Sunset at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa.
Buffalo Communications
Saturday, February 07, 2009

It takes a lot to get Tiger Woods onto the tee during Silly Season (unless he is hosting the event). For most of the 13 years that the PGA Grand Slam of Golf was held at the Grand Hyatt Kauai's Poipu Bay layout, Woods owned it — winning seven times, including five in a row from 1998-2002. But when the tournament left Poipu Bay in 2007, Woods was lost as well.

\nIt's not easy replacing paradise on your schedule.

\nThe Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa garnered Silver Medal honors in our 2008 Premier Resorts Awards, for many reasons. The amenities are so good that the golf is often an afterthought, even for golfers. Among them: the Anara Spa, the dining at Tidepools, and the single-malt nightcaps in Stevenson's. After all that, you can pretty much kiss goodbye whatever mainland stresses you brought with you. Phil Mickelson certainly did, when he ripped Poipu Bay from its windy moorings with a 59 to win the 2004 Grand Slam event.

\nMost mortals don't fare quite as well on this boldly bunkered 1991 Robert Trent Jones Jr. design, which doles out a solid, if unmemorable front nine, followed by an exclamation point-filled back nine, notably at the clifftop trio of 15, 16 and 17. The ultimate 'Wow!' moment comes at the 501-yard, downhill, downwind par-4 16th, where the surf waits for any hook off the tee. Kauai may not be the easiest place to get to, but it's an even tougher place to leave.

\nSpring room rates start at $400 per night. Green fees are $220, but Grand Hyatt Kauai guests pay $150. 808-742-1234, kauai.hyatt.com.

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