Poipu Bay Golf Course is located along Kauai’s famous sunny south shore, adjacent to the Grand Hyatt Resort. It was our 4th round of golf on Kauai with local golf blogger, Wayne Halm. Conveniently for us, Poipu Bay was only a short 5 minute drive along the south shore from our accommodations at Koloa Landing Resort.
Although the south shore wasn’t very sunny this day, it wasn’t rainy nor too windy, so it was a perfect day for golf.
If you’re wondering why the name Poipu Bay is ringing a bell, this might be why:
They had a pretty good run hosting the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, where someone named Tiger Woods tallied 5 consecutive victories at the event between 1998 and 2002. Rumor has it there’s a suite at the Hyatt named after Tiger Woods where he used to stay for the Grand Slam (which I’m sure goes for a pretty penny).
As you head towards the driving range, this little sign is carefully placed to taunt you:
After a good warm-up on the range and putting green, I was feeling poised to challenge Phil’s record. In the end I made a decent run at it and only needed to shave off an extra 20 strokes to match him.
The Robert Trent Jones Jr. layout (which are popular on Kauai) can be stretched out to 7123 yards, and although the course never strays too far from the ocean, only three holes (15,16,17) play right along it. That doesn’t mean your golf ball can’t find water — there is plenty of H20 to avoid on the other holes as you’ll see in some of the photos below.
In typical Robert Trent Jones Jr. fashion (at least from my experiences), the golf course is right out in front of you. It is obvious where the trouble is which provides visual intimidation, yet there is always sufficient room to avoid it, which is a great formula for a fun golf course.
A view of my second shot from the fairway of the par-5 2nd hole:
The par 3’s at Poipu Bay were particularly fun. Here is Beth on the par-3 3rd hole:
Remember that H20 I mentioned? It comes into play on more than one par 3.
A look at the par-3 7th hole:
We played the par-3 11th hole below in a brisk left-to-right breeze but all managed to stay dry:
For the most part I found that Poipu Bay allowed you to stay aggressive and all of the par 5’s were great scoring opportunities. I hit driver on all the par-4’s except for one, but driver was never the only option. Another good recipe for fun.
The uphill approach to the par-5 14th hole:
The most famous and final stretch of holes at Poipu Bay are what really elevate the experience of golfing here. They’re the holes that are in the back of your mind as you make your way around and can’t wait to tackle.
The approach into the par-4 15th hole:
Beth on the signature par-4 16th hole:
Looking back from the 16th green as Wayne putts from the fringe:
More water to avoid on the reachable par-5 18th hole:
Although Poipu Bay may not have as many stunning ocean holes as a few of the other courses on Kauai, it still gives you a taste of ocean side golf while providing a layout that you can’t help but have fun on. I think Beth had the most fun with 3 birdies on the day to show me up by one. It is a course that can yield plenty of birdie chances if you’re on your game and catch a relatively calm day.
The staff at Poipu Bay were extremely friendly and welcoming, right from the pro shop staff to the starter and bag boys. If souvenirs are your type of thing, they’ll make a Poipu Bay bag tag with your name on it which can be picked up in the pro shop after your round.
The green fees range from about $155 – $249 depending on time of day and whether you’re a resort guest or not. As you’d expect at this price point, the conditioning of the course, particularly the greens, were nearly impeccable.
Poipu Bay Golf Course may not be the cheapest deal in town to hit the links on your Kauai vacation, but it rarely is to walk the same fairways as many legends of the game did for 12 years.
Also check out Wayne Halm’s post here on our round at Poipu Bay Golf Course for more great stories and photos of us from this round.