Five things to know about golf on Maui

By Brandon TuckerJanuary 2, 2013, 9:14 pm

The Plantation Course at Kapalua is in the spotlight during the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, but there's a lot to learn about the collection of golf courses on Maui.

1. The Plantation Course is hardly indicative of what to expect on Maui golf courses. One of the most striking aspects of the island is how quickly the environment can change, even by driving just a few miles along the coast. Just minutes south of jungly, green Kapalua (a former pineapple plantation), Lahaina has a drier climate more suitable for sugar cane - and the golf courses at Ka'anapali play lower to the ocean so the wind is generally not as much of a factor.

Head south to Wailea and Makena, and you'll discover some of the sunniest, calmest holes in all of the Hawaiian Islands. The Wailea Emerald Course may very well be the world's most perfect 'resort course' thanks to a playable-yet-interesting design to go with an unmatchably beautiful and calm setting. These south Maui courses sit at the base of 10,000-foot Mt. Haleakala, which shields the brunt of any inclement weather passing through.

2. You can play golf on the (relative) cheap in Maui. Even though the top resort courses are $200-300 a pop, no visitor should feel priced out of a golf experience on Maui. Two of my favorite bargain courses on the island are the Dunes at Maui Lani and Kahili. Both are centrally-located daily fee facilities that deliver everything you want in a Hawaii golf experience: great ocean views, a challenging layout plus good service and facilities in a more casual and affordable atmosphere.

Other bargain options on Maui include Pukalani, set high up into the foothills of Mt. Haleakala, as well as Kihei's local course, Elleair.

Window Shopping: Golf under $100 on Maui

3. It's easy to get around Maui. Maui is such a traveler's favorite destination in part because there is so much to do within such a small area, and that includes every golf course. From the northernmost course, Kapalua to southernmost Makena, it's a wonderfully scenic, coastal drive that doesn't take much longer than an hour.

But if you plan on playing as many of the 10-plus courses you can in Maui, consider staying in either Kihei or Lahaina. These are two of the most bustling resort hubs and more centrally located so you can drive as much or as little as you want for golf.

4. Maui golf courses have some incredible clubhouses. The Plantation's clubhouse serves up phenomenal views of the 18th and first holes, but you would be silly to head straight to the car after a round on a Maui golf course, as many of them have tremendous 19th holes. King Kamehameha, a marvelous private club, loftly set in the West Maui Mountains that offers limited daily public play, has the finest of the bunch: a 74,000-foot Frank Lloyd Wright-designed masterpiece (visitors will also enjoy member-pricing on food & beverage, which is a good break from resort prices). 

Wailea's main golf clubhouse, recently redone several years ago, has fine dining at Gannon's - A Pacific View Restaurant. Next door, the Old Blue clubhouse is home to Mulligan's, a more casual Irish pub where you can watch football and soccer on HD TVs. Makena also revamped its clubhouse and now offers the open-air Cafe on the Green, which has a Hawaiian atmosphere to go with a fantastic south Maui view.

In Photos: The Best of Maui golf

5. Singles can find a game, somewhere on Maui. One phenomenon in Maui are regular skins games that, while catering to the locals, are a good option for the many golfers who come to Hawaii with their non-golfing spouse.

Venues and schedules for the skins game can change throughout the year, so you'll want to make a phone call to some courses and ask when the next one is. The games have a buy-in but don't worry, you'll likely pay a reduced green fee that more than makes up for your pot donation.

Another option for the non-bettor is Ka'anapali's FIT Club, a twilight program that welcomes golfers to play all month for just $50. It's a walking-only program that kicks off at 4 p.m. While the FIT Club was designed to be a six-hole loop, the shop at Ka'anapali doesn't seem to put up much of a fuss if you stay out on the course until sunset. So play fast. 

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Watch: Na punctuates caddie tiff with hole-out

Microphones captured a fascinating and testy exchange between Kevin Na and his caddie, Kenny Harms, on Na's final hole, No. 9.

Na was in the right rough, 185 yards from the green, which was guarded by water. He vacillated between a hybrid and an iron, but with either club he would have to hit "a 40-yard cut," as Harms termed it.

"Over the green's dead," Harms warned.

"It's not gonna go over the green, Kenny," Na replied.

Na finally settled on an iron and said to Harms, "As long as you're OK with this club."

"I'm not," harms replied. "I'm not OK with either one of them."

"I'm going with this," Na ended the discussion.

He missed the green with his approach shot, but avoided the water. After taking a free drop away from some TV cables, he had 92 feet 3 inches to the cup and of course, holed the pitch shot for a birdie-3, a 62 and a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.

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Na (62) leads Hoffman by one at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 24, 2018, 10:38 pm

Kevin Na leads the Fort Worth Invitational by one over Charley Hoffman following a first-round 8-under 62. Here's where things stand through 18 holes at Colonial.

Leaderboard: Na (-8), Hoffman (-7), Emiliano Grillo (-6), Jhonattan Vegas (-6), Andrew Putnam (-6), Beau Hossler (-6)

What it means: The veteran Na is in search of just his second PGA Tour victory in 367 events played. The 34-year-old's lone victory came at the 2011 Shriners to go along with nine runner-ups, the most recent of which was a tie for second at this year's Genesis Open. Na missed three straight cuts in April but has rallied back with a weekend stay at The Players and a T-6 at last week's Byron Nelson. Ranked 75th in the world, he is not currently qualified for the U.S. Open or the Open Championship. 

Round of the day: Na turned in a clean card Thursday with six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 first, his 10th hole of the day. He closed with a chip-in birdie at No. 9 following a friendly disagreement with his caddie (more on that below). 

Best of the rest: Hoffman was likewise bogey-free, drawing seven circles. The four-time Tour winner and typically steady performer has yet to register a top-10 finish this season.

Biggest disappointment: Not that a round of 1 under is tragically disappointing, but Jordan Spieth has a pretty solid history of going low at this event and contending for the title. He's seven back through Round 1.

Shot of the day: Satoshi Kodaira recorded the second albatross in tournament history when he holed a 3-iron from 234 yards at the first.

Honorable mention: Na got into a pretty good back-and-forth with his caddie about whether to lay up or try to clear the water from the right rough at No. 9. Na went for it, avoided hazard, and holed this chip for birdie. 

Quote of the day: "I told you." - Na, after his chip-in

Golf Channel's NCAA Golf Coverage Continues Mon-Wed., May 28-30 With the NCAA Men's Golf Championships

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 24, 2018, 10:24 pm

Two National Championships to be Decided Over a Three-Day Span – Individual (Mon., May 28) and Team (Wed., May 30)

 Eight of the Top-10 Ranked Programs in the Country Set to Compete; Reigning NCAA Men’s National Champions Oklahoma and Current Top-Ranked Oklahoma State Paired Together Starting Friday

 Buick and Stifel Co-Presenting Sponsors of Golf Channel’s Coverage of the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships

ORLANDO, Fla., May 24, 2018 – Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s dramatic championship match where Arizona defeated Alabama in a playoff to claim their third women’s golf team national championship, Golf Channel returns to Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. next week for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championships. Taking place Monday-Wednesday, May 28-30, Golf Channel’s coverage will feature nearly 30 hours of live tournament and on-site wraparound news coverage, showcasing the top men’s college golf programs in the country.

NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage: Coverage begins on Monday, May 28 to crown the individual national champion and to track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match play championship. Golf Channel’s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29-30 will include all three rounds of the team match play, ultimately crowning a team national champion.

In addition, Golf Central will surround live tournament action with pre-and post-event news coverage produced on-site at Karsten Creek Golf Club, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online via Golf Channel Digital. News and tournament coverage also will be live streamed on Golf Channel Digital. College Central, Golf Channel’s online home for college golf, will provide comprehensive editorial coverage throughout the championships.

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May   28

Individual   National Championship

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Tuesday, May   29

Quarterfinals,   Team Match Play

11   a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday,   May 29

Semifinals,   Team Match Play

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Wednesday, May   30

Team Match   Play National Championship

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Stifel and Buick Sign on as Co-Presenting Sponsors for Golf Channel’s NCAA Golf Championships Tournament Coverage: New for 2018, Stifel Financial Corp. and Buick have signed on as co-presenting sponsors for Golf Channel’s tournament coverage of the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. In addition, Stifel has extended its partnership with the Fred Haskins Commission, Golf Channel and Golfweek as presenting sponsor of the Fred Haskins Award, given annually to nation’s outstanding male collegiate golfer.Golf Channel will announce the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, on a live edition of Golf Central, Wednesday, June 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The show will include profiles on the top candidates for the award and a live interview with the winner, who also will receive an exemption to compete in the 2018 Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR. The Haskins Award honors the nation’s most outstanding male Division I collegiate golfer as selected by his peers, coaches and the golf media.

Semifinal Teams in Match Play to Receive Invitations to Compete in East Lake Cup: The East Lake Cup, taking place in late October at historic East Lake Golf Club, will feature the top-performing teams from the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. Invitations for the field have been extended to Arizona, Alabama, Southern California and Stanford – semifinalists in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, and also will be extended to the semifinalists in the Men’s Championships. Modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships, the format for the East Lake Cup consists of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. Golf Channel will air live coverage of the East Lake Cup Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31.

College Central – Golf Channel Digital Coverage: Golf Channel will provide comprehensive coverage via College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, and Ryan Lavner, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

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Country singer Owen shoots 86 in debut

By Will GrayMay 24, 2018, 7:51 pm

Country music star Jake Owen struggled in his Tour debut, shooting a 14-over 86 in the opening round of the Nashville Golf Open.

Owen, who played as a 1 handicap earlier this year while teaming with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, put three balls out of bounds over his first nine holes, including two en route to a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 18th hole. After making the turn in 46, Owen came home in 40 without making a single birdie.

Owen is playing as an amateur on an unrestricted sponsor exemption, the same type used by NBA superstar Steph Curry on the Tour last year and by former NFL quarterback Tony Romo this year on the PGA Tour. Curry missed the cut after rounds of 74-74 at the Ellie Mae Classic, while Romo shot 77-82 at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship.

Full-field scores from the Nashville Golf Open

Owen tallied nine pars, six bogeys, two doubles and a quad in his opener and was the only player from the morning wave who failed to break 80. The closest player to him in the standings was two-time major champ Angel Cabrera, who opened with a 79.

While Owen struggled against a field full of professionals, he took the setback in stride and even took to Twitter in the middle of his round to fire back at some of his online critics: