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If you’ve golfed Turtle Bay’s Palmer Course, then we’re sure you have seen Mr. Al Flamingo. He’s the man flashing his pearly whites, waving a shaka and exclaiming, “Boom!”
A tag on his shirt says “Al” but the man has several different names. There’s Pro, Golf, Al Flamingo and Elvis to name a few. He’ll happily tell you how he got each one too. But I’ll stick with Pro, since it tells the story about how he fell in love with golf.
His love for golf brought him to Turtle Bay about 6 years ago, but his love for the sport began years before that thanks to his spirited attitude.
Flash back to 1970. He was a studying to be a firefighter in class and couldn’t focus thanks to others guys in his class.
“The rope was placed there in the 60s and it’s still there!” Sue Murphy laughs looking up at a coconut tree she used to swing from as a child. Her father, a paratrooper in the military, used his military grade rope to make her a swing to play on. The tree stood right in front of her family’s home. In 1966, white sand and the ocean were what she enjoyed while swinging. Now, overgrown plants and trees cover where her childhood home once stood.
Decades ago several homes were nestled along Kawela Bay and the coast of the resort. They were built back in the 1920s, primarily for sugar cane workers. Residents lived in the homes for several years, some for several generations- up until 1986, when the land owner told them they had to leave.
They owned the homes, but not the land. They were told they could take their homes with them, which most couldn’t do. The homes left behind were bulldozed but all the families bonds still remain.