Last week, I had the pleasure of teeing it up with Steve Kane, Kellen Anderson and Jason Jakovac at Hoakalei Country Club.
Following the Sony Open and connecting with Kellan Anderson we arranged to golf and further discuss working together to grow this game we love. Kellan runs The First Tee Hawaii and I was put in touch with him by Steve Kane who I had golfed with on my birthday at Oahu Country Club.
Kellan used to be the pro at Hoakalei Country Club and arranged for us to tee it up with the Apprentice Golf Professional, Jason Jakovac.
Steve picked me up and pointed out landmarks as we drove to the course where we met with Jason upon arrival. Mario (who works at the course) arranged our cart and sorted our clubs. While Steve did a spot of work, I headed to the putting green to chat with Jason as we practiced.
After I watched Jason chip in an awesome shot I decided (with his agreement) that he would be my partner for the day in a spot of match play. Kellan turned up and we had a quick chat before we grabbed Steve and headed to the 10th.
The boys were playing from the white tees and I was playing from the red tees. Considering Jason and Kellan are pros, predictably they were smashing the ball and there were a few par 4’s Jason was just short of driving the green.
There were some wayward shots – more from Steve and I than the other two but we could do naught but laugh. Steve was giving himself a great test of golf going the roundabout way to the holes and ensuring I could take photos from every angle. As I said to him, it is all about the scramble and how you get out of the crap you just put yourself in and Steve certainly did this well (mostly).
There were a couple of shots by both of us where we laughed and laughed which is always a nice response to shitty golf.
It certainly wasn’t what was intended but sometimes rubbish comes off your club regardless.
It was a perfect day for golf and the company was fantastic. We had some great laughs as we meandered around the course as well as discussing Fairways and the Dawn 2 Dusk Golf Challenge we have on the 21st June. The First Tee Hawaii will piggy back our event and we will evenly split everything that is raised in Hawaii.
Hoakeli CC was designed by Ernie Els and opened in 2008 just as the housing market slumped. While there are a multitude of gorgeous homes surrounding the course now, this was not always the case hence why there is still a temporary clubhouse in place.
The ground was being broken this week for the state of the art clubhouse that is being built. The rendering of the clubhouse is gorgeous and while it won’t be finished when I return in 2018 it will by the following year.
Ernie Els loves his bunkers and I spent a little bit of time in them. I struggled to get out of two at all as (in retrospect) my club face was too closed and I hit the lip of the bunker each time, dropping back in. But I did learn (and got some good practice) and had some fantastic bunker shots during the round as well.
I am happy to own my mediocre golf and while I can do some amazing things there is still some woeful shots that come off my club. I was lucky to miss hit three drives that still shot straight down the fairway around 160 yards. You have to be happy if your shit shots go straight.
While my golf may not have been fantastic some of us were hitting wonderful balls – I love playing with fantastic golfers as I am adamant it improves my game.
I am an aggressive putter and was sliding many putts right past the hole and mostly got it in on the way back. The greens were quick and Jason was offering advice however I might have told him he can tell me whatever he wants about any other part of my game but when it comes to my putting he can keep his opinions to himself.
I find putting is very personal as beside reading the green, the weight and speed also play a big part in your putt and having someone tell you where you should hit is great if they are holding the putter. For me, I have been lucky to be able to putt since I first took up golf and I prefer to just do it myself.
There was amazing golf to be seen, from Jason and Kellan’s driving, watching Steve chip in and some good putting from all of us.
My driving got better as the day went on and we took some good photos of us all being a little foolish.
The boys are great company. I had a good laugh and hope to tee it up with them again in future.
The course is stunning and I am very thankful Jason hosted us on our wonderful day of golf.