The spirit of Aloha is alive and well on the Bay Course at Kapalua Bay in Maui, Hawaii. This 18-hole Championship Course is one of the most beautiful courses in Maui and one of the top courses I have ever been on. The Bay Course, designed by Arnold Palmer and Francis Duane, features lava filled coastlines and palm tree & hibiscus lined fairways. The rolling green hills, ocean views, warm salty air, and first class service is not just a day on the green, but an experience you will not likely forget anytime soon.
The Bay Course, a par 72, 6,600 yard course, opened in 1975. The Golds have a slope rating of 129. The prestigious Montage Kapalua Bay Hotel sits on a tropical 24 acres along the majestic Namaula Bay. There are 22,000 acres of Hawaii State protected preserve land surrounding The Bay Course and Plantation Course at Kapalua Bay. The jagged lush Pu’u Kuhui mountain range is Hawaii’s largest private preserve, which is home to three native bird species, five rare snails and 18 native plants found nowhere else in the world. Both courses, the Bay Course and the Plantation Course are certified Audubon sanctuaries, which protect 23 species of birds. Kapalua Resort uses sound environmental management practices to preserve and protect all wildlife living in and around the golf courses. The marine life, Hawaii State Marine Life Conservation Districts of Honolua Bay and Mokule’ia Bay, boast coral gardens, abundant marine life, and underwater ancient lava formations. The sea turtles and marine life thrive in these beautiful state protected bays on the northwest coast of Maui.
At first, playing the Bay Course at Kapalua Bay seemed intimidating with its prestige and exclusivity. I had never played golf in Maui and certainly not the Bay Course at Kapalua Bay, a course where great PGA and LPGA players had earned titles and made headlines. I have played golf many times on many courses, but I had yet to play as a “single.” I made sure to be prepared by getting to the course early, practicing on the magnificent driving range with its incredible view, and have my water, clubs, glove, and extra golf balls ready. I mentally prepared myself for walking onto the course knowing that the other three players were most-likely going to be men and the expectation that they would expect me to play on the forward tees. After the introductions, I asked which tees they would be playing from, the green, silver, gold or blue. They all said Gold. I said, “Great. I will play from the Golds, too.” They were the “regular” tees just in front of the “Championship” tees. The three men asked me at least 8 times, “Are you sure you don’t want to play from the forward/ladies’ tees?” After I had out-driven them for the 3rd time, they stopped asking me if I wanted to switch to the ladies’ tees. I held my own on one of the most beautiful courses in the world, as a woman, as a “single”, and as a golfer! It was a fabulous day with overwhelming Aloha spirit all around. There were a lot of great shots, but one of my best moments of the day was on hole 17, the only hole on the island of Maui with an over-the-water shot. At hole 17, from the Gold Tee box, the golfer must hit over the water to the green. I was the only golfer in our foursome to land on the green! It was a spectacular moment!
Be bold, be brave, believe in yourself and take that Aloha Spirit with you onto the course wherever you decide to play! Aloha!
By Lynne Harrosh, Resident since 2008
Lynne Harrosh is an avid golfer and traveler. Follow her on Facebook & Instagram @TeeItUpTravel to get connected to the best places to golf, golf technology, golf equipment, discounts on green fees, stay & plays, and golf travel – email@example.com