By: James A. Frank
Weiskopf’s 65th course, Kukui’ula, officially opens in mid-September at this 1,000-acre, high-end private community near Poipu on the south shore of Kauai.
“Kauai is very lush,” says Weiskopf. “There’s no lava like on the Big Island. This was a sugar-cane plantation, a dramatic piece of property that runs up a hillside with hundreds of feet of elevation change. While there are great views of the ocean from almost every hole, the course isn’t on the water. The vegetation varies from banana and coffee trees to shrubs and flowers. It’s one of the most scenic sites I’ve ever worked on.
“The sand in the bunkers is flashed up, creating a wave effect, and all the grass is paspalum. Everything is big—greens, fairways, bunkers: You have to build on a bigger scale in Hawaii since the wind diminishes the size of the targets. It’s exaggerated by the few downhill holes, which can drop 50 to 80 feet, but most of the holes are pretty level.
“Is it walkable? You’d better be in good shape.
“All my courses have a reachable par-four, an idea I got when I first played St. Andrews. At Kukui’ula, one hole is always driveable and two others can be reached if the tees are moved up. And they play in three different directions. All the holes move in different directions and no two look alike.”