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Featured Hole of the Week: Hole #7, Par 5

Landscape Highlights:
Starfruit, lychee, royal poinciana, monkeypod, lonomea, kamani, royal palm trees

The seventh hole at Kukui`ula is the longest hole on the golf course, stretching as far as 563 yards from the back tees. For the first time this year, a number of the young lychee trees left of the fairway have begun to fruit.

The Tee Shot
It’s easy to get distracted on this tee with the beautiful water features that grace the start of this hole, accompanied with the Kauai luxury real estate surrounding the area. The key to the tee shot here is to avoid the large fairway bunker complex on the right side of the fairway. In fact, a shot favoring the left side typically provides the best angle on this big, dog-leg right par five.

The Second Shot 
Players have a number of different options on this hole for their second shots. This is probably my favorite fairway on the golf course. It has so much movement and character, yet looks as if the contours have been there forever.

For most, laying up is preferred here. The second best shot is blind to the green so most players should hit a long iron or perhaps a hybrid at the lone royal palm tree left of the fairway. Try to five yourself between 100 and 80 yards in for your final approach to the green to allow for the most level lie possible. It’s critical here to avoid the lengthy section of bunkers that extend most of the way down the right side of the fairway to the green.

The Approach
When approaching the green, be mindful of the false front that often sends short approaches bounding back toward you in the fairway. This green runs diagonally from front left to back right so it can feel a bit shallow at certain points.

Club selection is important. It’s common on your approach shot to not feel much wind. Once your ball rises above the hillside on the right of the putting green, the typical trade wind will pick it up and push it back to the left. I like to always aim a little right here.

On the Green
The seventh green runs from the back right of the green down to the front left fairly consistently. There is a subtle “muffin” that protrudes slightly in the front left section of the green that can produce some unexpected movement, perhaps even contrary to what you were expecting. Pay close attention to the gentle contours here, and you should present yourself with a nice opportunity to make a putt and a good score on the seventh.