Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i – The Go Golf Kaua‘i golf courses and the Kaua‘i community are featured in a new episode of “Journey’s With Matt Ginella” – a 36-minute webisode currently available on www.FirePitCollective.com and www.GoGolfKauai.com/Journey. On Ginella’s recent journey to the “Garden Island,” he and the Fire Pit Collective team immersed themselves in the culture and community of the oldest and northernmost island. He played the five Go Golf Kaua‘i golf courses, sampled generational recipes, paddled a canoe, farmed his own food and encountered multiple Hall of Famers.
While centered around golf and the breathtaking Go Golf Kaua‘i golf courses, the show delves deeper into why sustainability matters and why a hyper-focus on the preservation of natural resources is critical to Kaua‘i’s future. Ginella discovers “malama ‘aina,” which means: take care of the land, and it takes care of you; and that on Kaua‘i, it doesn’t stop with the land; the people also take care of one another. A concept Hawaiians refer to as “Mālama Kaua‘i.”
Ginella began his Kaua‘i journey at the Ocean Course at Hōkūala, playing with the property’s Golf Sales Manager Hualani Duncan and Director of Community Relations Kellie Hines Akana. It is there Duncan offers him sage advice, “Come as a guest and you’ll be hosted as an ‘ohana,” which is to say, family. Ginella then meets Hōkūala’s own Farmer Samuel Selindh and learns about organic farming.
From Hōkūala, Ginella travelled to Wailua Golf Course, Kaua‘i’s municipal course, where he met and played with Hawai‘i Golf Hall of Fame member Art Fujita, and Kaua‘i resident Winston Ogata. He then sat down with Kaua‘i Mayor Derek Kawakami and learned of the importance of keeping golf on Kaua‘i affordable for residents and visitors alike.
On Kaua‘i’s North Shore, Ginella teed it up with Keli’i Alapa’i at Princeville Makai Golf Club. Alapa’i is with the Hui Makaʻāinana o Makana, a community organization dedicated to perpetuating and teaching the skills of their ancestors (kūpuna) through the interpretation, restoration, care and protection of the natural and cultural resources that are located within Kaua‘i’s Hāʻena State Park. While playing Princeville Makai’s scenic 7th hole overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Ginella and Alapa’i witnessed the resident albatrosses (with wingspans of 10 feet) that nest at the course.
Continuing to the south side of Kaua‘i, Ginella was paired with Zeke Alamida on a “mandatory golf Friday” at Po‘ipū Bay Golf Course, former home of the PGA’s Grand Slam of Golf from 1994-2006. Alamida, who grew up on O‘ahu, talks to Ginella about the differences in Kaua‘i compared to the other Hawaiian Islands. “Kaua‘i is the country road,” proclaimed Alamida while describing the island’s laidback lifestyle.
At Puakea, the final golf course on Ginella’s five-course journey, he met up with Mary Bea Porter-King, a former LPGA professional and Hawai‘i Golf Hall of Famer for helping to found the Hawai‘i State Junior Golf Association. Joined by junior golfers Kanoa and Caleb, the two reflected on Porter-King’s pro career, while discussing junior golf on Kaua‘i and the golf opportunities available to kids.
Ginella has been covering golf for 25 years – first at Sports Illustrated, then Golf Digest and Golf World magazines and most recently for Golf Channel, where he appeared as the Travel Insider for “Morning Drive” and wrote for Golf Advisor.com. He is the founder of The Fire Pit Collective, a modern media company composed of authentic and diverse perspectives focused on informing, inspiring and entertaining their readers, followers, and listeners.
For more information and to watch “Journey’s With Matt Ginella: Kaua‘i,” visit https://firepitcollective.com/journeys-kauai. For more information on Kaua‘i golf, visit www.gogolfKauai.com. For more information on the island of Kaua‘i visit www.goHawaii.com/kauai.
About The Go Golf Kaua‘i Courses
- The Ocean Course at Hōkūala – The Ocean Course at Hōkūala is a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course that boasts the longest stretch of oceanfront holes in all of Hawai‘i. The picture-perfect course winds its way through papaya and guava groves to dramatic seaside cliffs. A 2016 renovation added sparkling white sand to all the bunkers, framing holes to be even more spectacular than before. The Ocean Course at Hōkūala has been rated as Hawai‘i’s Best Golf Course by the World Golf Awards 2018 – 2020.
- Po‘ipū Bay Golf Course – Po‘ipū Bay Golf Course was designed by renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr and is set between lush mountains and rugged ocean bluffs. The course incorporates more than 30 acres of colorfully landscaped tropical plants and flowers, making it one of Hawai‘i’s most beautiful courses. Po‘ipū Bay hosted the PGA Grand Slam of Golf from 1994 to 2006.
- Princeville Makai Golf Club – Princeville Makai Golf Club opened in 1971 as the first solo effort of Robert Trent Jones, Jr. The course was completely renovated in 2009, introducing spectacular new Seashore Paspalum turf grass on all fairways and greens. Princeville Makai features surreal vistas of Mt. Makana (aka Bali Hai) and Hanalei Bay, including the signature par-3, 7th hole that offers a 213-yard shot over scenic cliffs.
- Puakea Golf Course – Designed by architect Robin Nelson, Puakea is a spectacular layout built along massive ravines and lush tropical undulating terrain, with the backdrop being used for the Jurassic Park series. Named one of the top courses in Hawai‘i by Sports Illustrated, Golf Advisor and Golfweek, the dramatic 18-hole golf course is also known for its high-quality, “Kaua‘i-style” customer service. Puakea was rated “Best of Kaua‘i” by Garden Island Newspaper from 2013 – 2019.
- Wailua Golf Course – Wailua Golf Course offers classic, golden-era seaside golf holes just a few steps from the Pacific Ocean. First built as a 9-hole course in the 1930’s, and expanded to 18 holes in 1961, Wailua has hosted three USGA Amateur and three US Public Links Championships. This wonderful municipal layout was designed by Toyo Shirai and features stunning mountain views along the Royal Coconut Coast.