Golf Course Architecture - Issue 59, January 2020

24 TEE BOX THE B IG P I CTURE This issue’s Big Picture is the closing hole on the Plantation course at Kapalua resort in Hawaii, which hosts a winners-only event on the PGA Tour each January. Dave Sansom photographed the course following Coore & Crenshaw’s 2019 work to restore its original playing intent. Bill Coore said: “In early years, shots played 30 to 50 yards short of the eighteenth green would bound, then roll onto the putting surface, sometimes near front pin positions that were inaccessible with aerial shots landing near the pin. “But in more recent years, approach shots landing in those same approach areas would stop short of the green, while shots landing on the front of the green would roll to the back, rendering the front areas of the green unusable for pin placements.” This declining influence of the natural slopes of the ground made the course more difficult for average players, while easier for skilled golfers. “It had evolved from a course where the advantage was gained from thoughtful and skilful play, utilising slopes, wind and angles, to a course where more mechanical play was rewarded,” said Coore. All fairways, tees and rough have been re-grassed with Celebration bermuda, and greens with TifEagle bermuda. “Hopefully, the refined grasses that were recently planted on the fairways and the drainage installed in the fairway approach areas will once again create the firmness of the approaches and allow the utilisation of the front- pin areas, not just on eighteen but throughout the course, especially on the long downhill, downwind holes,” said Coore. The project also saw original green sizes and shapes restored, additional pinnable areas created on greens, notably the tenth and thirteenth, new resort tees and some new tournament tees, plus a complete bunker renovation. Photo: Dave Sansom