Kapalua greens no issue despite off color look
January 05, 2018
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
- Unusual rain last year has led to the putting surfaces looking less green than usual. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
KAPALUA, Hawaii – Officials have defended the quality of the greens at the Plantation Course during the Sentry Tournament of Champions, admitting the color isn’t ideal however playability has not been an issue.
Unusual rain over the latter part of last year – where a record-breaking 20 inches fell from November to mid-December – coupled with a rogue contaminated version of Bermuda grass, has led to the putting surfaces in Maui looking slightly less green than usual.
And while the contamination and some brisk wind conditions have PGA TOUR officials running the greens a little slower than usual, the roll out has not been a concern.
“All of us at Kapalua Golf are cognizant of the visual appearance of a few of the putting surfaces at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Tifeagle greens were resurfaced in 2004. Since that point, naturally a different strain of Bermuda grass has naturally crept in to a few greens causing the variance in coloration,” a statement from Kapalua Golf’s General Manager Alex Nakajima said.
“All greens are rolling true this week and for our Kapalua guests throughout the year. We are extremely proud of the entire Plantation Course and are dedicated to providing best possible experience for our players, spectators and television viewers around the world.”
Players backed up Nakajima’s claims post round on Thursday.
“Obviously the greens aren't as good as what they usually are here,” Rickie Fowler said after an opening 4-under 69.
“But if you get the speed right and the line they're still rolling pretty good. Everyone's having to deal with the same stuff. You hit good putts, they go in most of the time, but you just can't get too upset if you happen to get a bad break. That's just going to happen.”
After his opening round 70 Billy Horschel echoed Fowler’s thoughts, saying it really wasn’t an issue players could lean on as an excuse.
“They warned us ahead of time, before we got here, that there was a little issue and I felt like majority of the greens are really fine,” Horschel said.
“They're rolling really good and you hit good putts, they're going to go in the hole. So it's unfortunate that they had a little disease issue, but I think the TOUR's done a really good job of managing them and I think they've got a great game plan for the next couple years of redoing some of the problem greens that they have had.
“They're being really smart where they're putting the pin locations trying to be safe and make sure the greens last the entire week.”