For the 3rd round of our Kauai golf adventure with Wayne Halm, we visited Wailua Golf Course. Wailua is a municipal golf course located along the eastern shore of Kauai, approximately 30 minutes from our south shore accommodations at Koloa Landing Resort.
Wailua is a course which helps debunk a common misconception of golf in Hawaii – that you have to pay big bucks to play good golf. When you check-in and pull out your wallet at Wailua, it feels like your average muni when you only have to fork over $48 to play.
However, as soon as you set off on the first hole, you quickly realize it’s much more than your average muni.
They have a driving range to get you ready for the round, but we had an opportunity to go off early and get ahead of a couple groups, so we took it and got warmed up by playing the first hole.
On the first tee Wayne said “you can play the blues if you’d like, but they’re too long for me”.
Usually it’s automatic to play the tips at a muni, but Wailua is 7000 yards. I’m not opposed to playing at 7000 yards, but this was a just a casual and fun vacation round, so I joined Wayne at the white tees and I’m not disappointed I did. It’s still 6600 yards and provides plenty of challenge.
The views from the opening par-5, although slightly distracting, get you in the right frame of mind for golf.
The opening tee shot:
Looking back toward the beach paralleling the first hole:
The approach into the first green:
These views continue on the gentle dogleg left 440 yard (from the whites) par-4 2nd hole:
Have I mentioned this course isn’t a pushover? The 230 yard par-3 3rd hole (that’s 230 yards from the whites) will get your attention:
After coming out of the gates with three straight two-putt pars, I thought I was going to show Wailua what’s up.
The approach to the par-4 4th hole:
However, if you start to tangle with Wailua’s big, deep, bowl shaped bunkers, where I managed to find myself short-sided with a downhill lie multiple times, you can start to tally bogeys pretty quickly.
This bunker on the 4th hole helped facilitate my first non-par of the day:
As you make the turn and see this sign, you’re not at all surprised that Wailua is a worthy course to host events:
The back 9 at Wailua offers more elevation change than the front, and their big signature bunkers continue to stand guard by the greens.
The ocean isn’t forgotten either, most notably on the gorgeous par-3 17th hole:
Here’s a view from behind the 17th green (much sunnier than from the tee – if you don’t like the weather in Kauai, just wait 5 minutes):
The approach to the par-4 18th green:
Although Wailua may not have the pristine conditioning of the resort courses on Kauai, it’s actually quite good when you consider that it’s a quarter of the price. The greens were a bit slower than the other courses we’ve played but still rolled nicely, and were better than most other munis we’ve ever played.
My impression from one round there is that the pace of play is generally pretty quick. The course opens at 7am (in December) and as we arrived at 8:30am there were already some locals making the turn. As a group of three we played fairly fast and didn’t wait on anybody.
If you’re looking to get a round in on Kauai that doesn’t take up the whole day, doesn’t set you back much money, but still provides plenty of challenge and fun, I highly recommend hitting up Wailua Golf Course.
Also check out Wayne Halm’s post on our round at Wailua Golf Course here for photos of us and to find out who got bragging rights.
(Published from my iPhone)