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Conservative Play is the Smart Choice at Wailua’s Home Hole

This #TipTuesday brings you an insider’s tip on how to play the 18th hole at Wailua Golf Course from golf writer Mike Dauplaise of Prime Golf Destinations. How would you play it? (Image courtesy of Mike Dauplaise)

No. 18 – Par 4
(394/371/328)

The tee shot for the closing hole plays downhill and downwind, making something less than a driver the preferred option for many players. Since it’s easy to run out of fairway, the temptation is to play a left-to-right shot in an attempt to curve around the dogleg right. Don’t do it.

The thick stand of trees that protects the right side of the dogleg is big trouble, and it extends farther down the fairway than appears from the tee. Plus, branches overhang the fairway to the extent that being in the right side of the fairway does not guarantee a clear path to the green.

The smart play is a conservative tee shot on the left half of the fairway, leaving a short to mid iron into a large, elevated green protected by two of the largest bunkers on the course. You’ll remember from walking behind the 18th green to the 10th tee earlier that going over this green is not the place to be. That memory causes many approach shots to come up short, especially to pin positions in the back half of the green.
 

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