Discover paradise at the PGA Tour's first stop of the season in Kapalua, Hawaii

Discover paradise at the PGA Tour’s first stop of the season in Kapalua, Hawaii

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The 18th hole at the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii.
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

While Super Bowl winners inevitably mouth “I’m going to Disney World” into the camera, PGA Tour winners get golf’s version of an amusement park: the rollicking Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort. When the wind blows here — which is pretty much always — Plantation serves up one of the most thrilling rides in golf.

The Bill Coore-Ben Crenshaw-designed track hosts the PGA Tour’s season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship every year. Past winners include Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, but no one has sliced up this 7,411-yard, par-73 former pineapple plantation like Stuart Appleby, who has three times. The course has extra-wide fairways and huge putting surfaces. The ramps that run into greens and those ever-present gusts mean that knockdown shots and the ground game are critical here. Most memorable is the downhill-plunging, 663-yard 18th, with jungle canyons left and the Pacific beyond.

Reservations may be made 25 days in advance. Green fees are $295. 877-527-2582, kapaluamaui.com