If you know Peter Sirois, Realtor-Broker at Kauai Heritage Portfolio, you know he loves a beautiful drive. One of his favorites is a two-mile, plumeria-lined stretch on Kauai’s South Shore. It lacks any significant ocean views or endorphin-rushing curves, but it does have three amazing golf courses with more than 20,000 yards of driving heaven.
Our first stop is Kukuiula, the newest course on our Poipu Beach drive, designed by famed golf course architect, Tom Weiskopf. Kukuiula is unique in that it has only two parallel holes. The others sweep out across 10,000 acres of Kukuiula’s private luxury home development, giving members a constantly changing view of Kauai’s southern kaleidoscopic coast. For the most part, the only times you won’t see the ocean are if you end up in one of the deeper bunkers or behind a tree. Even if you land in the rough, which you inevitably will, you can’t help but notice that it is awash in an incredible variety of fruiting, flowering plants of every shape and size. With its five different tee positions, Kukuiula can offer you an intense test of skill or a handicap-friendly confidence boost.
Beauty & The Beast
When you get to #15, take a second to appreciate the view. It will become the new place you think of when someone says, “Find your happy place.” That is, until you square up to the tee and squint into a 15-knot headwind at a tiny flag nearly 500 yards away. Peter likes to play it conservatively on windier days by laying up to a comfortable pitch onto the green, and hopefully only one stroke over.
The second course on our Poipu Beach drive is a past home of the LPGA Championships, Kiahuna Golf Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. This is the South Shore’s first golf course and when it opened in 1987, looked quite different. As neighborhoods of luxury homes have built up around its paspalm fairways, Kiahuna has taken on a close-knit, country-club feel, where long-time regulars and visiting pros have been honing their skills for the past 30 years. Like Kukuiula, it offers a wide range of tee options that provide a high degree of playability for all experience levels. While it doesn’t have Kukuiula’s multitude of ocean-view vistas, the Mt. Haupu mountain range makes for one exceptional backdrop, especially when it reflects the orange-gold sky during twilight play hours.
Just The Right Slice
While new developments, like Emerald Homes at Wainani, have actually helped open up more ocean views on Kiahuna Golf Course, the additional “backyard hazards” definitely make the wind more of a factor. Our model home sales office overlooks the #6 green; the wind tends to carry balls in our direction, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The green is surrounded by sand traps, but there’s a keyhole on the back right corner that offers a safe green sliver to pitch over. We’ll be watching. No pressure.
Just past the aptly named Grand Hyatt Kauai is the last and longest stop on our Poipu Beach driving tour: Poipu Bay. Kiahuna’s RTJ2 also designed Poipu Bay Golf Course, sculpting it into a formidable PGA proving ground. From 1994 to 2006, Poipu Bay was home to the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, and hasn’t lost a step from its days on the competitive circuit. Golf guides and publications still consistently rank it in the top golf courses in the U.S. Plus, the people who play it get to walk in Tiger Woods’ exact footsteps, among other golf greats, like Ernie Els, Greg Norman, and Phil Mickelson. Kauai’s wild open beauty is on full display, surrounding impeccably manicured grounds and creating natural barriers between adjacent fairways that resemble swift, swirling rivers frozen in emerald green. Get in on Poipu Bay’s popular skins game action every Wednesday and Sunday – anyone can join.
Cloud 9 on Hole 15
Poipu Bay’s fifteenth hole gives Kukuiula’s #15 a run for its money in terms of Instagram amazingness. Set directly on the coast, this hole seems straight forward, but can feel like you’re threading a needle with a vast Pacific expanse on your left and a healthy peppering of bunkers on your right. The tee is elevated and the wind is at your back, so a straight, relaxed, solid drive will carry you within chipping distance to the green and a birdie opportunity if your short game is as good as the beautiful drive you just hit.
Many of the luxury and best-in-class properties we represent at Kauai Heritage Portfolio are a short drive or even a quick walk to Kukuiula, Kiahuna, and Poipu Bay Golf Courses. Beyond the exceptional golf, Poipu is famously known for its relaxed, rejuvenating lifestyle, boundless adventures, local cuisine, and find-it-nowhere-else shopping. Whether you’re looking for a primary residence, second-home away from home, or a vacation rental investment, Kauai’s South Shore is an ideal spot for Hawaii homebuyers.
Put our decades of Kauai property sales experience to work for you. Contact us if you have questions or would like to see any one of our exquisite Kauai homes, condos or land, or if you need an extra person to round out your foursome. Peter is always game.