Oahu Country Club – January 2017
When I was deciding how I wanted to celebrate my 40th birthday there was no question it would involve golf. As I was playing my 93rd course in Australia and had decided that I would travel to Hawaii for the Sony Open in January, it made sense to ensure it would be my 100th course.
I liked the sound of that.
I ended up at Oahu Country Club as back in July when I was working at the golf resort in Canada, I had served a gentleman, Dickie Furtado, who used to live in Hawaii and told me if I ever found myself there to contact him.
So contact him I did.
He put me in touch with Puna Chillingworth who wasn’t able to tee it up with me but connected me with Steve Kane who was able to play (he may have had to take one for the team).
We emailed back and forth while I was still in Australia and I phoned Steve to touch base when I arrived in Hawaii. He had booked us a 10am tee time and kindly picked me up.
We had a good chat on the way up the valley. Steve has been golfing for more than 20 years so has a little head start on me.
We arrived at the club and I had a chat with John Hearn in the pro shop. We talked junior golf as he has a great program going for Hawaiian youngsters.
I took a few photos before we teed off on this stunning track.
The course is nestled in the valley and while you can have an awesome drive down the fairway, you can end up with a lie that is above or below your feet. Some golfers don’t like that but I am up for the challenge.
Only once did I drop kick my 3w off the fairway. The rest of the time the ball sailed sweetly off my club, sometimes directionally challenged but a great connection nonetheless.
Steve and I were not going to break any course records but we had a lot of fun. I laughed a lot and Steve noted that he hasn’t played with anyone who laughs at their terrible shots.
I just don’t care – I am out there for fun. I am not attempting to hit a terrible shot, I just do and my response is laugh, own it, dust off my club and go and have another shot.
As you negotiate the course the elevation changes continuously and while you do think about your shot, sometimes I found myself just looking at the view.
From numerous holes on the back nine, you can see down over the city of Waikiki (which I think would be stunning at night).
We played on a perfect day for golf – there was not even wind to contend with (and it can be very strong around here). It has been quite wet here recently and some of the holes were still a little soft underfoot.
The clubhouse sits in a perfect hilltop position and is built primarily of locally quarried stone.
I read about the hundred plus year history on the walls of the clubhouse. I love looking at old black and white photos of people enjoying golf decades ago.
Post round Steve and I had a bite to eat before we headed off to Murphy’s to meet with Steve’s mates to select their picks for the Sony Open.
I met Puna there, had a golf chat with all the boys and laughed a lot as they heckled each other about their picks for the tournament.
What a wonderful way to celebrate my 40th birthday!