Kapalua Golf reroutes its Bay course to help improve pace of play

Kapalua Golf reroutes its Bay course to help improve pace of play
Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

The Kapalua resort in Maui, Hawaii, has completed a renovation of its Bay course.

Opened in 1975, the Bay was Kapalua’s first course, and the renovation is part of the resort’s multi-year plan aimed at maintaining Kapalua’s status as a top golf destination.

“The enhancements to the Bay course routing and operations will influence pace of play in positive fashion,” said Alex Nakajima, general manager at Kapalua Golf & Tennis.

The former seventh hole is now the new first – an uphill 355-yard par four. The new sixteenth, which plays along the ocean, and seventeenth – an over-the-ocean par three – were formerly holes four and five. The former sixth hole has become the eighteenth – an uphill par five.

The Kapalua golf academy has also been redesigned – the practice range and tee areas have been expanded, and two driving range bays resurfaced with Platinum paspalum turf. A 9,000 square-foot putting green – turfed with TifEagle – has been added to provide guests with an additional short-game practice location.

“The improvements made to the Kapalua golf academy will continue to position the academy as the premier golf instruction facility in the world,” said Nakajima.

The Bay course improvements precede an extensive project to improve the resort’s Plantation course, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. Work on the Plantation course is scheduled to begin in February 2019 and be completed in November of the same year.

Coore and Crenshaw will be joined on the project by Troon’s design, development and agronomy teams, with Kapalua resident and Golf Channel analyst Mark Rolfing also providing an input.

The project includes the resurfacing of all greens with TifEagle bermuda; renovating all bunkers; and regrassing tees, fairways and roughs with Celebration bermuda. Additional forward tees will be added, and several new tournament tees will also be built on key holes to further test PGA Tour players during the Sentry Tournament of Champions.