Hole #10 – Par 4
Landscape Highlights: Citrus, plumeria, kukui, Queen Emma shower trees, nut trees
The 10th hole at Kukui`ula is a stout beginning to the back nine. A well bunkered and lengthy dogleg right, No. 10 is a hole that tends to bite a bit more than it hugs its players. But with some smart planning and a couple of solid shots, one can walk away from the 10th with a par or better and get their back nine off to a good start.
The Tee Shot
The tee shot on the 10th from the Blacks, Golds, Blues and Whites presents a decision to make right off the bat.
Players must determine if they are going to challenge the set of fairway bunkers that run up the right side of the fairway or play safe, well left of the bunkers. Players playing the red tee have a much different situation here since the hole is basically straight away and relatively short.
The wind typically determines my line off the tee here. If the trades are up I like to aim at the “hotel tree,” as I call it, or the double tree in the distance. This is the maximum I can cut off of the dogleg with a solid shot and still carry the bunker for the back tee.
Knowing your carry distance with a driver is important here when determining how much of that bunker you want to challenge. Playing away from the bunker is safe, but will leave players with a little less than 200 yards into a tough green to approach.
The approach shot from the fairway presents another challenge. The green looks deceptively small from the fairway. You really can’t see much of the back right part of the green until you get really close.
Typically, I like to play a shot to the center of the green here, regardless of the day’s hole location. Missing the green to the right presents a very challenging pitch or putt from a tight lie well below the surface of the green. A shot left will find the bunker, which is actually the shot I would prefer over the tough pitch off the right side of the green. The wind usually feels a little calmer than it really is from this fairway, and on most days is moving from right to left.
On the Green
The 10th green certainly has its share of movement. In general, the green breaks from back to front but there are some subtleties that tend to challenge players when reading this green.
Beware of the false front here. Downhill putts toward the ocean tend to be fast, and if hit too hard can end up tumbling off the green. The front right side of the green has what I call a “false side.” Balls getting too close to this slope can end up at the bottom of the collection area resulting in a very difficult shot back up the hill.
Next time you are on this green, look for the “muffin” in the center of the green that tends to have balls breaking in all different directions. It’s subtle, but once you see it, you can really make a solid plan on where to get your putt started.