Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - Kiele Moana nine - hole 4
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Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - Kiele Moana nine - hole 4
It's an idyllic scene near the fourth green of the Kiele Moana nine at Kauai Lagoons Golf Club in Lihue, Hawaii. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Images
Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - Kiele Moana nine - hole 5
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Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - Kiele Moana nine - hole 5
Beauty rules on the exposed fifth hole of the Kiele Moana nine at Kauai Lagoons Golf Club in Lihue, Hawaii. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - Kiele Moana nine - hole 8
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Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - Kiele Moana nine - hole 8
The eighth hole of the Kiele Moana nine at Kauai Lagoons Golf Club tends to play into the wind. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - Kiele Moana nine - hole 9
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Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - Kiele Moana nine - hole 9
The ninth hole of the Kiele Moana nine at Kauai Lagoons Golf Club might be the toughest finishing hole in the Hawaiian islands. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - clubhouse
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Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - clubhouse
The Kauai Lagoons Golf Club clubhouse sits next to a lagoon. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - bear statue
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Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - bear statue
A statue of the Golden Bear - a tribute to designer Jack Nicklaus -- sits next to the ninth green of the Kiele Moana nine at Kauai Lagoons Golf Club in Lihue, Hawaii. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - Kiele Mona nine - hole 5 views
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Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - Kiele Mona nine - hole 5 views
Open ocean views accompany the fifth hole of the Kiele Moana nine of Kauai Lagoons Golf Club in Lihue, Hawaii. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - Kiele Moana nine - hole 7
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Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - Kiele Moana nine - hole 7
The seventh green of the Kiele Moana nine at Kauai Lagoons Golf Club is hard to hit but easy on the eyes. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - Kiele Mauka nine - hole 6
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Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - Kiele Mauka nine - hole 6
The sixth hole is the third par 5 on the first six holes of the Kiele Mauka nine at Kauai Lagoons Golf Club in Lihue, Hawaii. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - Kiele Mauka nine - hole 5
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Kauai Lagoons Golf Club - Kiele Mauka nine - hole 5
Welcome to the jungle on the fifth hole of the Kiele Mauka nine at Kauai Lagoons Golf Club in Lihue, Hawaii Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

Explore the shore at Kauai Lagoons Golf Club in Lihue, Hawaii

LIHUE, Kauai, Hawaii -- Change has been a constant in recent years for Kauai Lagoons Golf Club, the only Jack Nicklaus design on the island.

The former 36-hole club had alternating nines closed for some lean years during the recent recession, but a renovation completed in May 2011 brought the club back to 27 holes and, more important, created the longest continuous stretch of ocean holes in Hawaii.

Golfweek ranked Kauai Lagoons eighth among the top public golf courses in Hawaii in 2013. Sweeping views of the Pacific and beautiful bays highlight the Kiele Moana nine (translating to "ocean"). Work also upgraded bunkers, moved several traps around and put Tif-eagle on the greens.

The Kiele Course's front nine -- named Mauka, which means "to the mountains" -- crawls through the jungle. This demanding par-37 loop features three par 5s in the first six holes. A new back tee on the fourth hole turned a monstrous par 4 into a reachable par 5. The do-or-die tee shot at the par-3 fifth hole might seem tough until you reach the hardest hole on Kauai, if not all of Hawaii. The 18th hole at Kauai Lagoons, a 459-yard par 4, plays into the howling trade winds with water up the right side and jungle along the left. It takes an all-carry poke over the water to reach the green. Good luck. You'll need it.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Since opening in the late 1980s, Kauai Lagoons Golf Club has undergone more plastic surgery than an aging Hollywood starlet. After years of nips and tucks, the Jack Nicklaus design in Lihue has emerged with a unique 27-hole routing highlighted by the longest continuous stretch of ocean holes in Hawaii. Kauai Lagoons Golf Club might be one of the three most beautiful -- and most challenging -- golf courses in all of Hawaii. Jason Scott Deegan has more from Kauai.
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Explore the shore at Kauai Lagoons Golf Club in Lihue, Hawaii
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