I had the pleasure of meeting fellow golf blogger Wayne Halm, Golfing on Kauai, to tee it up on his gorgeous home island of Kauai in Hawaii.
I can’t rave enough about Kauai and I am already looking forward to returning in 2018.
Wayne picked me up from my fantastic accommodation and gave me some commentary about the island as we drove to the golf course.
We were teeing it up at Puakea Golf Club and we snapped a couple of quick photos before having a spot of breakfast in the club house.
While breakfasting, the General Manager and Superintendant of the course, Dan Urwiler, (I had not met anyone that does both of those roles before – I can only imagine the good teams he would need inside and out) came over for a chat.
We talked about Fairways, golf in Hawaii and went back to our breakfast before heading out to tee off.
From the mountains surrounding Puakea, the rolling fairways or the multiple water hazards everywhere you look is beautiful and keep you marvelling at the view.
Somedays I wonder how I got to be where I am and how much my life has changed since July 2014 when I took up golf.
Golf just makes me happy and how can I be anything but happy with a fairway underfoot, praying to the golf gods, surrounded by natural beauty?
In the last twelve months, Puakea replaced all the greens with paspalum. It was integrated one green at a time last year in order for the golf to continue without much interruption and has been completed with much success.
The greens are firm and run true and while my putter wasn’t my best club in my bag (it would have been my 3w this day) it wasn’t too bad.
Wayne and I had a great golf chat talking about our respective blogs and the dozens of new people he golfs with every year. He is a wonderful ambassador for golf on Kauai and I had a great time laughing and chatting about life and golf and everything in between.
We discussed my golf journey and how I came to be running a nonprofit, Fairways, sponsoring junior golfers all over the world -sometimes I am not even sure how I got here.
The course is in great condition and with multiple changes in elevation, rolling hills and deep bunkers, it makes for a good test of golf.
I didn’t break any records and overall averaged double bogeys although I did have a couple fantastic pars and hit some great golf shots (even if I do say so myself).
The sand here is very red and reminds me of one of my favourite courses in the world, Dundarave Golf Course on PEI. Although on PEI the sand is just red – here it is shipped in white and the iron ore in the earth turns it red.
As we got to the par five 11th, Wayne tells me he is happy with an 8 on this hole, all things considered and as I had gone a little wayward off to the left I continued hitting from on top of the hill around the trees. I limped my way to the green and hit a fantastic approach (my 6th) which was a little directionally challenged and ended up in the first greenside bunker to the right of the green. I then proceeded to hit from bunker to bunker just practicing my sand shots and ended up with an 11.
As we headed to the next tee, Wayne told me to ignore what had just happened and I laughed telling him I don’t actually care about my golf score, I was there for pure pleasure of it.
I am starting to get a little more consistent and all I can do is keep playing to improve. As I am off to Bolivia (where I am helping with a junior golf clinic for two months) I hope to be able to dedicate a little time for my own practice as well.
Wayne and I had a great time and are already planning on teeing it up again when I return next year.
I will be in Hawaii every year from now – one week in Maui for the Tournament of Champions, one week in Oahu for the Sony Open before I head to Kauai for a week, just for me.