Statewide Story Ideas
Uh-Oh…My Golf Ball is in a Heiau!
Many of those who have golfed in Hawaii have learned the hard way what happens when a trusty seven iron meets razor sharp lava rocks because they refuse to take a penalty drop for an “unplayable lie.” It’s never a pretty sight. So what should golfers do if their ball finds its way into an ancient heiau (a sacred temple of worship and sacrifice) out on the course?
It’s probably a good idea to leave your ball there, apologize, and definitely don’t try to hit it out! One of the unique aspects of golfing in Hawaii is many of the state’s 80 courses feature significant cultural and historical sites incorporated into its designs. So it’s not uncommon to find a heiau on the course (usually very well marked) and those that discover one should treat it with utmost respect and courtesy. Golfers choosing not to heed this advice often times find themselves dealing with much more than a bad score.
Just ask professional golfer Steve Elkington who lost the 1995 PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Poipu Bay Golf Course on Kauai by one stroke to Ben Crenshaw. On the final hole of the tournament, Crenshaw was the only player not to walk over the sacred heiau located near the 18th tee, while Elkington and the others in the group did. As a result, Crenshaw holed a sand wedge for an eagle to win by one stroke. Call it what you want, however, locals later said Crenshaw was “blessed” for honoring Hawaiian customs and the sacred site.
Coincidence or karma?
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