Betty and Roy tell us about golf in Kapalua and share their experience while attending and participating in the 2016 Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course. Ask our Maui experts!
Betty: One of the biggest questions everybody asks us about Kapalua is the golf question. Golf at Kapalua, I think, is--there's nothing as great as golf at Kapalua. There's two amazing golf courses. The first course, The Bay Course, has been here since 1977? '75 even.
Roy: About '75, I think.
B: Yeah. And it's absolutely amazing. The 5th hole, which is the signature hole, goes over a section of the Pacific Ocean--nothing like it. And then on up to the Plantation which, again, very difficult course but very fun. I mean, I think anybody can play there, you just have to have a little bit of patience with yourself, patience with the course, and just keep moving. But the Plantation Course also is pretty amazing. The golf tournament this year--
R: Oh, it's fantastic.
B: I think has been one of the best ever.
B: And one of the things people forget, I mean, I've already forgotten one which is very bad to say, but also what it does for Maui and the people of Maui. The golf tournament takes care of way more than just a game of golf.
R: Well, the main beneficiary is a variety of charities here on Maui, like every other PGA tournament across the world, really. There is a charity or a charitable organization that houses a variety of other charities that benefits from these golf tournaments. And this year, 2016 at Kapalua, the results were fantastic. We had the top golfers in the world. The number one golfer in the world ended up winning! Jordan Spieth.
B: Oh, that's right!
R: But we also had Rickie Fowler, Jason Day.
B: Rickie, fabulous! Jason Day, so nice.
R: Yeah, basically every other winner that participated except for a couple of the European golfers who were not able to make it this year.
R: Yup. They had commitments in Europe and so forth, but really exciting. Four great days of golf here at the Plantation Course at Kapalua.
B: And it's so fun. You've got people from all over that come for the tournament. Every hotel is so booked. The whole island was a frenzy. Almost impossible to get a reservation to eat--very difficult for us.
R: And you know, we've been to golf tournaments on the mainland in Chicago, California, where it's really difficult to get up close and personal with the pros. Hard to see their shots, people are racing to the next hole and so forth. Here at Kapalua, you've got great views, the crowds are big but sparse throughout because the Plantation Course is spread out over 300 and some odd acres. Lots of room to find a favorite spot, to nestle down and watch your favorite pro or follow your favorite pro. Whether it's, again, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler. And the nicest thing about these young professionals is the way they treat the public. Unbelievable.
B: No question.
R: They are so gracious, so kind.
B: They're so good to kids.
R: Very impressive.
B: Yeah, they'll, after their rounds, each one of the ones you just mentioned, after their round will come outside and sign almost as many autographs as somebody's asking for. And the kids--Rickie Fowler, who's been one of the top pros in the world, has had a thing with kids. Kids love him. There's all these little Rickie's that dress in his signature orange outfits. And they're all over the place. And he treats them like they're his little brothers or sisters. He always has a ball for someone or he's signing their hat or talking to them. Touching their head or offering to sign their caps. So, each one of these kids, these young people, the golfer young people, they were so amazing this year. It was so fun to watch it. So we are surely going to be welcoming all of them back next year.
R: We look forward to it next year.
B: They just have to win.
R: Yeah! That's it.
B: Everybody's got to win to come back to the winners--
R: It's limited to winners of the previous year. So Jordan Speith will be back.
B: And Roy Sakamoto. Plays every year. Got to play this year with a really nice young pro.
R: Played with Chris Kirk from Georgia. Super, super guy.
B: We got to play on the only rainy day of the month, I think. And that was the day that it cut loose and we were all kind of soaking wet out there. But the team did good.
R: And we had fun.
B: Had fun. Finished in the middle of the pack. Which, from the time we started, versus the rest of the day, that was perfect. It was really a great tournament.
R: I don't think Chris learned a lot from our game but--
B: I think it was ok.
R: Yup, I think he had fun.
B: And then the people of Maui benefit the most. The local charities benefit, everybody has a great time. The Boy Scouts come out and help with certain things over the years. The Lahainaluna High School kids come up and they volunteer. Hale Makua has volunteers everywhere.
B: Almost every local charity that you could think of comes out and helps in some way and so many of the charities benefit financially.
B: But people are willing to help no matter what and that's really fabulous.