Jan 28, 2019 | Five Kaua'i Courses Named "Best of Hawaii" by Golf Advisor
Posted By: GoGolfKauai.com
Five Kaua'i golf courses have been named "Best of Hawaii" by Golf Advisor, the leading source of golf course ratings and reviews by golfers, for golfers. In a Top 20 listing of the best courses in Hawai'i, Golf Advisor's community of golfers voted Princeville Makai Golf Club No. 2, Poipu Bay Golf Course No. 7, Puakea Golf Course No. 13, The Ocean Course at Hokuala No. 17, and Wailua Golf Course No. 19.
"It's an honor to be recognized by Golf Advisor for having five of Hawaii's finest courses," said Sue Kanoho, Executive Director of the Kauaï'i Visitors Bureau. "With so many incredible golf courses and resorts located on Kauai'i, the island is a top destination for golfers from around the world."
According to Golf Advisor, course scores are based on their overall rating and subcategory average as voted on by Golf Advisor readers. Courses need a minimum of 10 reviews over the calendar year to be considered for their Best-of rankings. Golf Advisor is the leading source of golf course ratings and reviews by golfers, for golfers. Golf Advisor's community of golfers share their first-hand experience at thousands of courses worldwide to help other golfers decide where to play their next round.
Nicknamed the Garden Isle for its lush tropical foliage, waterfalls and ever-present Pacific Ocean scenery, Kauaï'i is perennially recognized for its beaches, award-winning courses, ideal playing weather and stunning natural beauty. Princeville Makai Golf Club (Princeville Resort Kauai'i), Poipu Bay Golf Course (Grand Hyatt Kauai'i Resort & Spa), Puakea Golf Course, The Ocean Course at Hokuala (Hokuala Kauaï'i, A Timbers Resort) and Wailua Golf Course all exemplify the stunning views and exceptional golf found on the island.
For more information on Kauai golf, visit www.gogolfkauai.com.
Dec 5, 2018 | Pro Tip Tuesday with Princeville Makai’s Tom Freestone: The Backswing
Posted By: GoGolfKauai.com
Over the next three weeks, Princeville Makai’s Head Golf Pro, Tom Freestone, will be featured in our Pro Tip Tuesday emphasizing the three core elements of the golf swing – the backswing, downswing and impact position.
Note from the Pro:
Set aside old ideas and begin to uncover your talent with what feels like YOUR natural, un-manipulated swing; a swing without the additives of incorporating current or past swing thoughts. Don’t worry, I will give you enough to think about! Please fully read so that you can truly understand the application of these ideas.
I am under the assumption that the reader has taken a lesson on the fundamentals of a pre-shot routine: knowing exactly how to place your hands on the grip and its relationship with the club face; aiming the club face precisely at your intended final target; finding the correct distance to stand from the ball; building your stance and body aliment around the placement of the precisely aimed club face; ensuring a consistent ball position and correct width of stance; all while having a quiet, focused mind that only thinks of target.
If not, this lesson will still be helpful; however, I would recommend seeking a PGA Professional in the area and ask them to help you develop a pre-shot routine that triggers the details of proper fundamentals.
This lesson will focus on Proper Swing Sequence.
First up – the backswing
The backswing is predominantly the result of the address position. However, there are a few keys to having a good backswing during the motion of the swing.
Lesson One – The seated backswing drill - Helps to limit the hip turn in the backswing and create coil
- Take a seated position on a bench or a bag stand
- Swing the club back and turn your shoulders to the top of the backswing
- Let your swing fall back to a comfortable place in the backswing and un-rotate your shoulders until you feel a less stressed position at the top
- The top of the backswing must be a less stressful position
- The shorter is better – more powerful, balanced, attainable and much more consistent
- Take multiple backswings until you find out where you can take the club with 1) still feeling the club head and 2) feeling balanced, consistent, stress free and achievable
- Now take the backswing while still seated on the bench and make sure your hips are staying in place and your shoulders are just rotating backward with the backswing
- Take multiple backswings focusing on the hips staying still and your upper body at the top of your backswing feels balanced, consistent, stress-free and achievable
- Finally, in this seated position take the club back to the new top of your swing and then stand up as tall as you can with your hips but in a golf-like position with a slight bow the ground
To recap, this drill should help you establish a consistent backswing, a stress-free upper body and a coiled, loaded lower body ready to fire.
Oct 25, 2018 | Kaua‘i to Host 7th Annual Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational
Posted By: GoGolfKauai.com
“We are honored to have the continued support of the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau and Kaua‘i Golf Partners as we join the University of Hawai‘i to host this exciting event,” says Doug Sutter, General Manager at Princeville Makai Golf Club. “Our island offers the perfect destination to showcase these talented junior golfers who represent the future of our sport.”
Including host school Hawai‘i, the Invitational will bring 20 talented teams and their fans to the “Garden Isle” of Kaua‘i. The No. 23-ranked Louisville Cardinals have enjoyed recent success on the Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designed course, entering this year as the defending team champions, along with the 2017 individual champion, senior Simon Zach.
First opened in 1971 and renovated in 2009, Princeville Makai was recently highlighted as one of Hawai‘i’s most “Family-Friendly Courses” by Travel Weekly. Visiting fans and locals alike are invited to come see the great collegiate competition and surreal vistas at Princeville Makai, which overlooks majestic Hanalei Bay.
The 54-hole stroke-play event is open to the public and free of charge. More details on the 2018 Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational can be found here.
Visit GoGolfKauai.com to book tee times and stay-and-play packages with the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau-led Kaua‘i Golf Partners. Proudly home to four of the top-15 venues on Golfweek’s “2018 Best Courses You Can Play in Hawai‘i” Kaua‘i’s golf courses should be on every traveler’s Hawaiian bucket list.
The views on the island of Kauai are bountiful, and even more plentiful are the ways to enjoy them. Whether hitting the links, enjoying a day at the beach or exploring the volcanic mountains, the beauty of Kauai offers backdrops that rival the big screen.
There's a reason why Kauai gives visitors a sense they're starring in their own movie. The Garden Island has made its mark in Hollywood, providing noteworthy settings throughout cinematic history. From South Pacific in 1958 and Elvis' Blue Hawaii in 1961, to critically acclaimed films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurassic Park, and more contemporary films including Pirates of the Caribbean and The Descendants, filmmakers continue to be inspired by all the island has to offer.
While visitors to Kauai can take advantage of thrilling helicopter charters with The St. Regis Princeville Resort to get a glimpse at the privately owned Manawaiopuna Falls - better known as "Jurassic Falls" - those who want a more hands-on experience can grab a set of golf clubs and head to Puakea Golf Course to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the classic film in a unique way.
Puakea is set on the southeast side of the island on sugar cane fields with Mount Haupu towering above. The mountain range that is immediately recognized as the iconic Jurassic Park backdrop is visible throughout the course, but the best vantage point is the course's par-3 sixth hole.
Travel up the coast to visit the setting of Blue Hawaii and make time for a round at Wailua Golf Course with multiple ocean holes and stunning mountain views. The course played host to three USGA Amateur events and three U.S. Public Links Championships.
Round out a cinematic golf tour on the north shore of Kauai at Princeville Makai Golf Club and enjoy the backdrop to the classic South Pacific. The Robert Trent Jones, Jr. course offers views of Bali Hai and Hanalei Bay, and is the perfect setting for anyone's silver screen memories.
Along the island’s southern shore lies Poipu Bay Golf Course. As a storied Robert Trent Jones Jr. design, this amenity of the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa recently earned a top 10 spot on Golfweek’s “Best Courses You Can Play” and “Best Resort Courses” in Hawaii. Featuring dramatic topography on 210 acres with stunning ocean views and mountain frontage, Poipu Bay’s finishing holes are perched above the Pacific.
Leading to the course’s rousing finish, the straightforward par-3, 17th hole plays downhill and downwind. The elevated tee box overlooks the ocean, where whales can be seen during the winter months.
Poipu Bay has also made its mark in the history books. From 1994-2006, it played host to the annual PGA Grand Slam of Golf, what was formally considered one of the most prestigious competitions in the golf world. While the Grand Slam has since ended its 34-year run, guests can still experience Kauai’s championship course for themselves and walk in the footsteps of legends such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman, Ernie Els and Justin Leonard.
Golfers and guests alike can also experience Poipu Bay by a sunset golf cart tour. The self-guided trek of the course reaches the 15th hole for the grand finale: A spectacular Hawaiian sunset.
Book your tee time at Poipu Bay Golf Course or with a stay-and-play package at the adjacent Grand Hyatt Kauai.
Located on the North Shore of Kauai is Princeville Makai Golf Club, another of the island’s must-play courses. As Robert Trent Jones, Jr. first-ever solo design, Princeville Makai has gone on to garner countless honors for its excellence.
Kauai’s North Shore landscape is on dramatic display at Princeville Makai. From hole three’s daunting elevation change to the cliff-hugging seventh, a mythical creature can be seen lying in these mountains surrounding the Makai course. With mountain peaks resembling humps and a bare, brown cliff as the eye, “Puff the Magic Dragon,” from the song made famous in the 1960s, gazes over Hanalei Bay (or Honnah Lee as in the song), forming a spectacular background to the 18-hole course.
Not only does the par-3 seventh hole offer spectacular views, it also serves as Makai’s signature hole, challenging players from the back tees to hit over scenic cliffs onto a green 213 yards away. During parts of the year, Laysan Albatrosses can be seen nesting and taking their first flights from these ocean hugging cliffs…perhaps an even more perilous feat than this daunting tee shot!
Makai means, “towards the sea.” Offering a brilliant layout, immaculate conditions and breathtaking views that are as beautiful as they are distracting, book your tee time with us to play, “One of the Top Five Most Scenic Golf Courses in the World” by National Geographic Traveler Magazine.
Celebrating 25 years since the first Jurassic Park film, the franchise continues to fascinate the public. The latest installment, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, earned over $148 million domestically on opening weekend, putting it at No. 20 for highest earning opening weekends at the box office.
Several blockbuster films have found the Hawaiian Islands to be a source of cinematic inspiration, including that of the infamous Jurassic Park. On Kauai, Mount Haupu is the towering head to a mountain range that formed the backdrop of several Jurassic Park scenes. Puakea Golf Course is set at the base of Haupu, built among volcanic cliffs, massive ravines, giant sinkholes and lush tropical undergrowth…“Welcome to Jurassic Park.”
As noted in a previous blog, “Favorite Kauai Golf Vistas”, the best vantage point for taking in the Hollywood-worthy views is from the par-3 sixth hole, although you’ll be under the gaze of Mount Haupu for most of your round.
Puakea was devised by Robin Nelson, an underrated golf architect who designed or redesigned one-third of Hawaii’s roughly 95 courses. Puakea construction was halted in 1991 by Hurricane Iniki. After clean-up and post-Iniki recovery, the course owners at the time opened Puakea with 10 holes. Nelson played the truncated course many times before AOL Founder Steve Case purchased it from the original owners and authorized its completion. Nelson used the insight he gained – the prevailing trade wind directions, for example – to revise the original 10 holes while building the remaining eight.
Want to play this Hollywood and Kauai favorite? Book your Puakea tee times with GoGolfKauai.com.
Wailua Golf Course is a classic, golden-era course that sits a mere few steps from the Pacific Ocean on Kauai's peaceful Coconut Coast. While the course was initially built with 9-holes, architect Toyo Shirai redesigned the front nine and created an additional nine in 1961 to offer scenic ocean-views on the front and closing holes. In 2002, a $2 million irrigation system was installed allowing the course to sustain luscious grounds year-round.
Whether you are planning a golf vacation or already in Kauai, Wailua is a must-play. In GOLF's June issue, writer Joe Passov calls Wailua a "seaside bargainï¿½boasting a breeze-fueled location and a green fee that encourages multiple plays." Despite its lower fees, this course dons a USGA and NCAA pedigree, having hosted three Amateur Public Links Championships and the annual John Burns Intercollegiate. Its list of accolades continues, ranked as one of the best municipal courses in America, and most recently named to the top 15 of "Golfweek's Best 2018: Courses You Can Play" in Hawaii.
At Wailua Golf Course, you'll be surrounded by lush vegetation and towering coconut palms with views of Kalepa Mountain on holes 4 through 16. On holes 1-3 and 17, take time to savor the oceanside bliss. The par-3 17th provides 173 yards of unobstructed, and wonderfully distracting Pacific Ocean views.
Want to play this Kauai favorite? Book your Wailua tee times with GoGolfKauai.com.
Exciting news for Kauai golf. Golfweek has released its "2018 Best Courses You Can Play in Hawai'i," naming Princeville Makai, Poipu Bay, the Ocean Course at Hōkūala and Wailua to the top 15 of the best-in-state list.
Princeville Makai and Poipu Bay are among the top 10 courses to play in the state of Hawai'i. The Ocean Course at Hōkūala, a signature amenity of Timbers Kauai, solidified its position on the list at No. 11. In addition, Wailua proudly made its debut on the list at No.14, a deserved distinction for the ocean-side municipal course that has played host to three USGA Amateur Public Links Championships.
"Kauaï'i is thrilled to have four properties listed among the top 15 courses in golf-rich Hawai'i," says Sue Kanoho, Executive Director of the Kauai'i Visitors Bureau. "And not to be overlooked, Puakea is a beautiful design with excellent conditioning. Princeville has recovered quickly from mid-April's flooding, proving the resilience of our residents and professional golf staffs. We invite locals and visitors alike to experience our award-winning designs. Learn more at gogolfkauai.com."
Golfweek raters assess thousands of courses annually to rank them in several categories. The individual scores are aggregated, then the total scores determine the order of rank in numerous "best-of" lists that Golfweek publishes each year.
Raters from multiple media outlets have confirmed what golfers who love the "Garden Isle" have long known - that Kauai is a special place with unique qualities, an amazing oasis where playing the game is an unforgettable experience, and after-golf activities are equally astounding.
Want to play these award-winning courses? Book your Kauai tee times or let us help you build your perfect Kauai golf package.
Mar 20, 2018 | A look back: Tiger Woods and the PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Poipu Bay
Posted By: GoGolfKauai.com
From 1994-2006, Poipu Bay Golf Course played host to the annual PGA Grand Slam of Golf, where Tiger took home seven victories at what was formally considered one of the most prestigious competitions in the golf world. Each year the PGA of America invited the the four major championship winners for a 36-hole stroke-play event conducted over two days, with these players vying for a purse of well over a million dollars.
The Grand Slam's history at Poipu Bay was always exciting, with the play often proving to be astounding, even by the players' own standards. In the 1997 event, Tiger Woods executed an incredible sand shot on Poipu Bay's signature 16th hole, a shot he described as "one of the best I've ever played in my life." When Woods saw his ball buried in wet sand on a severe down slope in a greenside bunker, he said "I thought I was a dead man." Woods tried a "100 to 1 shot." He lifted his club straight into the air and came down into the sand like an axe. The ball shot forward, hit the grass embankment, jumped straight up into the air and continued forward, stopping two feet from the hole. Woods knocked the putt in for what he called "one of the best pars of my life." Tiger would return to the Grand Slam to set an event record by taking first place for five consecutive years, from 1998 through 2002.
While the Grand Slam has since ended its 34-year run, guests can still experience Kauai's championship course for themselves and walk in the footsteps of legends such as Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman, Ernie Els and Justin Leonard.
You’ve seen Hawaii’s deep blue seas and lush green mountains during the PGA TOUR’s January swing, and now you want to experience it for yourself! With breathtaking scenery and championship-caliber course designs recognized as some of the best-in-state, Kauai is the perfect island to experience your winter snowbirds getaway. A welcome departure from colder climates, Kauai’s winters are routinely in the mid-70s. This ideal playing weather, along with pristine greens and stunning surrounding views, makes a Kauai golf package seriously enticing.
In addition to playing golf, the winter months offer the best time of year to participate in whale watching tours. November and December are when humpback whales migrate to Kauai. They can be seen in waters all around the island. Catch a glimpse of these gentle giants just off Kauai’s shorelines and from the cliffside holes at Princeville Makai and Poipu Bay.
Another winter specialty is the surfing paradise offered on Kauai’s North Shore, although it’s only recommended for experienced surfers. If you’re not quite ready to brave the waves yourself, watch seasoned surfers charge these massive swells during big wave season (November–February) from the safety and tranquility of the beach.