The PGA Grand Slam of Golf
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The eye-popping scenery at Poipu Bay Golf Course can sometimes be a distraction to players. (Photo: AP)
The eye-popping scenery at Poipu Bay Golf Course can sometimes be a distraction to players. (Photo: AP)

Poipu Bay Golf Course provides plenty of dramatics

Protected by the ever-changing trade winds and a collection of challenging holes, Poipu Bay Golf Course has for the past 11 years proven to be a formidable test for PGA Grand Slam of Golf participants. This year should be no different.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Eleven PGA Grand Slam of Golf competitions have been conducted at Poipu Bay Golf Course on the Hawaii's garden isle of Kauai. Each has never failed to produce a bag full of special moments among golf's elite foursome.

The 23rd PGA Grand Slam of Golf, Nov. 22-23, will once again be a showcase for major champions to elevate their games while handling the ever-changing trade winds that provide dramatics on the closing stretch of holes.

The 501-yard, par-4 16th hole -- yielding a 4.277 stroke average -- is the No. 1 most difficult hole in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. In 1994, Nick Price saw his bid to catch Greg Norman fall with a bogey at the 16th, while Ernie Els bogeyed that hole in 1997, but still handed Tiger Woods his only defeat at Poipu Bay.

In 2002, Woods recorded a competitive-best 61, which included a birdie on the 16th.

If a major champion can do well on the par-5s, then he has the best opportunity to win a title. Poipu Bay's par-5 twosome of No. 2 (a 524-yarder) and the 18th (at 550 yards) are a major champion's delight, ranking as the respective 18th and 17th easiest holes.

The 18th has not failed to produce the most drama, however, in determining a champion. In 1995, Masters Champion Ben Crenshaw sank a 50-yard wedge approach for an eagle to defeat PGA Champion Steve Elkington by one stroke. Crenshaw's ball struck the flagstick square and fell in the hole, and earned the largest paycheck ($400,000) of his career.

Not to be outdone, Woods eagled the 18th twice -- once in regulation on the final day in 2000 and then on the first playoff hole to defeat Vijay Singh.

In 2001, Woods won a fourth consecutive PGA Grand Slam of Golf title aided by a birdie to remember on the 573-yard sixth. He hit a 320-yard drive, followed by a 252-yard approach with a 6-iron.

Last year, Phil Mickelson set a PGA Grand Slam of Golf and Poipu Bay record with his first competitive 59. Mickelson had 11 birdies, and narrowly missed a nine-foot eagle putt for a 58 on the 18th hole.

Expect more fireworks next week, when PGA Champion Mickelson, Masters and British Open Champion Woods, three-time major champion Singh and U.S. Open Champion Michael Campbell duel at Poipu Bay.

Tickets to the PGA Grand Slam of Golf are available to purchase at 1-800-PGA-TCKT (742-8258), or online at www.PGA.com.

Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2006, The PGA of America was founded in 1916, and is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the game of golf while continuing to enhance the standards of the profession. The Association is comprised of more than 28,000 men and women PGA Professionals who are dedicated to growing participation in the game of golf.

The following chart outlines the scoring average at Poipu Bay Golf Course during the medal (stroke) play format of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. The event was conducted at match play in 1998 and 1999.

Poipu Bay Golf Course
Hole By Hole Scoring Average

(Medal Play Era -- 1994, '95, '96, '97, 2000, '01, '02, '03, '04)
HoleYardsParStroke Avg.Rank*
142843.75014
252454.37518
320933.0552
438043.80513
535543.9309
657354.52716
717932.888T-11
837443.888T-11
942043.9726
Out3,4423634.190
1042943.958T-7
1119333.0693
1243543.91610
1338443.958T-7
1453754.66615
1542744.0135
1650144.2771
1722533.0554
1855054.43017
In3,6813635.342
Total7,1237269.532
* Holes Ranked from 1 (Most Difficult) to 18 (Least Difficult)




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