When a golfer visits Hawaii, he naturally expects to have ocean views at some point during the round. Poipu Bay Golf Course, located on the south end of Kauai, doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the ocean, particularly on the final stretch of holes that tumble along the cliff edge above the largest water hazard on the planet.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Poipu Bay is one of the most highly acclaimed resort courses in the Pacific. From 1994 to 2006, the course played host to the annual PGA Grand Slam of Golf, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the golf world. A round at Poipu Bay Golf Course affords you the opportunity to experience the sheer pleasures and daunting challenges of a course recognized as one of America’s finest and to “play where champions play.”
The opening holes are a gentle warmup in both difficulty and architectural interest. The 7th hole begins to raise the bar as the final three holes on the front are beautiful and increasingly more strategic.
The terrain on the back nine enjoys more movement with gentle climbs and descents which leads into the final cliff-side holes that are simply world class. The turf conditions are wonderful and the routing enjoys being framed by palm trees on many of the holes. Robert Trent Jones Jr. took into account the strong trade winds that are prevalent at the property. In fact, a couple of the most difficult holes are under 400 but play several clubs longer when the ocean winds are blowing. In the end, Poipu Bay doesn’t disappoint on any level. When paying three figure green fees, golfers expect immaculate conditioning, stunning views, and great golf holes – three things Poipu Bay delivers on with flying colors.
Signature Hole at Poipu Bay Golf: 16th – 501 Yard Par 4 – The 16th at Poipu Bay is a jaw dropper, plain and simple. It’s the type of hole you drop big bucks to be able to play while in Hawaii. Dubbed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. as “the Pebble Beach of the Pacific” due to the similarities it shares with Pebble’s 18th hole that also cascades along the rocky coastline, this hole is one of the finest in all of the islands. With the world’s largest water hazard on the left, a pond and two bunkers are found on the right of this downhill, downwind beauty. The green is the largest and most undulated on the property and is protected by a bunker on the right, two bunkers behind, and the ocean on the left. The view from the green back towards the tee with the rugged coastline and ocean in sight is really amazing.