Archive for the ‘Hawaii’ Category

Royal Hawaiian Golf Club

Royal Hawaiian Golf Club in Kailua, HI

royal hawaiian golf club

Manny and I

The Stats

Tee Time: February 9, 2014, 9:30, 82 F, overcast

Designer: Pete Dye (1994)

Playing Partners: Manny Nova

Tees: Blue, Par 72 (70.9 rating/136 slope/6,595 yards)

Course Handicap: 10 (8.0 index)

Stats: N/A (we only played the back 9, front was too wet, but I did par 6 straight)

The Course

Royal Hawaiian Golf Club is not a golf course. It’s a paradise. One of those fantasy locations you see on the Travel Channel. Or like the impossibly beautiful and difficult dream courses in Tiger Woods. Granted, part of this ambiance is helped by the fact that the course was completely empty during the round. A week’s worth of steady rain turned the turf into slush and my clothes caked in mud after only nine holes. The front nine was too saturated to play and the backside, at a slightly higher elevation, only slightly less so. But man it’s an awesome place to bring the golf clubs. It somehow feels like you left Hawaii and entered somewhere even more remote in the rain forest. Exotic birds sing, the ridges of the volcanic crater tower into the clouds and every inch not shaped by man is covered in dense foliage and trees. After snaking through the long, one-lane road inland to the facilities I half expected that we would drive through a giant gate with the Jurassic Park logo on top.

royal hawaiian golf club clubhouse

And this is only the start; the view from the practice green over the valley at the towering Ko’olau Mountains

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Turtle Bay Resort

Arnold Palmer Course at Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku, HI

turtle bay palmer course clubhouse

Jordan, Greg, random model, me and John

The Stats

Tee Time: February 7, 2014, 2:00, 75 F, rainy

Designer: Arnold Palmer/Ed Seay (1971)

Playing Partners: Jordan Ritenour, Greg Ryan, John

Tees: Gold, Par 72 (70.8 rating/133 slope/6,225 yards)

Course Handicap: 9 (8.0 index)

Stats: 86 (41-45); 39 putts; 9/14 fairways; 10/18 greens; 1 penalty stroke

The Course

There are so many things to do on the Hawaiian island of Oahu that you can almost forget to do the one thing you came to do: relax. Between hours of beach volleyball, deep sea fishing, nightclubs open until 4am and the necessary trip to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial, it can be hard to remember to come up for air every now and then. For me, golf is the ultimate relaxation. Four (sometimes five, let’s go people) hours of hanging out with buddies in the fresh air on green grass will ease any stress away. For some, golf is the opposite. The club-throwing, f-bomb dropping, cringe-inducing malcontent who swears the world is on a personal vendetta against him specifically through shanked 5-irons and bladed sand wedges.

golf club regripping

We’ll just ignore this…

Our playing partner John is not that person. John is the person I wake up every morning wishing I could be before remembering I have responsibilities and work for a living. John never got that far. He’s the stereotypical Hawaiian surfer bro. Smooth-swinging, sun-beaten and without a care in the world, he beat me by 2 skins despite being on his second 18 of the day, four joints and a case of beer in his newly 43-year-old body (and repeated stops to get it out of that body). I know for sure I’ve never had an experience like it, and it was awesome. If Jimmy Buffett were a 10-handicapper and washed golf carts for a living, you’d have this guy.

turtle bay resort arnold palmer course hole 3

A beautiful par 5 overlooked by wind turbines at #3

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