Poipu Bay Golf Course Review
Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii
Review by GolfTop18
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Year Last Reviewed: 2023
More Info on Rating Criteria
Poipu Bay Golf Course Overview: Poipu presents a perfect location for golf on the sunny south shore of Kauai. The front nine is relatively uninteresting, with a predominance of classic resort golf holes, but the back nine is very fun and more challenging with the last few holes running along the beautiful cliffs near the Pacific. It is famous for hosting the Grand Slam of Golf for many years and has a great clubhouse that showcases that history. See below for reviews of some of the best holes:
Poipu Bay Golf Course Hole 1: The opening par four is sandwiched between the driving range and OB left and, while not overwhelmingly narrow, does require a good golf shot to avoid trouble to start the round.
Poipu Bay Golf Course Hole 4: Poipu Bay, while still a good golf course with some crescendos, hits its lulls early in the round with a few relatively straightforward back and forth par fours and fives that aren't horribly unique and don't have ocean views to save them either. This one is in that stretch and gives a good feel for the others.
Poipu Bay Golf Course Hole 7: The most memorable golf hole on the front nine is this short par 3 over water that is more challenging with front pins (due to the well placed front bunker) or strong wind conditions, but it is beautifully landscaped and fun to have a go over the water with a wedge in hand.
Poipu Bay Golf Course Hole 8: Another somewhat straightforward par four on the front, this one has a few more trees and the approach does get a sliver of ocean view from the fairway as the player heads towards the back nine.
Poipu Bay Golf Course Hole 9: This long par four end the front nine and requires a pounded drive to attempt to leave a reasonable approach uphill to the green that is hard to hit.
Poipu Bay Golf Course Hole 11: This downhill par three has to contend with the lake right next to the putting surface and the player has to balance wind conditions and the downhill shot to manage to avoid plenty of trouble in the form of sand as well. The ocean views add to the allure of this difficult hole.
Poipu Bay Golf Course Hole 12: The only par four on the golf course that heads directly away from the ocean is this very difficult, uphill doozy. The tee shot should avoid the bunker left (I say from experience) to help shorten the approach that has a great backdrop of the Kauai mountains.
Poipu Bay Golf Course Hole 13: A short, tight downhill par 4 with a pretty lake front right of the green and two bunkers left to catch the miss hit bailout shot. The drive must be conservative as the front of the lake will come into play if hit too aggressively. The green is tricky and very close to the water.
Poipu Bay Golf Course Hole 14: This par five is a grind as it is uphill all the way and plays into the prevailing trade winds. Fortunately, it is pretty wide open so the player just needs to blast away and avoid the sand along the way.
Poipu Bay Golf Course Hole 15: This long, straight par four plays straight down the hill (and usually downwind) with the Pacific Ocean on the left. There is nothing tricky about the hole, but the views of the Poipu area are fantastic, especially from the tee box, which is at the high point of the course
Poipu Bay Golf Course Hole 16: This is one of the greatest long par 4 holes anywhere, and one of very few over 500 yards. The tee box is elevated, leaving a great view of Poipu, the rest of the course, and the cliffs running along the entire left side of the hole. The wind is usually prevailing so 300+ yard drives will not be uncommon. Any drive pulled left of center will have to be hit over a large lava heiku (a sacred Hawaiian burial mound), which is a risky proposition as the green is also tucked next to the cliffs.
Poipu Bay Golf Course Hole 17: This par three is long, slightly downhill and fairly tough. There is a small amount of ocean view as the large hill behind the green blocks out most of it.
Poipu Bay Golf Course Hole 18: The quintessential finishing resort par five with a lake by the green, which gives the player who mashes their drive the opportunity to "go for it" and finish the round strong. Played conservatively, there is plenty of room on the hole to ease in with a finishing par if the water is avoided.