Then & Now

The pinnacle of championship golf in Hawaii.

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



Kapalua Golf is Born

Arnold Palmer and Francis Duane complete the Kapalua Bay Golf Course, known for its breathtaking 5th hole… the only one on Maui to play over the ocean from tee to green. Craig Williamson is the director of golf, and a young Mark Rolfing is about to be hired to work in the cart barn.


Da Game Golf Party

Having designed the Bay, and gotten tho know and like Mark Rolfing, Arnie helps nurture Kapalua with the creation of Da Game, or Golf Party, in 1979.


Village Course Gives Kapalua 36 Holes.

Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay complete the design and construction of the par-71, 6,632-yard Kapalua Village golf course. The resort has arrived as a true venue with stellar views and  hilly, rolling terrain meandering over the pineapple hills.


It All Begins With Arnold Palmer and Mark Rolfing.

The inaugural Kapalua Open, an unofficial PGA tour event, is kicked off in November at the Bay  Course with Arnold Palmer as its headliner. It is the first post-season event of its kind and draws top touring pros and celebrities, as well as TV viewers. Kauai-born Pearl Country Club (Oahu) pro David Ishii wins the event’s first place check of $15,000.


Greg Norman’s First US Win Cements Kapalua’s Legacy

Kapalua’s fall event provides viewers with ‘counter-programming’, giving those who prefer golf over college football something to watch. But when Greg Norman wins, ratings soar, and the event’s first-place money grows exponentially—nearly-seven fold—while the event airs internationally on ESPN.


Wins by Eight-Strokes Over Bernhard Langer

Sandy Lyle shot a final round 65 to win the 1984 Kapalua International by eight-strokes over Bernhard Langer. He was a familiar face on the European Your but an infrequent player in America at the time. The British Open winner finished with a 72-hole total of 266 to break by 2 shots the tournament record set last year by Greg Norman.

1985 • $125,000.00

Mark O’Meara Outlasts Corey Pavin in Playoff

Mark O’Meara rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt on the third extra hole to defeat Corey Pavin for the $125,000 first prize in the Isuzu Kapalua International golf tournament. For O’Meara, it completed a Hawaiian sweep given that he had won the Hawaiian Open nine months earlier in February. O’Meara’s paycheck was a marked increase over the $15,000 Oahu pro David Ishii had earned in this very event only three years earlier.


Andy Bean Overtakes Davis Love III

Andy Bean outlasted Davis Love III, then a rookie, on the final nine of the Isuzu Kapalua International Golf Tournament to finish with a 70 for 278 and a two-stroke victory. Bean, winner of two PGA Tour titles earlier that season, collected a check for $150,000. Love, the leader through three rounds and one ahead of Bean through 13 holes of the final round, faltered over the closing holes dropping to a 73.


Andy Bean Repeats at Kapalua’s Strongest Field Ever

Andy Bean shot a 5-under-par 67 to successfully defend his title at the $600,000 Kapalua  International. His 72-hole score of 21-under-par 267 was yet another tournament record on the Bay course, and enough to beat Lanny Wadkins by three strokes. Bean, who had been suffering from an elbow injury, won only $73,808 during the official PGA Tour season that ended two weeks prior to this event. That amount, and his 120th-place finish on the money-winning list, were his poorest since his rookie season of 1976. Bean had the overnight lead by a shot and led by two at the turn of the final round. He birdied the par-5 10th to increase his margin to three. Bean drove just short of the green on the 345 yard, par-4 13th, chipped close and made the birdie putt for a four-shot cruise to victory. Wadkins matched Bean`s 67 for sole second over Sandy Lyle who was third at 272, five shots back. Jack Nicklaus, 47, competed that year, which Mark Rolfing described as having “the strongest field ever”.


Bob Guilder by Two Over John Mahaffey

Bob Gilder won his first title in almost six years—since the 1983 Phoenix Open—with a 266 total, 22 under par on the Kapalua Bay course—collecting $150,000… the biggest paycheck of his 13-year career in the process, and more than doubling his earnings for 1987. Gilder started with three consecutive birdies and finished with a six-under-par 66 that gave him a two-shot victory over John Mahaffey, who also had a 66, and was second at 268.


Birdies 18 Twice to Beat Steve Pate in Playoff

Peter Jacobsen made six birdies out of the remaining 11 holes during his final round to force a playoff with former UCLA star Steve Pate. After carding a final round 66 on the Bay course, Jacobsen and Pate were tied at 18-under 270 after 72 holes of regulation play. After halving 16 and 17 in their playoff, Jacobsen made birdie from a foot away after Pate 3-putted for bogey.


David Peoples Sets Event Record

After nine times through Q-School, David Peoples, who led every round, won his first victory as a professional setting a Kapalua International tournament record in the process by closing with a round of five-under-par 66. Peoples finished the $700,000 event at 264, 20 under par and five shots better than Davis Love III. Peoples’ first big payday was for $150,000.


Overcomes Woes on 12 to Win in Playoff

Mike Hulbert birdied the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to defeat Davis Love III and win the Kapalua International and a first place check of $150,000. Hulbert, who birdied three of the final four holes in regulation, closed with a 5-under-par 68 for a 72-hole score of 276. Love had a 72, a round that also included birdies on three of the final four holes of regulation. For the second straight day, Hulbert was almost done in by the 373-yard, par-4 12th… During the third round he lost two shots as a result of hitting his drive into the heavy rough. First for having accidentally stepped on his ball while looking for it, and second for taking an unplayable lie. But he managed to overcome the adversity and win in the end.


Crenshaw Uses Maui Potato Chip

One of the great golf courses of the 20th century, the green on the Kapalua Plantation Course’s par 4 third was inspired by a Maui potato chip during a meeting between Ben Crenshaw, Bill Coore, and Mark Rolfing, who developed the famed golf course. It was that uncanny and instinctive sense of rightness that led to a partnership in this legendary design—one which is hallowed to this very day.


Turns Tables on Hulbert to Win

Davis Love III eagled the par-5 18th hole from 40 feet to break a tie with defending champion Mike Hulbert and card a final round of six-under-par 67 to give him a total of 15-under 275 and the winner’s purse of $150,000. Three times prior Love had finished second, including 1991 when Hulbert came from four shots back to catch him in the last round and then beat him with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff. This time Love reversed roles himself coming from four shots behind Hulbert, who finished alone in second at 276 after a closing round of 72 on a windy day at the Kapalua Plantation Course.


Cruises to Victory

Fred Couples shot a three-under-par 70 during his final round to win the $1-million Kapalua International by four shots the 7,293-yard, par-73 Plantation Course. He earned $180,000. Couples finished at 16-under 274. Blaine McCallister was four strokes back after a final-round 68 to finish at 278 and defending champion Davis Love III was at 279

1994 • COUPLES ACES 11

Breaks Logjam to Win Again

Fred Couples successfully defended his Kapalua International title breaking a three-way battle for the lead between himself, Bob Gilder, and Tom Lehman. It was on the gusty par 3 11th that Couples’ 8-iron hit the flagstick and dropped into the cup. “It came down to the hole-in-one,” Couples said in winning his second straight Kapalua tournament. “It was almost as shocking as watching George Foreman win last night. The wind took it, hit the fringe and just kept rolling.” The field endured 40mph winds during that final round and Couples emerged the victor. “The greatest thing was to play a tough course well,” Couples said. “The wind was brutal, but I actually enjoyed playing in the wind. I can hit most fairways and I just tried to get it on the greens. I know how to run the ball up on these greens.”


Saves Bogey on 16 to Win

Jim Furyk, the leader after the second and third rounds, was cruising through the final round when he sliced his tee shot on the short (365-yard) par 4 16th into an area of heavy Molokai grass. He had three choices as to where to play his shot after the penalty stroke, so he opted to hit from the 17th fairway! He got it to within 3 1/2 feet and made bogey. It narrowed the gap to a short over his pursuers, Russ Cochran, Barry Lane, and Jim McGovern. But Furyk’s 6-inch birdie putt to finish with a 3-under-par 70 and a 19-under 271 total on 18 closed the door earning him the title and the tournament record (by three strokes).


Makes Birdie on 18 to Win

Paul Stankowski birdied the final hole for a 68, holding off Fred Couples to win the $1.2 million Kapalua International. Stankowski, who held a one-stroke lead starting the final round, finished with a 72-hole total of 21-under 269.


Wins Final Kapalua International

Davis Love III put his stamp on the final Kapalua International. The winner of that year’s P.G.A. Championship finished with a record 22-under 268, closing with a five-under 68 yesterday to take the $1.2 million event. It was his second win here and in nine other appearances, Love finished second three times and third twice. David Toms finished second at 19-under 271, and Olin Browne was a stroke back in third. After a 16-year run, this was the last Kapalua International. After a one-year hiatus, the Kapalua Resort would be turned over to the PGA Tour for the Mercedes Championships in 1999.


Blows Away Field By 9-Shots

David Duval blew away the field in the inaugural Mercedes Championships, including Tiger Woods. In the process, he established a tournament record of 26 under par with a score of 266 to win by a total of nine shots.


Prevails in Epic Battle with Ernie Els

After both eagling the 18th hole to force a playoff, Tiger Woods and Ernie Els match birdies on 18 once again on their first playoff hole. The two had battled each other neck and back throughout the final round and headed to the par 4 first to play their second playoff hole. Faced with a long, down-grain birdie putt from 40-fet away, Woods watched as the ball fell to the bottom of the cup capping off his fifth straight PGA Tour victory in a row. Watch the final round highlights here!


Edges Sabbatini

Jim Furyk closed with a 6-under 67 for a 274 total and was the only player to have four rounds in the 60s on the windy Kapalua Plantation Course earning $630,000 and a Mercedes-Benz sports car. His victory came as a result of a final-hole birdie and a missed 2-1/2-footer by Rory Sabbatini, who finished one back.


18 Proves Pivotal Again

Sergio Garcia made a pair of 10-foot birdie putts on the 18th hole Sunday, the first one to get into a playoff with PGA champion David Toms and the second one to win the Mercedes Championships in the first PGA Tour event of the year. “You can’t dream of a better way to start the year,” Garcia said. Garcia closed with a 9-under 64 and finished at 18-under 274.

2003 • ERNIE ELS

Birdies 5 of Last 7 to Win

Ernie Els shattered the tour’s scoring record closing with a 6-under 67 to finish at 31 under par 261 to win the Mercedes Championships by eight strokes. The previous record had been 28 under, set by John Huston at the 1998 Hawaiian Open and by Mark Calcavecchia in the Phoenix Open. Els went wire-to-wire in his victory on the Plantation Course at Kapalua.


Wins By Skin of Teeth

Stuart Appleby wins a war of attrition as a charging Vijay Singh runs out of real estate. In spite of a gallant effort by the Fijian, Appleby out-endured and finished at 22 under par for a 270 total after Singh came up shy on 17 and missed again on 19. Singh finished a stroke back and Darren Clarke finished third, at 275. Tiger Woods, who never mounted a serious challenge, finished tied for fourth with Retief Goosen, seven strokes behind.


Golf’s Star Players Fail to Challenge Aussie

What’s more surprising than Appleby’s repeat win, was the manner in which the top golfers in the world went backwards that final round Sunday. Tiger Woods couldn’t putt all week but still finished in 4th at -19. Els sat at -20 on the tee of the par-5 18th, and then pushed his drive O.B. Singh triple-bogeyed the 13th after finding the weeds on the left, and Jonathan Kaye, following a chip-in eagle on 9, duffed a chip on the final hole to miss his shot at forcing a playoff. Stewart Cink made two bogeys on the final three holes to boot. Appleby enjoyed destiny that year.


Pulls It Off Again

Appleby eludes the Fijian again: Singh, whose 7-under 66 was nine shots better than the average score in the final round, left a 100-foot putt about 9 feet short on the par-5 18th in a playoff, then missed the birdie putt to the right. Appleby holed his putt to join Gene Littler (1955-57) as the only players to capture this winners-only tournament 3 straight years. “This one was the hardest,” said Appleby, who went from a two-shot lead to a two-shot deficit before forcing extra holes. “Obviously, I had to win a playoff against Vijay. He was the hottest player by far.”


Persistance Pays

Singh finished at 14-under 278 and earned $1.1 million to push him over $50 million for his career. It was his 30th career victory, tying him with Leo Diegel for 16th for career victories on the PGA Tour. Coming off his least-productive season in five years, Singh sounded the bell that he is still a major force to be reckoned with by closing with a 3-under 70 and a two-shot victory over Adam Scott. It was Singh’s 18th victory, since turning 40, and it broke the PGA Tour record held by Sam Snead.


Daniel Chopra Bests Steve Stricker

Daniel Chopra got out of one jam when his chip settled into a sprinkler cup, and he might have avoided another one when Steve Stricker’s long putt on the first playoff hole was slowed by hitting Chopra’s ball mark. Then two birdie putts in the playoff were held up by a blade of grass. This was how a nerve-wracking start to the PGA Tour finally ended as dusk arrived while Chopra two-putted for birdie on the par-five ninth to beat Stricker in four extra holes. Chopra, who qualified for this winners-only tournament with his first PGA Tour victory in the second-to-last event of the preceding year, closed with a seven-under-par 66 and walked off with $1.1 million, a Mercedes-Benz sports car, and his first trip to the Masters.


Brings It Home on Back Nine

Ogilvy joined Ernie Els and Vijay Singh as the only wire-to-wire winners at Kapalua since the tournament moved here in 1999, having the outright lead over the final 58 holes. It was the fifth PGA Tour victory for Ogilvy, adding to his U.S. Open title in 2006 and a pair of World Golf Championships. He finished at 24-under 268, earned $1.12 million and moved up to No. 6 in the world.


Captures Second in a Row

For the second straight year, Geoff Ogilvy wins the opening event of the PGA Tour, the SBS Championship at Kapalua Resort’s Plantation Course. The former U.S. Open winner, who fired a 22-under-par 270, played a near flawless final-round 67 to overtake a hard-charging Rory Sabbatini, who finished some two hours earlier a stroke back.


Best Man Doesn’t Win

After both making par on the first playoff hole (the 18th), Byrd and Garrigus head to the first hole which, blowing Konas, is the most challenging on the course that day yielding only 3 birds and averaging 4.25.  At 520 yards into the wind, this 4-shotter boiled down to a battle of the flat sticks, with Byrd’s putter getting it done with a lengthy two putt while Garrigus missed a 3-foot putt for par, handing the title to Byrd. Ironically, the player of the day was actually Graeme McDowell, whose 11-under 62 tied the course record in Kapalua. Even worse: McDowell missed a 10 foot birdie putt on 18 to break that course record and be a part of the playoff with Byrd and Garrigus! McDowell recorded 11 birdies and no bogies during that final round.


Hangs on to Win

Steve Stricker entered the final day of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions with a five-stroke lead, but he nearly gave it all away after a bogey on No. 6. But he regrouped and made par or better on the remaining 12 holes, preserving his one-shot lead to eek out a win in the PGA’s season-opening event at the Plantation Course at Kapalua.


Rides Winds to Bank

High winds and rain forced play of 36 holes on Monday and 18 more Tuesday, reducing the event to 54 holes. Dustin Johnson, who shot 69 and 66 on Monday to forge a three-stroke lead over defending champion Steve Stricker, carded six birdies, an eagle on the par-4 14th, a bogey and double-bogey on the par-4 13th to end up at 16-under 203, four shots ahead of Stricker (69) in the end. The win was Johnson’s seventh since he joined the PGA Tour, six years after attending Coastal Carolina University. He became the first player since Tiger Woods to win in his first six seasons on Tour since leaving college.


Uses Putting Prowess to Win

Zach Johnson tied for the lead with an approach from 195 yards into 4 feet for birdie on No. 7. He took the outright lead with a wedge into 2 feet on No. 12. And he pulled away from Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Kevin Streelman and everyone else with three straight birdies for a 7-under 66 to win the 2014 title.