Kapalua (Plantation)

  • 19
    Golf Digest public ranking:
  • 18
    Golf Magazine public ranking:
  • 97
    Golf Digest ranking:

Kapalua (Plantation)

Architect: Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw
Year: 1991

300 Kapalua Drive
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
(877) 527-2582

Course Access: Public

driving range available
motorized golf carts with GPS available
affiliated resort accommodations


Tee Yardage Par Rating / Slope

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With long views out to the water and of neighboring island Molokai, Kapalua’s Plantation course is about as pretty as they come.  An early design by Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw this course features a wide variety of short and long holes which has come to be one of the hallmarks of their design philosophy.

Local Knowledge:  Ask the starter for the tip on reading the grain of the greens.  Also watch for humpback whales breaching in the distance if you play the course during the winter.

Read more about the Kapalua (Plantation) Experience

The Itinerant Golfer

Kapalua (Plantation)

A big part of the challenge of playing the Top 100 is having a good logistics plan. I’m not sure I can pinpoint exactly what a good logistics plan looks like, but it definitely involves planning your travel in such a way that you make the most efficient use of time and financial resources. When I started this adventure I knew that Hawaii was going to be a tricky one. To start with, the trip from Richmond to Hawaii requires about 5,000 miles of air travel each direction . . . ouch. Secondly, if there are multiple courses on the list and those courses are on multiple islands, you can really find yourself with a very expensive and travel intensive trip as you bounce from one island to the next playing golf. I knew for sure that I was going to save Hawaii until near the end of my quest. It didn’t seem to make sense to fly all the way out there early on and have to do it again a few years later if a new Hawaiian course came on the list. It’s not that I don’ t want to go to Hawaii twice, but it’s a rather expensive trip and going two times for my Top 100 quest would be the ultimate in inefficient use of financial resources. As the list changed every two years I always made note of what was happening in Hawaii. When I started my quest The Prince Course on Kauai was the… More >

  • Brandon Webb

    I recently played two rounds here on May 27 and 28. One of the most beautiful surrounding scenery of any course I’ve ever played. My wife rode along too, and she did not get bored, thanks to the vistas. The Molokai putting tip is absolutely necessary to play here. I don’t know how anyone could putt otherwise. What makes this course extremely difficult for most players is the wind and slope of the fairways. On the contrary, the greens were not overly large or small (with the exception of 14), and were not brutally sloped. However, in my opinion they were among the hardest greens I’ve ever tried to putt because of the severe grain and the sometimes disbelief that a putt can actually break uphill toward Molokai. Down grain putts really rolled out and that was difficult to anticipate. I also found chipping extremely difficult on this course, largely for the same reason. What I loved about this course was the necessity of creative approach shots. I loved using the slopes to bring irons in on holes 6, 7, 12, 13, 16, 17 and 18. I’ve yet to play true links golf, but I can imagine this must be similar. I also liked that driver is not necessary to play this course well. In fact, though I know I could have opted for it on other holes, the only time I pulled it either day was on 18. I attribute this to the course basically being built on the side of a mountain. Course knowledge is so important here and getting a second bite at the greens is a big advantage. I cut seven strokes off my second round. I agree that the routing was spread out in places and the practice range is a bit small, but I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. The 19th@Plantation is one of the great 19th holes in America.