Sunday, July 11, 2004

Lava Rocks - Golf @ Waikoloa Beach Course

I'm a bit behind writing the summaries, and the farther I get from the round, the fewer details I remember. The Waikoloa Beach course is a resort course sitting down near the ocean just north of Kona on the big island of Hawaii. Lots of lava rocks all around, in fact, most of the area is built up on top of lava flows from the nearby volcanos Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. I headed out for an early tee time and was paired with another resort guest. The Championship tees were only about 6600 yards so we decided to go from back there. This ended up only being an issue on the par 3s.

I was trying to think similarly to my second front 9 at Makena and it worked pretty well. Have a bit more confidence in my shotmaking, pick out a good target and let the swing happen. On the front 9, I was playing about average, shooting a 45. The most memorable hole was the par 3 seventh hole which was pretty much all carry 205 yards over water. There isn't much you can do when your swing thought is "How about I just take the penalty stroke and go to the drop area -- but save the ball?" I took my 3 wood and pulled it a bit. It carried a good 180, but ended up plopping in the water short of the green.

On the back 9, I started slow with 2 doubles, but then I got going and had a string of 5 pars in a row. Then I came to the 17th, another long par 3 with lava rocks around the edges. I hit the tee shot into the lava and it was kind of fun to watch. The rocks are very jagged so when a ball hit in there, it will bounce hard, but in a very unpredictable direction. It ends up bouncing about 5 times in all different directions, but then it fell down somewhere deep in the rocks. Someone mentioned that the Hawaiian volcano god Pele likes to take golf balls and play with them. Pele had fun :)

I ended the round with an 88 which given the slope was one of my better rounds over the last few months. Little did I know what was in store for my next round....

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