Kaanapali Golf Timeline

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Then & Now

Where the world comes to play.

Our timeline to memorable golf in paradise at Kaanapali Golf Courses.

KAANAPALI TIMELINE

1961 • ROBERT TRENT JONES SR.

Kaanapali Breaks Ground

Robert Trent Jones, shown here supervising the course’s construction in 1961, designed only two courses in the State of Hawaii: Royal Kaanapali Golf Course, and Mauna Kea Golf Club, on the Big Island. Royal Kaanapali was his first.

1962 • BING CROSBY

Crooner Opens Kaanapali

Bing leads the first foursome down No.1 as he christens play on the Royal Lahaina Golf Course in 1962.

1963 • DUEL IN THE SUN

Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf

US pro Dave Regan, and New Zealander Bob Charles, duel it out on Royal Kaanapali’s 18th hole during the first nationally televised Kaanapali event: Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf. Charles prevailed.

1963 • GOING ROYAL

Kaanapali Assumes New Identity

It was on June 3, 1964, and on page 28 of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, news broke announcing that the Royal Lahaina Golf Course was now the Royal Kaanapali Golf Course. Its new logo debuted at that time.

1964 • COMING OF AGE

Arnie & Jack Rule the Roost

Kaanapali celebrates the Canada Cup, hosting the best players in the world teamed up as twosomes and representing 33 nations. Jack and Arnie would win the team event. Then place first and second, repectively, in the indiviual honors, with matching course-record 65s. The remarkable Honolulu pro, Ted Makalena, tied for third with golf legend Gary Player.

1970-1980 • THE BOOMING '70S

Kaanapali Golf Grows in Popularity

The ’70s were a go-go era in more ways than one! For Maui golf, and especially for Kaanapali Golf Courses: resort golf in Hawaii was firmly established in the traveler’s mind as a must-go-to holiday choice. Mainland golf pros flocked to Hawaii knowing very best, and most-innovative, resorts were expanding. Maui Golf Shop owner and longtime PGA pro, Clif Council (pictured) was among the lucky ones to establish a foothold here and stay.

1976 • KAANAPALI KAI COURSE

ARTHUR JACK SNYDER

In 1976, longtime Royal Kaanapali Golf Course course superintendent and architect Arthur Jack Snyder transformed his original 9-hole Kaanapali Kai Course into the 18-hole, 6,400 yard design that would one day host the 12 ladies of Big Break Kaanapali. (Photo courtesy of his friend and colleague, course designer Forrest Richardson.)

1982 • LPGA COMES TO KAANAPALI

ALCOTT WINS KEMPER OPEN

Amy Alcott birdied the 17th hole and finished with a two-under-par 70 and a one-stroke victory over JoAnne Carner in the $175,000 inaugural Women’s Kemper Open golf tournament.

1983 • LPGA WOMEN'S KEMPER OPEN

WITWORTH BIRDIES 17 & 18 TO WIN

Kathy Whitworth birdied the final two holes, sinking a 30-foot putt on the final hole, to win the $200,000 Women’s Kemper Open by one stroke over Dale Eggeling.

1984 • LPGA STARS CONTINUE

KING’S FIRST VICTORY AT KAANAPALI

Betsy King, a non-winner in seven years on the L.P.G.A. tour but always among the leaders in earnings, captured her first title of the year when she held off Tatsuko Ohsako of Japan to win the $200,000 women’s Kemper Open by three shots.

1985 • WOMEN'S KEMPER OPEN FINALE

BLALOCK BIRDIES 18 TO WIN

In a stunning event finale, Jane Blalock, winless since 1980, rolled in a 15-foot par putt on the final hole to win the $300,000 Women’s Kemper Open in the spring of 1985. It would mark the end of the five year LPGA Women’s Kemper Open at Kaanapali as the resort gears up for the Senior PGA Tour the year after next.

1986 • SENIOR PGA TOUR AT KAANAPALI

MARK ROLFING DOES IT AGAIN

Mark Rolfing, whose fall Kapalua event helped put his Kapalua resort, and Maui, on the map with televised golf programming in November, works out a deal to bring the Senior PGA Tour to the Royal Kaanapali Course.

1987 • GTE KAANAPALI CLASSIC

SARGE MARCHES TO VICTORY

The 1987 inaugural Kaanapali Classic features the “Good ‘Ol Boys of Golf,” including Arnold Palmer, Don January, Billy Casper, and Chi Chi Rodriguez. The winner of the Senior Tour’s “Boot Camp” that year was Orville “Sarge” Moody, the 1968 U.S. Open champion.

1988-9 • GTE KAANAPALI CLASSIC

BIES GOES BACK-TO-BACK

Don Bies bested Don January, draining a 25-foot birdie putt on 18, and then repeated as champion in 1989 after carding a bogey-free second-round 64.

1990 • A LEFTY RETURNS

CHARLES TAKES THE CAKE

Bob Charles returns to Kaanapali 27-years later to win again. The 3rd round winds showed the world just how difficult isle golf could be with a scoring average of 79.205 that year, but Charles was unfazed winning his second title at Kaanapali in three decades!

1991 • FIRST DEVELOPMENT KAANAPALI CLASSIC

SEARING COURSE RECORD

Jim Colbert cards a record-breaking 11-under opening round of 61 en route to winning in 1991.

1992 TOMMY AARON

AARON TAKES CLASSIC

Tommy Aaron breaks a 20-year drought nailing his first victory, at Royal Kaanapali, since the 1972 Masters in grand style.

1993 ARCHER'S ACCURACY

SHOOTS LIGHTS OUT AT PING CLASSIC

A very tall George Archer drains a 25-foot putt on the first play-off hole to defeat Dave Stockton and Lee Trevino in 1993.

1994 SENIOR MOMENT

HYATT-REGENCY MAUI TITLEST

Slow-swinging champion Bob Murphy donates $3,000 of his first place prize money to Hale Makua, Maui’s senior citizen healthcare center in Wailuku.

1995-6 BOB'S PLACE

CHARLES WINS IN 1995 & 1996

Left-handed golfer Bob Charles wins in Kaanapali yet again. By now, the 60-year-old New Zealander has played at Kaanapali for over four decades. Charles fires a 15-under-par 198 in 1995, then successfully defends his title to win a record third title again in 1996.

1997 MR. HAWAII

HALE IRWIN CLASSIC CHAMP IN 1997

Former Kapalua PGA Touring pro Hale Irwin wins the Kaanapali Classic in 1997, a feat he would repeat again in 2000, before the event would move to Turtle Bay, where he could win four more times in a row, for a record five consecutive victories in this event. (2001, 2002, 2003, and 2005.)

1998 • JAY SIEGEL

SIEGEL WIRE-TO-WIRE VICTOR

Siegel ties Jim Colbert’s course-record of 61 during the opening round, and leads wire-to-wire for the victory in 1998.

2007 • THE NEW KAANAPALI

MODERNIZATION IS COMPLETE

In 2007, Billy Casper Golf, management company for Kaanapali Golf Courses, unveils a new logo as a part of a major updating of the brand. The golf courses, pro shop, driving range, carts, uniforms, and facilities are all vastly improved—ready to satisfy visitor demands for decades to come.

2007 • THE NELSON FACTOR

ROBIN NELSON WORKS HIS MAGIC

As part of Kaanapali’s transformation, the late isle course architect Robin Nelson performs a “gentle nip and tuck” when updating the famed Royal Kaanapali Course, which is an original Robert Trent Jones Sr. design. Nelson revives its bunkers, runway tees, and amazing greens. The end result is: improved playability and new life injected into Jones’ classic design. Nelson then tackles the Kai Course, revamping its tees, redesigning the greens, and reshaping and resanding bunkers, as well as having new hybrid-bermuda grass installed on the tees, fairways, and roughs—and TifEagle on all of the putting surfaces.

2008 • ARNOLD PALMER RETURNS

BRINGS HIS STAR-POWER TO KAANAPALI

The King makes the trip across the pond to compete at the Royal Kaanapali Golf Course in the 2008 Wendy’s Champions Tour Skins Game. While another team took the title, Arnie was the real star.

2008 • WENDY'S CHAMPIONS TOUR SKINS GAME

FUZZY AND JACOBSEN WIN AT KAANAPALI

Fuzzy Zoeller and Peter Jacobsen rallied to win the first-ever Champions Skins Game, at Royal Kaanapali Golf Course, winning six skins and $320,000.00. But the star that week was Arnold Palmer, who played Kaanapali’s holes like he was about to shoot the course record just as he did 44-years earlier.

2008 • BIG BREAK KAANAPALI

AN ALL-FEMALE CAST HEADLINES

The ninth installment of the Golf Channel’s popular reality series, The Big Break, was filmed in Kaanapali and featured an all-female cast. At stake was an exemption into the 2008 Navistar LPGA Classic, among other prizes. The featured two new hosts: Stina Sternberg and Andrew Magee.

2008 • BIG BREAK CHAMPION

AN ALL-FEMALE CAST HEADLINES

The event would come down to a final 18-hole championship match between Kim Welch and Sophie Sandolo. The match was close throughout the first nine, but Kim—utilizing her great length off the tee to routinely hit drives 60 yards past Sophie—began pulling away on the back nine. Sophie helped her out quite a bit, too. While Sophie had looked solid on almost every show of this season, she hit a rough patch after the turn with several loose shots and a few 3-putt greens. One of those three putts allowed Kim to take a 3-up lead after the 13th hole. They halved the 14th, then Sophie missed a birdie putt on the 15th after Kim was in with birdie, and that gave Kim the final 4-and-3 margin.

2009 • FUZZY IN KAANAPALI HEAVEN

FUZZY WINS AGAIN AT KAANAPALI

Fuzzy Zoeller and Ben Crenshaw team up to win the Champions Tour Skins Game at Kaanapali, this time racking up 13 skins to earn $530,000 in 2009

2010 • TOM WATSON & JACK NICKLAUS

DYNAMIC DUO WINS AT KAANAPALI

Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson pair up to win the Champions Tour Skins Game at Royal Kaanapali in 2010.

2011 • DRAMA ON 17

JACK AND TOM CONVERT TO WIN

Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson pair up to win the Champions Tour Skins Game at Royal Kaanapali yet again in 2011. This time they do it in dramatic fashion as the skies darkened and the wind reared up on the 17th tee. Jack flushed a boring 6-iron through the trade wins and onto the narrowest part of the green’s front, just below the hole. Tom then converted and the title was theirs. A fitting finale for the last Champions Tour Skins Game.