Puakea Golf Course - No. 13
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Puakea Golf Course - No. 13
You won't find great ocean views at Puakea Gold Course in Lihue on Kauai, but what you will find is an interesting layout in great condition for a reasonable price. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Puakea Golf Course - No. 1
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Puakea Golf Course - No. 1
A creek guards the left side of the green on the opening par-4 hole at Puakea Golf Course in Hawaii. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Puakea Golf Course - No. 3
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Puakea Golf Course - No. 3
A lake down the left side adds difficulty to the par-4 third hole at Puakea Golf Course. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Puakea Golf Course - No. 5
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Puakea Golf Course - No. 5
The short par-4 fifth hole at Puakea Golf Course carries a risk-reward element off the tee. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Puakea Golf Course - No. 6
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Puakea Golf Course - No. 6
Factoring in a drop of nearly 100 feet makes club selection on this 176-yard par-3 at Puakea Golf Course difficult. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Puakea Golf Course - No. 7
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Puakea Golf Course - No. 7
The tee shot on the par-4 seventh at Puakea Golf Course plays over a gorge. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Puakea GC - 12th
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Puakea GC - 12th
This dogleg right par-4 at Puakea Golf Course has several obstacles to overcome, including a lake and large tree. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Puakea Golf Course - No. 13
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Puakea Golf Course - No. 13
Playing through a chute of trees, Puakea Golf Course's par-3 13th is 228 yards from the tips. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Puakea G.C. - 15th hole
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Puakea G.C. - 15th hole
The par-4 15th at Puakea G.C. is a dogleg left well guarded by bunkers. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Puakea Golf Course - No. 16
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Puakea Golf Course - No. 16
The par-3 16th at Puakea Golf Course might be short, but it isn't easy. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Puakea Golf Course - No. 18
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Puakea Golf Course - No. 18
Hit a good drive on the 522-yard par-5 finishing hole at Puakea Golf Course, and you might be able to get home in two. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Puakea Golf Course - restaurant
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Puakea Golf Course - restaurant
Don't let the appearance of Ho'okipa Grill at Puakea fool you; this is one of the best places to eat in Lihue. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
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Puakea Golf Course: A fun ride right off the plane on Kauai, Hawaii

LIHUE, Hawaii -- Just minutes from the airport, Puakea Golf Course is not only a local favorite, but a great value choice for your first or last round on any Kauai golf trip.

Designed by Robin Nelson, the course traverses up and down ravines with plenty of water, sand and mountain views to keep your interest all day long. Playing nearly 7,000 yards from the back tees, there's more than enough challenge for good players while three more sets of tees provide a fair test for all levels.

Puakea's signature holes include the par-3 sixth, where the green is about 100 feet below the tee just on the other side of a pond, and the par-4 12th that works down and around a large tree and lake to the right. Excellent practice facilities that include a fully grassed driving range and a terrific restaurant that draws a large non-golf crowd round out the experience.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
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Puakea Golf Course: A fun ride right off the plane on Kauai, Hawaii