What makes Kapalua’s Plantation Course unique among PGA Tour layouts?

Kapalua Plantation Course

The PGA Tour’s 2024 schedule will get underway with the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua’s Plantation Course.

The famous Maui golfing paradise was closed during the worst of the fires that raged across the island earlier this year but reopened in October.

If there is one thing that Kapalua’s Plantation Course is known for – and that is incredibly long drives.

The three longest efforts off the tee in the 2023 PGA Tour season all came at the Plantation Course.

The layout is unpredictable because of the high slopes and severe elevation variations.

However, those slopes are what help players with some incredibly long drives at the Plantation Course.

The course is known for its low scores relative to par as well as its extraordinary length.

What makes Kapalua’s Plantation Course unique among PGA Tour courses is that it is set up as a Par 73.

There are short holes that are short and long holes that are very long at this stunning course.

There are four par 5 holes on the course that usually play longer than 500 yards, while there are four par 4 holes that play less than 400 yards, all of which are on the back nine. This also helps create the sensation of a fast finish that rounds around the course often appear to have.

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While wind and weather are major factors in Maui, golfers visiting the South Pacific should be prepared to make some birdies if they want to threaten that course record.

The Plantation Course covers 316 acres of land and reaches a high point of 510 feet.

This course offers plenty of downhill tee shots. You’ll feel like one of the pros when – with the aid of the aggressive slope of the 18th fairway – you will enjoy hitting one of the longest drives of your life,” the course website boasts.

There is no water on the course, although the majority of the holes have vistas of the ocean. Still, there are potential problems in a number of canyons, including the infamous penalty section on 18. Water does not define Kapalua; mountains do.

The 18th hole provides sports perhaps one of the most stunning views in all of golf, the player looks straight down into the Pacific Ocean with mountains framing the epic scene.

The par five is one of the longest holes on the TOUR, reaching a maximum distance of 667 yards. Players can hit a long drive off the tee, but if they want to attack the green in two, they will need assistance from a ridge.

The first 400-yard drive in PGA Tour history took place at the Plantation Course. In the 2003 tournament’s opening round, Jonathan Byrd struck the monster drive but that mark wouldn’t stand alone for long.

In 2019, the fairways were stripped and regrassed with Celebration Bermudagrass, a denser playing turf than the original Bermuda. Greenskeepers could mow the surface tighter and control against year-round trampling.

The course was created on a grand scale in keeping with its setting on the slopes of the West Maui Mountains. Its 7,596-yard par-73 course tests the pros, but the wide fairways and large greens make it fairly playable for the ordinary golfer.