Maui Golf: Trekking the Hills at the Mercedes-Benz

Article by Linda Nagata

Every January the golf world turns its gaze to West Maui's Kapalua Resort, home of Maui golf's premier event: the PGA's season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship. The Mercedes, with its participants limited to PGA tour winners, is set on Kapalua's gorgeous Plantation Course. It's a challenging venue – and not just for the pros. For the intrepid spectator, the Plantation Course can be a test of will.

There are three distinctly different ways to take in the action when you're "on the ground" at Kapalua. First is the classic approach: Find a bleacher seat and watch the champions as they pass before you, and when the moment feels right, wander down to the grandstand to enjoy the finish. Or go casual, and find a place on the grass near the 10th or the 14th hole, where the snack stand is close by, and relax.

If you're feeling a little more energetic, you'll want to follow your favorites for a few holes: numbers 7, 8, 9 and 10 are ideal. Take a little break here and get a drink, because as the players descend toward the 12th, you won't be able to follow. Catch them again at the 14th, but wave good-bye as they head uphill. Don't worry - you can meet them again at the finish.

For the hearty though, for those who enjoy a challenge, there is the third way: walk the entire course.

Not impressed? Doesn't sound like much? Then you are not familiar with the hills of Kapalua!

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