Better than ever: Poipu Bay Golf Course on Kauai reopens with paspalum turf

KOLOA, Hawaii -- While some golf courses in Hawaii remain open as they transition to paspalum turf, Poipu Bay Golf Course, the former home of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, closed for nine months.

Popui Bay Golf Course - 18th green
Golfers will enjoy the new paspalum greens at Poipu Bay Golf Course on Kauai.
Popui Bay Golf Course - 18th greenPopui Bay Golf Course - 16th hole
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The result? A golf course in great shape as it reopened on Dec. 18, 2010.

Officials waited until all 18 greens were in good shape before play resumed at Poipu Bay G.C., an amenity of the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa.

Paspalum is a turfgrass conducive to tropical climates. It tolerates recycled water better than other grasses, demands fewer chemicals and resists saltwater.

Poipu Bay chose Paspalum Supreme, a new variety of turf with thinner blades, which make for faster green speeds.

According to Craig Sasada, director of golf at Poipu Bay, the putting surfaces will maintain speeds in the range of 9 feet on the Stimpmeter, a good pace for paspalum and comfortable for all player levels.

Eventually, paspalum will cover the entire golf course, but that requires an extended period of work. Some of the tees are already converted, but the conversion of the fairways involve sprigging. As part of the renovation, bunkers and tee boxes were reconstructed, and the 21,000-square foot clubhouse underwent improvements.

"We're excited for our guests to play the course and experience the new greens," Sasada said. "The greens look absolutely pristine. Not only are they eco-friendly, but they will provide a faster and more consistent roll for our players."

As always, spectacular ocean views abound, especially on the final few holes, familiar to TV viewers and spectators from when the PGA Grand Slam of Golf visited Poipu Bay for a dozen years.

Poipu Bay was reportedly one of Tiger Woods' favorite golf courses on tour and the Grand Hyatt one of his favorite resorts. It was one of the few places, Sasada said, at which Woods could walk the grounds, jog or a workout in peace.

Together with the Grand Hyatt Kauai, Poipu Bay has ranked as one of the best golf resorts in the world by national publications. The oceanfront resort features lush gardens with six restaurants, six lounges, a water playground with a river pool, waterfall, a 150-foot water slide, a saltwater lagoon, tennis and the award-winning Anara Spa.

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