Designed by Arnold Palmer and Frank Duane


Friendly resort course with little rough to contend with. The Bay is fairly wide open, which adds to the enjoyment for the high handicapper. However, even the experienced golfer needs to survive Kapalua’s version of Amen Corner (i.e., Nos. 3, 4, 5).

The ocean views on 4 and 5 are the island’s best…but if you get too wrapped up in the scenery you”ll be posting triple bogeys. All the greens have been recently redone and putt smooth and firm.


Scratch golfers will score very well on this golf course from the tips. It ranks as Maui’s third easiest for them. Bogey golfers playing from the whites, and ladies playing from the reds, enjoy one of the shortest venues we have, and a USGA Slope Rating of just a shot above the isle median from both tees. While short, the Bay plays effectively longer due to a number of holes that play uphill either from the tee or on the approach. Winds can blow and also lengthen some holes. Roll is less than average, but as often as one must climb, one also descends on many holes (but those climbs do feel longer).


Some doglegs exist, but they don’t add to the overall length, and they favor neither the fade or draw. The fairways are wide and manageable targets, although on some holes, they get tighter. Roughs are easy to recover from, but bunkers in fairways can be penal, and they are in all the right places. The topography is hilly playing near the sea. Even lies and stances are routine. The green sizes are big. Most are heavily bunkered and multi-tiered. They hold well, and hole locations are not too severe. About five holes have carries over water that come into play. The famous par 3 5th plays over the crashing sea, and hence the name: Bay. Fear factor: low.


The Bay Course is less imposing than many of Maui’s other golf courses. Honeymooners or those wanting less intimidation and testosterone, as well as a little privacy, will find relief here. The course itself has a few tough holes but is wide open and less-demanding in terms of precision and length. Beginners will feel better here and good players will score well. One can dribble it off the tee almost all day long and never lose their ball (except on Nos. 5, 12, and 16). From the very front tees, barely 50-yards separates this from the other three shortest on Maui, so seniors, juniors, and short-hitting women or beginners will improve here. Here you will find that Kapalua mystique, which still reigns globally even to this day.


The Bay Course has a driving range with wiffle-life balls. They aren’t exactly wiffle balls, but they aren’t real golf balls either. This is to keep long hitters from blasting them over the net and into the neighboring condominiums! There is a large putting green right behind the pro shop, overlooking a killer view of the 18th green and fairway. Inside the clubhouse, the restaurant, Pineapple Grill, is a better bistro-like eatery where good menu choices abound, as well as rectangular bar with all of the latest and greatest and cold beer on tap too—even a thoughtful wine selection sans the sommelier. The golf pro shop is informal, but replete with all of the logo items you could ever want, and a pro staff that knows its stuff. Downstairs, you won’t find the kind of facilities you will get at Kaanapali or Wailea—this is a conservative campy kind of place, not the Biltmore.


The Bay Course’s 4th and 5th holes bring the ocean right to the forefront of your day and are memorable. Only Waiehu, Kaanapali, and Makena offer any kind of waterfront experience, but this is Maui’s best. The fact that your tee shot must carry the bay (unless you play far-forward) is yet another wow factor. Heading inland the Bay becomes a tamer, gentler golf course. Holes weave through stands of tall cook pines and expensive condominiums and homes.
The Bay has a storied history and was the Maui home of the PGA Tour for 16 years, hosted the LPGA Kapalua Classic, and the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship. The Bay is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015, and despite its vintage air, has received recent updates. Just look at the photos that follow. There are ocean views from many vantage points, and the course conditions are excellent. Couple these factors with its seaside 4th and 5th, and the premium price is quickly justified.

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The Kapalua International was an unofficial PGA Tour event from 1982 to 1997. It was played after the end of the regular PGA Tour season in November for 16 years. For the first nine years, it was held exclusively at the Bay Course. In 1992, it was played at both the Bay and Plantation Courses until the Mercedes Championships moved to the site in January 1999.

Kapalua International

Isuzu Kapalua International

Kapalua International

Kapalua Open

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Morgan Pressel was not only recruited by the resort to host the LPGA Kapalua Classic, but the won it too! Pressel birdied the final hole on Sunday in the inaugural Kapalua LPGA Classic for her second career win and first victory of the season. The newly dubbed Kapalua tour pro closed with a 3-under 69 to overtake Suzann Pettersen (69) by a stroke after a good pitch and putt conversion. Pressel finished at 8-under 280 and earned $225,000 in what would be the first and last LPGA Kapalua Classic.


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In 1998 the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship was held on the Bay Course—Maui’s only national championship ever held here. Amy Spooner-Johnston, a senior at Florida State University, won 2-and-1 over Natalie Wong during the sunny but windy event.


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USGA Course
Tees Rating Slope OUT IN TOT
Championship 73.5 135 3097 3503 6600
Regular 70.5 128 2813 3238 6051
Resort 68.8 124 2678 3008 5686
Forward 66.1 115 2439 2680 5119
Year Built: 1975
Greens: TifEagle
Fairways: Bermuda
Practice Range: No
Lessons: Yes
GPS Tracking: Yes
Metal Spikes: No
Walking: No
Fivesomes: No
Pro Shop: Yes
Lockers/Showers: No
Rental Shoes/Clubs: Yes
Cart Fees: Included
Rider Fee: Yes
Twilight Rates: Yes
Online Booking: Yes
Restaurant: Yes
Bar: Yes
Architect: Arnold Palmer & F. Duane
General Mgr: Mike Jones

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Kapalua Golf Club Bay Course

300 Kapalua Drive
Lahaina, HI 96761
(877) 527-2582
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