On Saturday Ed Dong, who cracked a Sixteen Candles “Long Duk Dong” joke within ten minutes of meeting, caught up with my step-dad and I on the sixth hole at The Plantation Course. Naturally, since we asked him if he wanted to join us. After all, that is the polite thing to do (and golfers are so civil, right Jim Nantz?)
Thanks to playing with Kapalua’s Gary Planos a number of times during my stay, I’ve picked up a good amount of local knowledge. I used to pay more attention to minor details, such as wind, club selection, etc., when I was playing competitively (back in the day), but now, it usually goes in one ear and out the other. Well, local knowledge is extremely important at The Plantation course because of the wind and tricky greens (the track’s defense), and since, I was determined to break 80, I guess I actually retained some of the information Gary bestowed with me — which, in turn, was helpful to Ed, who works for the California Department of Corrections (he’s internal affairs, so he’s the cop that investigates other cops) and owns multiple pairs of Loudmouth pants.
The scorecard for the par-3 8th is listed at 172 yards, but it appears slightly downhill, so you’d think to take less club. But actually, it plays pretty true to its yardage. So, I told Ed he should play it as is and he hit a 5-iron instead of the 6-or-7-iron he was contemplating.
As the ball hung in the air with the wind blowing right to left, I thought, “Damn, that’s looking good!” — as in that has a chance to go in the hole. Sure enough, it came pretty close. I guess compared to Rocco Mediate’s four consecutive days of hole-outs, it’s amateur hour, but it was still a great shot. And Ed was pretty excited about the tap-in birdie, so I was glad that I was able to contribute in some way to his round of 78. In January, we’ll get to see if Rocco can match Ed’s shot at the winner’s-only tourney.
Ed was on vacation and had played three of four other courses during his stay, but he said none of them were even close to The Plantation, which was more challenging and in better shape than the other tracks he tried.
I didn’t exactly venture too far away from The Plantation, but it was good to hear I didn’t miss much. I mean, Kapalua is straight-up paradise, so I didn’t see a reason to leave, excluding the one night I stayed in Kanapali and the one day that I went to lunch at Kimo’s in Lahaina.
Oh, I also shot 78 on Saturday. I played much better on the back and I was actually getting a hang of the really, really grainy Bermuda greens. Too bad I couldn’t put together my front nine on Thursday with my back nine on Saturday!