well if you’re hitting the ball well.
Takeaway: It always is fun to play where the top pros played. Seeing pictures in the clubhouse of Tiger Woods holding several PGA Grand of Slam of Golf trophies lends a nice touch of history to Poipu Bay.
RATINGS [1 to 10 scale, 10 being the highest]
Food | Beverage: 9.0
Pro shop: 9.0
Course difficulty: 6.0
Pace of play: 9.0
Best par 3: No. 17 (225 | 199 | 184 | 126 yards): This hole offers one last look of the ocean from the course. It also features two protected ancient structures: remnants from a heiau, a Hawaiian temple, situated adjacent to the elevated tee and a stone wall to the left of the fairway. It is the longest par 3, but it plays downhill and downwind. So adjust club selection accordingly. The green is framed by two large bunkers.
Best par 4: No. 15 (427 | 401 | 366 | 325 yards). Not only does this hole have the best view on the course, it also is your chance feel like Dustin Johnson with the driver. An elevated tee and normal downwind conditions make this a short 427-yard par 4. Most players shouldn’t have more than a wedge into this green. However, head professional Chad Dusenberry warns that the green has a false front. If the pin is playing up, and you approach slides down the hill, it is a difficult up-and-down for par.
Best par 5: No. 2 (524 | 482 | 472 | 386 yards). This hole provides your first spectacular view from the course, as you hit toward the mountains. While short on the scorecard, it plays uphill and into the wind. The large fairway bunker to the right misleads the player, as it appears to be driveable but plays longer than it looks. The well-guarded green, with bunkers, deep rough and grassy hollows, provides penalties to those who miss it. Winds also could be a factor in judging putts on this green.