The Princeville Resort was luxurious and the golf course was like walking through a painting of a rain forest, with an emerald path cut down the center. It climbs, slopes, and careens up and down hills. The fairways looked generous, until the wind got hold of a stray shot and suddenly they seemed as narrow as bowling alleys. The trade winds blow constantly. The course is named for Prince Albert, son of King Kamehameha IV, former king of Hawaii.
Four holes were particularly memorable. Number 1 is in Golf Digest’s Top 10 starting holes and may be the toughest opening hole I have ever played. Not a very friendly welcome to the course – but it just kept getting better. Number 7 is a par 3 sitting right on a 300-foot cliff over the Pacific Ocean and one of the windiest places I ever have tried to hit a golf ball. Number 12 tees off from a cliff a hundred feet above the fairway. You stand above the treetops, with rain forest on three sides of you and a lush green strip of fairway in front of you. A well-struck tee shot has a hang time that any NFL punter would die for. Number 13 has the opposite effect. At the end of this par 5, you face a green cut into an amphitheatre with a 180-degree, 75-foot-high wall of rain forest surrounding you. At the back is a waterfall pouring into a small creek. Simply breathtaking! Larry Berle.
Date: October 11, 2014