Me Like Play Kahuku
On the road…again!
Afghanistan to Zambia
Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek
Me Like Play Kahuku
Another dream, another opportunity to chronicle about a few of those cherished memories. This one is about golf. “Play golf when and where you can” was one of the admonitions that the Footloose Forester shared with others through the years because he was fond of golf and hoped that others would get the same enjoyment out of the game that he did. There was plenty to love about the game. Forget about the scores…there was always the beauty of the surroundings, the warmth of the sunshine, the thrill of a birdie, the companionship of playing partners, the sense of contentment, and the memories of a lifetime.
Yes, there was also the cutting chill of the wind, the sudden drenching from a cloud burst, a shimmering mirage on the horizon of a hot day, a fog so thick that you can’t see the green….and other misfortunes. Why is it that they have also evolved into warm memories? Because golf is happiness. If we can no longer play golf, we can dream about it. And that is why the latest dream of the Footloose Forester was about Kahuku.
The explanation is twisted and complicated because the Kahuku Golf Club no longer exists. It was swallowed up along with the remains of the former Kahuhu sugar cane plantation, as the city center of the small town of Kahuku on the north side of Oahu, Hawaii expanded to its present limits. Kahuku was one of those old and charming Hawaiian villages that long resisted the pace of trinket tourism.
During its heyday, perhaps even tourists were allowed to play on the nine holes of the Kahuku golf course, but there is no evidence that the haoles (Causasians) from the mainland or tourists from Japan were actually welcome there. It was after all, once a private club for the enjoyment of the employees of the Kahuhu Sugar Cane Plantation.
Long after the vestiges of the defunct sugar cane plantation began to disappear, the nine-hole golf course at Kahuku struggled to survive. A few North Shore golfers played there. It was later opened to the public but it was so far off the beaten path, that most local Oahu residents who did not live on the north shore were barely aware of it. And serious golfers from the mainland could not find out about it because it was not a touted golfing mecca. Finally, it was not certain that anybody from outside of town would get a welcoming smile when they entered the modest pro shop. That is why the intrepid haole Footloose Forester who showed up with his golf clubs affected his best kama-aina version of pigeon English in saying “me like play Kahuku.”
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