Internationally acclaimed course architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw developed their bounce-and-roll design philosophy on this property, which had been a series of windswept pineapple fields slanting down the side of a volcano, sloping dramatically towards the ocean. Kapalua has no water hazards, an oddity in modern design but several deep canyons serve the same purpose.
The 606-metre par-5 18th is the longest closing hole on any Golf Digest American-ranked course, but it’s still reachable in two, given its elevation drop and prevailing trade winds behind. Here’s a curious fact: Kapalua (Plantation) is irrigated solely by a 12-kilometre aqueduct built by Chinese labourers in the 1900s.
“If you could describe a golf course as ‘eccentric’, this might be the best description of Kapalua’s Plantation course,” says one GD Top 100 panellist. “Elevation changes create the opportunity for heroic shots and scoring opportunities in the form of driveable, moderate-length par 4s and reachable long par 5s. And the views provide a commanding vantage point to plan your attack on the hole. If the golfer can embrace the challenge, formulate a strategy, and execute well-planned shots, the round becomes more about shot selection and execution than quirkiness.”
The Kapalua Plantation Course has been closed for refurbishments for most of the year but reopened late 2019. Tee-times can be booked up to 40 days in advance with a credit card guarantee.
KAPALUA PLANTATION COURSE
Who: Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (1991) / Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2014)
Where: 2000 Plantation Club Drive, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
What: Par 73 / 6,777 metres (7,411 yards)
Contact details: golfatkapalua.com 0011 1 808 669 8044
The Golf Travel Agency
Contact details: www.thegolftravelagency.com.au (02) 9555 5311