Golf News for Monday, November 26, 2007 | Daily Golf Blogs

Baldwin: Hawaii is even more beautiful than you heard

Like many people planning their first trip to Hawaii, I'd heard endless stories on how picturesque everything is. Which usually triggered a shrug or a polite nod on my part. If you're in the travel writing business, you should look at over-the-top PR claims with a healthy dose of cynicism.

And everyone knows that Hawaii is one of the most successfully marketed destinations of all time, one that built its image on millions and millions of advertising dollars. So I didn't know quite what to expect.

I certainly never expected to be writing the Hawaii version of bigwig (and usually healthy skeptical himself) Jeff White's ode to leaves (or as I call it, Jeff White's leaf loving making blog).

But now that I'm in Hawaii ... well, here it is ....

It's even more beautiful than you heard. No matter what you heard. Frankly, it's stunning. Just driving Highway 30 - which is the main highway in Maui, not even the super scenic twisting one that's a tourist attraction in its own right and is expressly banned under the terms of your rental car agreement (yeah, sure) - brings wonder after wonder.

You're passing sugar cane fields, mountains and water, water everywhere. Right alongside the biggest highway on the island (though Hawaiians have a different idea of what constitutes a highway than the other 49 states). You can park your car at almost anytime on Highway 30, take a short sand stroll and be right at the brightest blue water you've ever seen.

And again, that's just the scene from the major road. Take a few turns and the wonders can go to a whole new level.

I've been to some super scenic golf destinations for this job. Cabo, little towns near Lake Tahoe where Paul McCartney hangs out and the towering pines know your ancestors' names, Whistler, British Columbia, California wine country on the coast and none of them can hold a candle to Hawaii so far.

Now it's only a little more than 34 hours into the trip, 27 holes and one island and I promise I'll stay honestly skeptical, but it's hard to imagine Hawaii getting less scenic. Now I just have to figure out how to convince the Castle Baron Boss that I need to open up an office here.

The mainland is so yesterday.

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