PGA Tour Stop Gets A Makeover
Kapalua’s Plantation Course
Kapalua, Maui, is one active place, particularly in January when the PGA Tour shows up to contest the Sentry Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course. This year, the pros found a layout that took aspects of the course back to its earliest days.
“We’re hoping that the work we’ve done will reestablish the playing characteristics that the Plantation Course embodied in its earliest years,” said Bill Coore, who, with co-architect Ben Crenshaw, was brought back to Kapalua to do the restoration work on the course they first designed in 1991. “The ability to use the wind, the ground, and use these things to your advantage was important. There were different ways to play these holes, depending on your skill level and strength level. You could find a way to tack your way down and play the golf course according to your ability instead of the course dictating that you had to hit certain shots X distance in the air between this field goal and that field goal. It was a golf course that allowed you to play in multiple ways. We think that has been recaptured.”
Much of the work was aimed at making the course more fun and accessible for resort guests. But on several holes the professionals will also notice the changes.
“On No. 4, we had built a back tee,” Coore said. “The Tour pros who came out here — and this is in the age of persimmon woods — hit balls and nobody could get the ball far enough up the hill on that tee shot to where we felt comfortable that it was a fair proposition, even for the best players. So we never finished the tee. It was built, but never irrigated. It just grew over with tall grass. When we decided we needed a new back tee on that hole nowadays, we just went back, took the tall grass off it and irrigated it. They’ll now be playing a tee that was actually built way back when.”
“We’re hoping that the work we’ve done will reestablish the playing characteristics that the Plantation Course embodied in its earliest years”
The work on the Plantation Course didn’t stop at the golf course, with the golf shop opening up expansive ocean views upon check in, and the Plantation House Restaurant also benefiting from selective upgrades.
Guests have several accommodation options at Kapalua: The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, remains a popular luxury choice; the Montage Kapalua Bay offers spacious residential units in a hotel setting; and the Kapalua Villas and Kapalua Luxury Homes provide exclusive long-term options with all the advantages of resort living.