The Kauai Golf Challenge Special is comprised of not only three of my personal favorite courses but which also happen to be three of the most beautiful courses in all of Hawaii. If you are a visitor to the island of Kauai for the first time then the Kauai Golf Challenge is a must.
Starting at the North Shore of the island, Princeville Makai is ranked in the top 50 Resort Courses by Golfweek. This magnificent course has beautiful vistas of Bali Hai and the famous crescent shaped Hanalei Bay. It was also rated in the Top 5 for public golf courses in Hawaii by Golf Magazine in 2014. You don’t want to miss playing at this fabulous golf course!
Next is gorgeous Hokuala, or formerly known as Kauai Lagoons, one of the World’s Most Beautiful Golf Courses according to MSN Travel and ranked #8 in “Best-Of-State” rankings by Golf Magazine in 2014. The Ocean Course at Hokuala is known for having the longest continuous stretch of ocean holes in all of Hawaii, so be sure and come prepared with enough battery life and storage in your phone as you’ll want to take plenty of pictures while on this enchanting landscape.
Possibly the most well-known of the three and home to the PGA Grand Slam of Golf from 1994-2006, Poipu Bay Golf Club is always in immaculate shape. With its links style traditional set up, spectacular vistas and varying trade winds Poipu was recognized as top 15 Resort Golf Courses in Hawaii, according to Golf Magazine in 2014. You may remember watching Phil Mickelson play here as he breezed through the final stretch of holes which parallel the Pacific Ocean atop 150-foot cliffs and set the course record 59 to win the 2004 PGA Grand Slam which still holds true to this day.
Hawaii has been experiencing a warm weathered and big waved winter season. With there really only being two seasons in Hawaii (summer and winter) many people decide it’s best to travel here during the months of November to April when the average daytime temperature is 78º (25.6º C).
Who wouldn’t want to spend their holiday vacation somewhere where the weather is this warm and the waves are as big as ever. With the ability to golf all day on lush ocean courses while witnessing Hawaii’s popular big waves, it’s a no brainer.
This year we have definitely not seen any shortage of big waves. Last week the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational was held at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu for the first time since 2009. Waves were reaching 60 feet last Thursday afternoon, the biggest of the event's 31-year history. John John Florence came out the victor by besting a field full of some of the sport’s biggest names including Greg Long, Kelly Slater and Shane Dorian, all the while over 25,000 fans lined up along the shore to cheer them on.
John John had this to say about the final day of the contest, "I was riding my bike down here this morning in the dark, and just the energy of how many people were parked all the way down the street blew me away. I've lived here my whole life, and I've never seen it like that. Walking down the beach with people screaming, the energy was so crazy. I've never been a part of an event like this. It's definitely the highlight of my life." Thursday afternoon John John became the youngest ever to win the “Eddie” which isn’t that surprising considering he’s been attending the contest since he was 12 years old.
The North Shore of Oahu wasn’t the only place where the waves were firing. The same day of the Big Wave Invitational the newly reopened Kona Country Club Ocean Course on the Big Island of Hawaii saw its share of enormous waves.
It was a great day for golf and a spectacular site as the waves crashed up against the rocks, spilling over and onto some tee boxes and fairways. Walkers and joggers alike had to take extra precaution along the coast as they snapped pictures to avoid being splashed by the colossal ocean mist. My personal favorite and most eye-catching vista came on one of the courses signature holes, the par 4 13th, by the well-known blowhole which that day was spouting water over 20 feet high.