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Princeville Makai in Hawaii starts renovation focused on bunkers, turf health

Princeville Makai Golf Club in Hawaii kicked off a renovation this week that focuses on improving bunker drainage, boosting turf quality and improving playability.

The $3-million project will be conducted in two six-week blocks. Nine holes were closed April 15, and in six weeks those holes will reopen and the other nine holes will close for the same length of time. Nine holes will be open to resort guests throughout the renovation.

Princeville Makai Golf Club on Kauai was the first solo design by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and opened in 1971. It underwent a more extensive renovation in 2009 and 2010 that introduced Seashore Paspalum turf on greens and fairways.

With six holes overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the layout ranks No. 4 on Golfweek’s Best list of public-access courses in Hawaii. It also ties for No. 46 on the ranking of top resort courses in the U.S.

Current work focuses largely on managing water, as the area averages 78 inches of rain per year. The bunkers will be renovated with Capillary Concrete, a system that allows water to flow more easily through the traps without washouts. Heritage Links will complete the bunker work.

Other drainage improvements will be implemented around the course to enhance playability and turf health. Cart paths also will be improved, and the course – which is managed by Arizona-based Troon Golf – will be aggressively aerated.

“It’s exciting and gratifying to have an ownership team that invests back into the product and shares the goal of keeping Princeville Makai Golf Club among the top golf courses in the world,” general manager Michael Neider said in a media release announcing the news. “The bunker enhancements, cart path improvements, drainage refinements and turf-management projects will further elevate our guests’ experiences for years to come.”

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