Slam continues in Poipu

Probably the happiest individuals on Kaua’i about the revival of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf are the junior golfers.

With the event coming back to the Po’ipu Bay Golf Course for another year, the youths will get another shot at the once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

“I’m excited for our island and our junior golf program. It’s something our kids look forward to being involved in,” Hawai’i and Kaua’i junior golf president Mary Bea Porter-King said in a phone interview.

The Kaua’i junior golf program has helped out with Grand Slam festivities since the start and Porter-King mentioned that the youths love mingling with the pros.

“I think it’s a wonderful experience for them to meet, be with, and play with the top players in the world,” Porter-King said.

KJGA has assisted the Slam by being standard bearers, caddies and participants during the pro ams, bunker rakers, and divot fillers.

But the rest of the island is just as excited as the junior golfers, including Lihu’e resident and avid golfer Chris Tavares.

“It’s a good thing. I think a lot of tourists fly in to see it and the rest of the community benefits from it,” Tavares said.

However, the weekday dates of the tournament (Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 20-22), seem to be the only gripe Tavares has about the event.

“I wish that they would play on the weekends. Every other golf tournament ends on the weekend, so people don’t usually have to take off to attend. It would make a big difference to have it on weekends. I know I’d definitely go. I’ve been to two Grand Slams,” Tavares said.

At any rate, Kaua’i golf fans have at least one more chance to see the best golfers in the world, right in their own backyard at the Po’ipu Bay Golf Course.

“We come back to visit Kaua’i every year around Thanksgiving just to see the Grand Slam, so by coming back here one more year, it’s definitely keeping our plans afloat,” California visitor Nancy Georgeson said.

. Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or kauaisports@kauaipubco.com.

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