The BWD Tournament Hole of the Week: January 4 – 7, 2018. The 1st at Kapalua (Plantation), Home of Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Tournament: Sentry Tournament of Champions – Kapalua Resort (Plantation), Maui, HI
Hole: 1st – Par 4, 520 Yards
Architect(s): Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw – 1991

Architectural Summary:

The opening hole at Kapalua is a strategic par four that will test competitors out of the gate. The 520 yard hole will play shorter than the lengthy yardage as the hole plays downhill to an expansive green. Players will be further assisted on the yardage as the course’s often blustery trade winds will be at the backs of competitors. From the tee, Tournament of Champions competitors will look to challenge the cluster of fairway bunkers to the left from 250-315 yards for the optimal angle of approach. Club selection from the tee will vary for competitors as finding the fairway is paramount to being able to hold the green downwind. The playing area ends around 360 yards before falling down into a deep tree-filled ravine. Well-struck shots off the tee will set up a reasonable mid-iron approach over the ravine that protrudes into the hole short and right of the putting surface. The putting surface is further protected by three greenside bunkers that are located left, short-left, and short-right. The green itself measures 38 yards deep and slopes from left-to-right and back-to-front. Accuracy on the approach will help to set up possible scoring opportunities as competitors will look to find the appropriate quadrant to avoid lengthy putts on the undulating green.

Statistical Analysis:

During the 2017 tournament, the 1st hole played as the most difficult hole on the course with a scoring average of 4.11 (7 birdies, 100 pars, and 21 bogeys).

Fun Facts:

  • The top five finishers during last year’s tournament collectively played the opening hole to par with only one bogey and one eagle recorded by the group.
  • Kapalua’s Plantation Course is one of Coore and Crenshaw’s earliest designs and holds the distinction of being the PGA Tour’s only par 73 course on rotation.
  • Kapalua Resort has a rich history focused on agriculture. The Plantation course itself is located on former pineapple fields.