Kapalua Plantation

Featured 18th Hole:

On CaddyBytes.com you'll find out what it's like to be a professional golf caddy. We have PGA Tour caddy news, winning caddie interviews, veteran caddie interviews, stories and much more.  You'll get a weekly

Visit -The CaddyBytes Pro Shop -it is a place that will 'fit' all your golfing needs!

CaddyBytes Home Page
2016 Hyundai
T of C News
2016 Tournaments CaddyBytes
Golf & Travel
Golf Course
Slide Shows
Caddy Stories
Pro Shop
Books About

Welcome to our review in digital pictures of the 'Featured 18th Hole' from the Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort in Maui Hawaii and the 2016 Hyundai Tournament of Champions.  This tournament marks the first in line of the official FEDExCup Cup events of the 2016 PGA Tour season.  Points will be accumulated over the year with a Fed Ex Cup to be determined at the Tour Championship in late September in Atlanta.  Eligibility for the 'Cup' will be determined by a player's individual performance over the 2016 golf season.  The FedExCup Schedule is designed so that a tournament of either 'Major' significance or a world tour event is played once a month to keep the playing fields stocked with more of the top players again this year.  The Mercedes Championship is that January 'Major' with all of last season's tournament winners - who commit to play - participating here this week.  In fact it's only those tournament winners who are eligible to play in the '09' Mercedes Championship.  This will be the 16th consecutive time that the tournament will be held on the Plantation course in Kapalua, Maui Hawaii.  I'll tell you one thing that is for sure -this place is one tough golf course for a tour caddy to walk - it's built on the side of a mountain with a rainforest on top!   Enjoy the Pics!  Also: See the latest Hyundai Championship News; and Live Scoring Here:
Our 'Featured Hole of the Week' at this week's Hyundai Golf Championship is of the signature par 5 18th hole at the Plantation Course at Kapalua.  This hole was pivotal back in the 1990's when Kapalua was an unofficial 'silly season' year end event.  

Now hosting the 16th consecutive Hyundai (formerly Mercedes) Championship and with the kind of wind that can blow in January at Kapalua, it is likely to be pivotal again. (Only tournament winners from the 2013 PGA Tour season are eligible to play in this season opening $5,600,000 event.)

The golf course which opened for play in 1991, was designed by Ben Crenshaw, a golf historian, designer, and student of the game.  Like the old time designers, Crenshaw  uses the 'lay of the land' well throughout the golf course. 

In so doing he retains the natural beauty of these lush green rain-forest-fed and sloping  manicured hillsides and canyons, with their beautiful and distracting vistas of the Pacific Ocean below and the island of Molokai in the distance.

The Tee shot off #18 here at the Mercedes Championship needs to be played down the right side of the fairway and looks like you're hitting it into the forest on the right side of the fairway off the tee.  

Should you land your drive more towards the center of the fairway, however, you will most likely end up in the left rough, and will have trouble controlling your golf ball out and over the canyon that juts out and in the front left of the green.  (At about 70 yards in front of the green.) 

The pro tee shot target is the scraggly tree in the pix (right) just above the farthest right white gallery stake in the foreground   This is a fairly hard fairway and the prevailing grain is to the west southwest, or slightly right to left and down in the picture, which also adds distance to the releasing of the golf ball.

This picture (left) -gives you a more accurate view of the degree of right to left slope of the drive landing area.  With a helping wind down or right to left a tee shot hit down the right side will go all the way to the bottom and left hand side of the fairway.

You must be careful though on #18 here in the Mercedes Championship though at Kapalua, as the ball may canter down too far forward and left and into the tough Hawaiian bermuda rough. 

Then you're likely to be stuck with a long second shot from that wiry rough and forced carry over the canyon (in pix below) to a down grain green.  (That's the beautiful island of Molokai in the distant view.)

The Kapalua Plantation golf course sits on the side of a mountain literally.  In this view to the right you can see how rapidly the fairway drops from the eighteenth tee (and the rainforest far up above that) down to here where the picture was taken.  

The wind can play havoc at this time of year and it blew all four days last year.  When it's calm the big hitters can have a field day.  If it's down wind at all you can get home in two on this long par 5 hole.

The second shot can also be 'slung' in from the right side.  As you could see in the previous pics, though there may be plenty of room to miss it right or play down the right side.  But you must avoid the left side (pictured right) and carry this last bunker or 'sling' you long second shot around this corner - as you can see, it's nothing but into a cavernous barranca' & lost ball.  

The grain of the grass in Hawaii is very strong, and is a factor both this week as well as in next weeks Hawaiian Open in Honolulu.  You must calculate the release of the golf shot when choosing the correct club and shot to play into down grain greens Hawaiian Bermuda greens -at any time in Hawaii and particularly into this one!
Here's a good look at the entrance to the green and back at the second shot area from a vantage point behind the 18th green.

You want to land your ball somewhere about the right front of the green -that's just left of the golf cart in the pix left, if the pin is in the first third or middle of the green.  (The green is 49 yards deep)   And land it into the first third of the green if the pin is back or back left and slightly down wind)

This is clearly a hole that you can score on, a four being a must against this strong field, and you can expect to see some eagles made here this week!

Also: See the latest Hyundai Championship News; and Live Scoring Here:

New in 2016!  Click to see more pictures of the Kapalua Plantation tournament course!

Click Here to Our New Tournament Page:


Click Here to this week's 2016 Hyundai Championship Tournament's Page:

Tournaments page - with more Winning Caddy Interviews

New in 2016:
Golf and Travel is the place to go on CaddyBytes for golf courses travel to info places to stay and play!

Golf News of the Day is the place to go on CaddyBytes for daily stories from around the world of tournament golf!

More CaddyBytes 'Featured Caddy Stories'

Read our exclusive caddy  'Haul' of Fame Interviews!

The Virtual Golf Tours are great visual golf tours of some famous courses...

Our Resource of Caddy Books provides you with a bibliographical resource of all the books ever written on, about, or by golf caddies! (*Now with Book Reviews added!)


New in 2016! Portable
Indoor Putting Greens:

Quick & Easy to set up or take down.
5/8ths inch thick indoor putting 
green system.  Three sizes to choose
from.  (Or we'll custom fit your request)
You can get the Stimp speed
of your choice!

Click Here:

#1 Teaching Aid!
The Smart Stick:
- eliminate ugly slices & hooksfrom your golf game.  This device provides instant feedback, allows you to see mistakes, & helps make immediate corrections! 
- eliminate ugly slices & hooks from your golf game.  This device provides instant feedback,  allows you to see mistakes,  & helps make immediate corrections! 

Click Here:

Signup for the CaddyBytes Newsletter Here: When you Submit your email address you will receive information about how to get a collectible BC PTCA Caddy Doll, as well as upcoming CaddyBytes News, Golf Product Specials and Giveaways! CaddyBytes.com will not share your email address with Anyone, Ever! (Also: We've recently updated our Email Security!)

Hyundai Championship history
and past winners!

Click Here to
this week's 2016 Hyundai Championship Tournament's Page:

Also:  See the latest Hyundai Championship News; and Live Scoring Here:

New in 2014!  Click to see more pictures of the Kapalua Plantation tournament course!