Maui's Fantasy Nine Golf - Part 2
Waiehu No. 5, Par-3
The 5th at Maui’s muni may be the toughest par-3 in Hawaii. The front nine holes of this classic links course run along the sea. At number five, a rocky hill rises on the right, damning a pushed or sliced tee shot. Ground falls away on the left side of the narrow, well-bunkered green. A hooked tee ball will leave a tricky uphill pitch over the bunker.
The Dunes at Maui Lani No. 5, Par 4
A lake on the left side, and a fairway that slopes significantly that way, make this one of the tougher tee shots on Maui. And though it plays just 362 yards from the tips and 306 from the regular tees, you’ll need to hit a good tee shot, even if it’s a lay-up mid-iron. The lake guards the front and left of the green, which is barely 30 paces deep. Not a single bunker, but none is really needed, is it?
Wailea Gold No. 7, Par-5
This is another Trent Jones Jr. masterpiece—isn’t that what they call the old Alfred Hitchcock films? A tree-lined dogleg right, it plays 590 yards from the tips, 544 from the resort tees and 518 from the forward—uphill, into the prevailing trade winds. Sweet. Don’t even think about getting home in two shots. Survival depends on your approach to a tight, undulating green with a deceptive false front. Two bunkers on the left and an overhanging tree force your tee shot left. The second shot is visually more daunting—the fairway narrows the closer you come to the green, a big bunker lurks on the left, followed by another on the right. Nearer the green is a complex of four amoebic bunkers, and yet another on the right.
If you haven’t thrown the towel in yet, here’s a final hole to finish off.
Ellaire No. 11, Par 4
Further proof that toughness is not predicated simply on the length of a hole, the 11th plays 391 from the tips, 328 from the forward tees. But the hole, paralleling Piilani Highway, is tighter than a supermodel’s jeans. The tree-lined fairway is barely 30 yards wide, with strategic bunkers on both right and left sides in the landing area. A small pot bunker in front of the green catches way more shots that it really ought to.
Yes, that is quite enough for one day.
Don Chapman, an award-winning writer, is editor-in-chief of MidWeek, Hawaii’s best-read newspaper. He is the author of three books, “Boys of Winter: the Story of the Hawaii Winter Baseball League,” “You Know You’re In Hawaii When …” and “Mauna Ala: Hawaii’s Royal Mausoleum.” He’s played golf from St. Andrews to Pebble Beach to Thailand, and has contributed to a variety of national magazines.
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