Puakea Golf Course
No. 17 – Par 4
By. Mike Dauplaise
The long par-4 17th hole at Puakea Golf Course requires a brave approach and some length off the tee to avoid a Jurassic Park-sized number on your scorecard. Enjoy the beautiful view of Mt. Ha’upu looming behind the green. This feature served as a backdrop during filming of the original “Jurassic Park” movie.
The fairway doglegs from right to left, while the trade winds blow left to right. This combination makes for one of the more difficult fairways on the course to hit. Factor in a hazard and trees down the left side, and more trees and mounds on the right, and you
have a recipe for potential late-round disaster. In fact, the island winds have been known to carry shots so far right that fairway bunkers on the nearby 18th hole come into play.
Bigger hitters can carry the long bunker that sits inside the elbow of the dogleg. A right-to-left shot shape is preferred, but absent that ability, players must skirt the trees in front of the tee on the left and battle the crosswinds to find the fairway. A large bunker guards the right side of the green and the hazard looms close by on the left. The wind often makes it necessary to start your approach left of the green and toward trouble. Par here is well-earned.
Learn more about the great golf courses of Kauai by visiting golf writer Mike Dauplaise’s website at https://primegolfdestinations.com/golf-kauai/