There is a handful of handsome 18-hole layouts and over a dozen delightful 9-hole circuits spread out among the Fijian islands. One of the best of all these exotic courses is found at the Pearl South Pacific Fiji Resort, designed by American architects Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Gary Roger Baird.
The layout, extending to just less than 7,000 yards, lies on the southern coast of Vita Levu and its esteemed design team managed to incorporate water hazards into no fewer than twelve of the eighteen holes on the scorecard.Pacific Harbour, as it was formerly named, hosted the World Amateur Championships the year after it opened, in 1978, when the American four-man group of Bobby Clampett, John Cook, Scott Hoch and Jay Sigel held off nearest challengers Canada to claim the Eisenhower Trophy.
The course at the Pearl Championship GC&GC has a relatively flat parkland style setup, which is set among lush tropical rainforests and winding canals. While players can enjoy the scenery, they should be aware that the course is poorly maintained, especially with the condition of its fairways. The drainage system didn’t work well against the high rainfall in that area when I played, so the fairway grasses were needed to be kept very long. Apart from the conditions, there are some nice holes.
The par 5 577-yard 6th is long with a slight dogleg to the left. There are four cross bunkers located around the center of the fairway, which provides payers two routes, the left or right fairway. Off the second shot, there are also two additional bunkers to the left side to be aware of. Since the green slopes sharply from the back-right to the front-left, it’ll be smart to hit towards the right side of the pin on the approach shot. If the shot is shy of the green, a bunker in front will catch it.
Par 3 210-yard 8th is over a pond covered by lotuses. The green is slightly elevated and guarded by a bunker to the left side. The beautiful par 4 370-yard 16th is straight and downhill with a river running along the left side. The second shot is over the river onto a green surrounded by three bunkers. To read more about The Pearl Golf Course click here to visit my website.