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Hawaii or Vegas or New Orleans - Play This -Not That!

Hawaii or Vegas or New Orleans – Play This -Not That!

Hawaii or Vegas or New Orleans – Play This -Not That!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

I love reading Craig Better’s tips on travel.  He brings such a lot of travel knowledge to the table.  

Here is the latest  on where (and where not ) to play if you are visiting the great state of Hawaii.

Have you ever seen Men’s Health magazine’s segment, “Eat This, Not That”

Hawaii or Vegas or New Orleans - Play This -Not That!

Though they’re less than five miles apart, Royal Hawaiian Golf Club gets much less rain than the ultra-challenging Ko’olau Golf Club.

It’s advice on choosing the best (or better) options on a given menu and avoiding the worst.

(For example, Burger King’s Ham Omelet Sandwich, with 290 calories, vs. its French Toast Sticks Kids Meal, with 680.)

Today, I’m launching the golf version: Play Here – Not There.

It’s not a perfect parallel, but the general idea is the same: the best golf courses to play on a given “menu” and the often regrettable ones that should be avoided.

For example, if you’re looking for an exotic golf experience on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, I’d advise you to play here: Royal Hawaiian Golf Club; not there: Ko’olau Golf Club.

While you might be tempted to play the more well-known Ko’olau (because of its history as, “the toughest golf course in the USA”) it receives more than 100 inches of rainfall per year, making for what is usually a soggy, cart-path-only affair.

Hawaii or Vegas or New Orleans – Play This -Not That!

Not only are balls lost to the jungle and ravines, but they’re also prone to plugging in the muddy fairways. Indeed, locals say you should figure on losing one ball for every stroke of your handicap.

On the other hand, Royal Hawaiian Golf Club (formerly known as Luana Hills Country Club), is only five miles from Ko’olau, yet it receives 30 fewer inches of rain annually. This makes for markedly better playing conditions. So, this course, too, is a tough, exotic, and scenic test, but unlike Ko’olau, it’s more enjoyable than frustrating.

Here’s another example if you’re looking to ‘go big’ in Las Vegas. Play here: Shadow Creek or Cascata; not there: Wynn Golf and Country Club.

While all three courses boast a $500 greens fee, only Shadow Creek and Cascata are arguably worth it.

The entire layout of the Wynn course, on the other hand, is a bit boring, and the championship tees only outdistance the next longest set by a mere 104 yards.

This leaves you with a forgettable golf experience, yet one for which you just paid through the nose.

One last example: if you find yourself in New Orleans, play here: TPC Louisiana; not there: English Turn Golf & Country Club.

English Turn is the private but accessible course that previously hosted New Orleans’ annual PGA Tour stop. Unfortunately, seeing the houses of prominent socialites and celebrities such as Emeril Lagasse and Mike Ditka is the most interesting part of this dull and repetitive Jack Nicklaus design.

You’ll likely have a far more enjoyable experience at the current PGA Tour stop, TPC Louisiana, located in a suburb only 25 minutes from the French Quarter. This Pete Dye-design has many memorable holes and, as one would expect at a TPC/PGA Tour venue, the practice facilities are outstanding.

Those are just three examples to kick things off, but there are plenty more examples to come.

Source:    Craig Better

Pictures:     April & Randy

Thanks for reading – Hawaii or Vegas or New Orleans – Play This -Not That!

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