I play the Dunes
Clif Council, PGA
yr. Teaching & Playing Professional on Maui
Dunes is probably Hawaii's best new course in years and one of the toughest
day in, day out. It's due to its links style, smallest greens, deep hidden pot
bunkers and in general the rugged dunes that surround this Robert Nelson-designed
"You're lucky if you get just one site like this in a lifetime."
Maui Golf Review added, "Nelson's clever tee box configurations, deft use
of elevation changes, and ingenious hole routing maximizes the impact and usefulness
of the Dunes' natural sloping terrain while using the Pacific trade winds to create
holes that have more subtle effects on the player."
land where the Dunes lie was built by the oceans many million of years ago, when
Maui was two different isles and then the ocean water receded and left the sand
dunes and valley between West Maui and Haleakala volcano.
get the opportunity to play the Dunes about once or twice a month and found the
course easier the first time I played it. Now I know how difficult it gets in
the trade winds. Most misplayed or misguided shots find the many pot bunkers or
places where the golf gods had planned bad golf shots would end up.
the first Mercedes Tour Championship, in 1999, I had the opportunity to
take the Tour Reps of Hogan and Orlimar out to the Dunes before
in opened for a sneak preview. This was my second round there and I knew enough
to point out the areas to play safe and the general directions of the holes. This
was a rare calm windless day on Maui... one the wonderful winter days in January
that Maui is famous for.
was exciting to be the only group on the course, as it was scheduled to open a
week later. Director of Golf, Dave Gleason, had set us up and we all got
some new Tour metal woods from Orlimar to demo. We looked forward to trying them
while playing with these former Tour players, now Tour Manufacturer Reps. These
guys are good sticks and normally play with the best players in the world every
week. They had some great stories of the players. They were telling us that Tiger
was better than anyone thought and would hit butt. Were they ever right!
the host, I had to show them I knew how to play. I proceeded to play solid with
a birdie on the front and all pars and two birdies with one bogey for a two under
70. They both shoot 78 and played well not seeing the course but were very impressed
and said "this course will put Kahului on the golf map."
70 was the course record from the back tees for over one year, then one of the
Kapalua guns shot 69 with some friends and now I think it's 68 by Brian Sasada,
one of Maui's top players.
Enjoy my most recent round and hopefully this will help you prepare for your golf
adventure at the Dunes.