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I was shocked at how over rated the Kapalua Plantation course turned out to be


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I watch it on TV every year and was really excited before going there on our Hawaii vacation.  But it is a terrible course.  At least eight tee shots are blind and if you have never played it before you will be penalized when you hit down the middle of the fairway.  I hit what I thought were two perfect drives down the middle and when we drove over the hill, our balls were lost in the high weeds.  After that, we took the time to drive down the fairway 250 yards to view the landing areas before returning to the tee and hitting our tee shots.

 

The views of the ocean are spectacular and I suppose most people ignore the course and just look at the views.   And then there is the Crenshaw bonus as it appears his designs are in vogue and always get rated highly.

 

In addition to the blind tee shots, almost every hole is a roller coaster, both the fairways and greens.    There is no doubt I would never play it again.

 

We also played Mauna Kea which has similar hills but NO blind tee shots.  Mauna Kea is spectacular and has wonderful ocean views. 

 

So why is the Plantation course rated so highly???????

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53 minutes ago, Rosco1216 said:

 Can’t really blame the course if you didn’t do your due diligence on where to hit tee shots or getting a caddie or fore caddie, can you?

 

 

Yes, I can.  Having a course map doesn't change the bad design.  It just would have helped keep some good drives out of the weeds.

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6 minutes ago, Golferpaul said:

I've played 426 golf courses all over the world and never had more than one or two blind tee shots on a course.  So that has never been a problem in the past.

 

The issue is not my experience.  My issue is how can a course with that many blind tee shots be rated to highly.


nice course count … how old are you ?

 

asking as I’m almost 54 and at 504

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1 hour ago, Golferpaul said:

I've played 426 golf courses all over the world and never had more than one or two blind tee shots on a course.  So that has never been a problem in the past.

 

The issue is not my experience.  My issue is how can a course with that many blind tee shots be rated to highly.

I guess you’ve never played Royal County Down.

 

I’ve played the Plantation multiple times years ago and didn’t have a problem. Probably the most scenic course I’ve every played. The greens however were the grainiest I’ve ever played.

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4 hours ago, Golferpaul said:

I watch it on TV every year and was really excited before going there on our Hawaii vacation.

 

I can definitely appreciate the frustration of playing a new course and hitting what you think is a good shot only to find out that it ended up in a bad spot.  However, I'm surprised that you weren't prepared for that since you said you watch it on TV every year.  It seems to me that the announcers spend a lot of time talking about the crazy amounts of roll out on various shots and how you have to know where to aim to account for the slopes in the fairways.  

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5 hours ago, Golferpaul said:

I've played 426 golf courses all over the world and never had more than one or two blind tee shots on a course.  So that has never been a problem in the past.

 

The issue is not my experience.  My issue is how can a course with that many blind tee shots be rated to highly.

Real question, what is your limit on blind tee shots? 
 

Many of the best courses in the world have some blind tee shots. As mentioned, Royal County Down has several. The most famous hole at St Andrews is mostly due to a blind tee shot. 8 at Pebble Beach is a fantastic hole and is blind off the tee, which a major hazard right if I may add. 11 at PB has a blind tee ball and a pretty much blind second shot as well. For what it’s worth, I don’t think it’s a good hole. Cyprus Point even starts out with one! 
 

It is frustrating to hit a good shot only to have it end up in a poor spot. Worth pointing out that holes are only blind once though. 

Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t The Old Course have several blind tee shots on the front 9, back to back?

 

National Golf Links is a great example of a highly rated course with a handful of blind shots. 

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6 hours ago, cardoustie said:


nice course count … how old are you ?

 

asking as I’m almost 54 and at 504

I like that you guys keep a count. I have always kept track of 'top 100' type courses I have played, but never a raw count. Something I need to try to start. 

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To the OP, I having trouble coming up with more than 2 two, truly blind shots on the Plantation. There are lots of holes where you need to pick your landing spot though - I have to say I enjoy the creativity on how you can play those holes.

 

18 is so cool that if you land it in the right spot you can get another 150 yards out of your drive. 

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52 minutes ago, 2bGood said:

I like that you guys keep a count. I have always kept track of 'top 100' type courses I have played, but never a raw count. Something I need to try to start. 

I’m at 120.  Sounds like a lot compared to many, but pales in comparison to some of the guys that get around.     @Argonne69 might blow past that number before April. 

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I can sympathize with the OP.  I’ve played a few courses where you  get burned by misjudging the run out- whether it’s from not being able to see the landing area or not hitting the right line.  
 

Usually, it’s either my fault (not knowing the course) or being out of position and not being able to take the time to figure out the line and what club I should be hitting.  If I’m fortunate enough to play the course again, it results in a different outcome and better view of the course. 

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17 minutes ago, Socrates said:

I’m at 120.  Sounds like a lot compared to many, but pales in comparison to some of the guys that get around.  Argonne might blow past that number before April. 

Never kept track, but I gotta guess I am at around 200+ different courses maybe more as have 83 'top 100' world tracks on the list. 

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6 hours ago, dethman said:

i didn't have a problem with it.  thoroughly enjoyed, going back next month for another round. 

 

wasn't a huge fan of mauna kea though except for hole 3. 

 

to each his own.

Maybe the best par 3 I have ever played .. it was a 273 driver shot for me .. “DON’T HOOK IT !!!”

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13 hours ago, Robber6656 said:

I guess you’ve never played Royal County Down.

 

I’ve played the Plantation multiple times years ago and didn’t have a problem. Probably the most scenic course I’ve every played. The greens however were the grainiest I’ve ever played.

Yes, I have played RCD.  Twice.  And yes, Plantation is probably the most scenic course.

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8 hours ago, StudentGolfer4 said:

Real question, what is your limit on blind tee shots? 
 

Many of the best courses in the world have some blind tee shots. As mentioned, Royal County Down has several. The most famous hole at St Andrews is mostly due to a blind tee shot. 8 at Pebble Beach is a fantastic hole and is blind off the tee, which a major hazard right if I may add. 11 at PB has a blind tee ball and a pretty much blind second shot as well. For what it’s worth, I don’t think it’s a good hole. Cyprus Point even starts out with one! 
 

It is frustrating to hit a good shot only to have it end up in a poor spot. Worth pointing out that holes are only blind once though. 

Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t The Old Course have several blind tee shots on the front 9, back to back?

 

National Golf Links is a great example of a highly rated course with a handful of blind shots. 

I wouldn't call PB 11 blind.  It's wide open.  Plantation blind shots are over a hill and you have no idea what's on the other side.   That's why we decided to drive up the fairway and look before teeing off.

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16 hours ago, Golferpaul said:

I watch it on TV every year and was really excited before going there on our Hawaii vacation.  But it is a terrible course.  At least eight tee shots are blind and if you have never played it before you will be penalized when you hit down the middle of the fairway.  I hit what I thought were two perfect drives down the middle and when we drove over the hill, our balls were lost in the high weeds.  After that, we took the time to drive down the fairway 250 yards to view the landing areas before returning to the tee and hitting our tee shots.

 

The views of the ocean are spectacular and I suppose most people ignore the course and just look at the views.   And then there is the Crenshaw bonus as it appears his designs are in vogue and always get rated highly.

 

In addition to the blind tee shots, almost every hole is a roller coaster, both the fairways and greens.    There is no doubt I would never play it again.

 

We also played Mauna Kea which has similar hills but NO blind tee shots.  Mauna Kea is spectacular and has wonderful ocean views. 

 

So why is the Plantation course rated so highly???????

I felt the same way about Harbor Town. I thought it was an ok course, but it felt like playing an old Myrtle Beach course for the first 15 holes. Very flat, with houses lining the holes. The greens were small, but fairly flat, so they were not tough to putt. The last three holes were very scenic. My home course, at the time, had three par 3s close to 200 yards, so the famous par 3s at Harbor Town really didn't do much for me. 

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26 minutes ago, caniac6 said:

I felt the same way about Harbor Town. I thought it was an ok course, but it felt like playing an old Myrtle Beach course for the first 15 holes. Very flat, with houses lining the holes. The greens were small, but fairly flat, so they were not tough to putt. The last three holes were very scenic. My home course, at the time, had three par 3s close to 200 yards, so the famous par 3s at Harbor Town really didn't do much for me. 

You may be the first guy I've every heard say Harbor Town doesn't have great par threes. The 14th is a better hole when they play it shorter. It should be a 8 or 9 iron par three. Why would 3 par threes close to 200 yards be a good thing?

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Plantation is very similar to Tobacco Road in that some local knowledge and planning are very valuable in order to maximize enjoyment of the experience. Despite wide open appearance, the Plantation course requires being able to hit driver on proper line to utilize or neutralize slopes for best approaches into greens. Some players are most comfortable when best shot for hole is very quickly and readily apparent, others like different features that require different strategies, that’s not a knock on either type of player or course, just differences in opinion. 
As a former state of Hawaii resident, personally think Turtle Bay (both courses) is most over hyped on the islands…yet, put quite succinctly “opinions differ” 😂

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I don’t mind a few blind tee shots for a change of pace, but I mostly agree with Jack: Blind shots trick up the course and in general the best designs put the course right there in front of you so you can see what shots are demanded. If there really are 8 blind tee shots on this course, my feeling would be it is not that much fun to play a course where you can’t see your tee shot land on more than half of the driver holes. 
 

I’ve played a few courses that had blind tee shots to a par 3 (hitting UP on to a green atop a bluff where you know the green is there, but you can’t see it or the flag) and I thought it was ridiculous. 

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1 hour ago, Robber6656 said:

You may be the first guy I've every heard say Harbor Town doesn't have great par threes. The 14th is a better hole when they play it shorter. It should be a 8 or 9 iron par three. Why would 3 par threes close to 200 yards be a good thing?

Not a good thing, but it’s a lot harder to hit a long iron.

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