Talking GolfGetaways 74: Get into the “Aloha Spirit” exploring Kauai with golf-travel expert Brian Oar
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Talking GolfGetaways 74: Exploring Kauai with golf-travel expert Brian Oar

The stunning par-3 7th at Princeville Makai Golf Course on the island of Kauai (photo by Brian Oar /

You’re in for an Hawaiian treat on this episode of “Talking GolfGetaways” with Brian Oar, golf photographer extraordinaire (drink!) and, more importantly for this Hawaii-based discussion, the force behind the brand-new

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Brian joins hosts Mitch Laurance and Darin Bunch to talk about the variety of scenic golfing options (from such top architects as Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones Jr. and others), plus three excellent lodging options on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

He begins with a description of the former Kauai Lagoons course, now named the Ocean Course at Hokuala, which was a 27-hole Nicklaus design that has been renovated and redesigned into a beautiful 18-hole track. You’ll get a deep appreciation of the new course as Brian goes in-depth on the spectacular nature of the new Hokuala, as well as its next-door resort neighbor, the Kauai Marriott.

Brian continues with a description of other courses on the island, beginning with the well-known layout at the Robert Trent Jones II-designed Poipu Bay, a magnificent track with stunning holes and postcard views. He also talks about another (recently renovated) RTJ Jr. course, the Princeville Makai, another RTJ, which draws rave reviews for its conditioning, challenge and beauty.

The trio then move on to discussing one of the great municipal tracks anywhere in the world, Wailua Golf Course. Classic holes built along the water are a hallmark at Wailua, host of many big championships and a course that might fly under your radar on a trip to Kauai. And another “hidden gem” to put on your itinerary is Puakea Golf Course, built in the shadow of some incredible scenery seen in the dinosaur movie “Jurassic Park.”

While detailing how can build itineraries of all shapes and sizes catering to any golf group’s needs, Brian also suggests three distinct stay-play options on the island, starting with the world-class Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa in Poipu, an expansive getaway with everything you might want for a one-stop stay (Darin, in typical fashion, spends a few minutes praising the waterslide and the pool complex).

Next up, they talk about the Kauai Marriott Resort, another stellar stay-play property centrally located in Lihue. Brian notes the protected, mellow and beautiful Kalapaki Beach, which offers a great chance for some beginning surf lessons and non-stop beach volleyball adding to its party atmosphere.

And last but not least, Brian suggests the Courtyard Kauai at Coconut Beach as a third stay-play option — close to Wailua, it’s a well-priced hotel that’s close to the town of Kapaa, full of local flavor and interesting off-the-course things to do.

If you’re thinking about a Hawaiian vacation or just in the market for the best of all Kauai has to offer, this episode is a perfect primer — and a perfect connection to

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About the author



The GolfGetaways crew of Darin Bunch and Mitch Lauarance have decades of golf travels and adventures to share, which they do here at GNN, on their "Talking GolfGetaways" podcast and on their social media channels. You can find them usually playing hickories and having a great time taking in amazing architecture, scenery and company.