No. 16 – Par 4
By. Mike Dauplaise
Poipu Bay course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. describes the course’s signature hole as the “Pebble Beach of the Pacific.” Even playing with the prevailing trade winds, the length of this hole still packs a punch for a par-4 and contributes to its No. 1 handicap ranking.
The downhill tee shot must avoid a bunker on the right (a pond just off the tee to the right should not be in play) and the stone heiau (pronounced HAY-ow) walls on the left. Heiaus are ancient sacred areas that play as lateral hazards.
The hole doglegs left beyond the heiau and heads uphill to a green perched at the edge of the bluff overlooking the ocean. The right side of the fairway is the preferred angle for the second shot, leaving a more open line of attack. Anything left off the tee leaves you with a carry over another heiau that sits tight along the left side of the fairway and the green. There is zero room for error left of the green.
There’s a reason this is Poipu’s signature hole. The view from the green looking back toward the tee is incredible, so you may want to bring your camera along with your putter – and often your sand wedge.
A series of bunkers encases the green from the right side around the back. Combined with the hazard to the left, the only safe miss is short and right.
Luckily, Mr. Jones has given you the largest green on the course for your target. Par here is an excellent score and almost certainly will extend your lead over your opponent.
Learn more about the great golf courses of Kauai by visiting golf writer Mike Dauplaise’s website at https://primegolfdestinations.com/golf-kauai/.