PGA Tour venue set to return to Maui after wildfire tragedy


Kapalua Golf announced it is back open for business.

The facility, one of the best golf properties in Hawaii and site of the PGA Tour’s Sentry (formerly Tournament of Champions) event, has been closed since Maui suffered a series of wildfires in August. Starting on Wednesday, Sept. 20, Kapalua’s Bay Course is offering tee times, with the more famous Plantation Course set to reopen in mid-October.

“Our team truly appreciates the outpouring of support from around the globe over the past six weeks,” said Kapalua Golf general manager Alex Nakajima. “Our staff was deeply impacted by the fires, with nearly a third losing their homes and possessions. As associates and the community work to heal, we continue to support them; welcoming back team members to work as they are ready. As we continue the recovery process, we are reopening our two golf courses for Kamaʻāina (local residents) on island and for those planning their return to Maui. As millions discovered during the pandemic, a round of golf can be good medicine for the mind, body and soul.”

The fires were spread out over 17,000 acres of land and caused over $6 billion in damage, with 97 dead and another 30 people still missing. With recovery efforts ongoing, the wildfire tragedy seemingly puts the Sentry in doubt.

But PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said last month that the tour hopes to be a “source of inspiration for the great people of Maui and Lahaina by the time that we get to Maui in January.”

“Absolutely,” Monahan said at the Tour Championship when asked if the tour will host the event in Maui. “But I think at this point there’s so many unknowns, and we want to be respectful of the challenges. We want to help be a part of the revitalization. There are a lot of considerations. We’re committed, you know, if we’re allowed to, if we’re invited, if we’re embraced, given all that needs to be accomplished, we will be there 100 percent.

“The PGA Tour, when moments like this happen, this is when we’re at our best. So we don’t have the answer to that right now, but we want to do everything we can to make certain that that’s a moment for the people of Maui that is entirely helpful and inspiring. And I would also add that our partner in Sentry has been there every step of the way and is doing some pretty remarkable things right now alongside our team and we’ll have more to add on that front. But we are hopeful to be there.”

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