03 Jan GolfPass Grass Guru – Kapalua Plantation Course
Posted at 17:00h
in The Approach
Sentry Tournament of Champions • Kapalua Plantation Course • Hole 5• Par 5 • 532 yds • by Eric MacPherson
We did it. We made it. Golf is FINALLY back. Not only do we have a talented field, but we have a great course to reel us back in. The Plantation Course at Kapalua in Hawaii is a beautiful and picturesque course – featuring dramatic elevation changes and stunning ocean views on seemingly every hole – that was designed by one of my favorite designers in the game currently, the great Ben Crenshaw.
For those unfamiliar with Crenshaw & Coore (shoutout to you too, Bill) they’ve designed some of, not only my favorite courses but, the golf community’s favorites. Just look up some of them here. If you don’t recognize even half the list, do you actually admire golf course architecture?
Kapalua is right on the ocean, and the need for strategic bunkering is not as evident as, say, on an inland course where wind is on the back burner. There are several holes, such as 12 and 16, which have bunkers that harken back to some of the great designs of the golden age of golf course architecture. However, my favorite bunker on the course, and thus the only one that matters, is the long, narrow bunker behind the 5th green.
This bunker is just below and long the green, which slopes from back to front. Expect players to hit wedges and short irons in, diminishing the chances of a roll off the green and into the bunker. However, should someone fly the green they best pray their ball lands in this bunker. Otherwise it’s probably in the Pacific, as the bunker boarders a steep fall off. This is exactly why I like this bunker. Sure, bunkers should be penalizing on most occasions, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help a golfer out from time to time.
However, should someone fly the green they best pray their ball lands in this bunker. Otherwise it’s probably in the Pacific as the bunker boarders a steep fall off. This is exactly why I like this bunker.
Golf is back at a great course with players that people actually like to watch (sorry late winter foreign golf) and it’s a course anyone can play. Is Baltusrol cool? No doubt. Will I ever be allowed to play before I make it big winning the powerball? No. However, you can pack your clubs, fly to Maui, hop on this beaut and then thank the bunkers – which hopefully will keep the wind from blowing the ball into that thick Bermuda rough or worse…the ocean.