What’s in the $3M Princeville Makai Golf course refinement project?

By: April 18, 2024

Did you know that the Princeville Makai Golf Course was Robert Trent Jones Jr.’s first solo design in the early 1970s? It opened in 1971 and was redesigned in 2009. The same ownership group owns the neighboring St. Regis Princeville Resort.

The Princeville Makai Golf Course was probably the first golf course in Hawaii to use GolfBoard.

Princeville Makai Golf 7th hole

Princeville Makai Golf Club in Princeville, Kauai, began a $3 million course refinement project on Monday, April 15th.

The project is designed to enhance playability, boost agronomic conditions, and strengthen the golf course’s standing as one of the top golf courses in the world.

The project will address three key areas of the course:

  • bunker renovations,
  • cart path upgrades and
  • agronomic enhancements, including drainage improvements and practices to continue strong turf health.

Princeville Makai, located on Kauai’s famed North Shore, averages 78 inches of rain yearly.

The project began on April 15. Nine holes were shut down for construction for approximately 6 weeks, followed by work on the remaining nine holes over 6 additional weeks.

9 holes will always be open during the refinement project, with nine-hole and 18-hole rounds available for guests. 

Princeville Makai Golf course

For 18-hole rounds, guests will be encouraged to play different tees during their second loop. Plans call for the 12-week project to be completed and all 18 holes open for play by mid-July.

Key elements of the refinement project include:

  • Comprehensive bunker renovation to all bunkers on the golf course, incorporating a technically advanced drainage and liner system featuring Capillary Concrete. This new generation lining method increases the speed of water flowing through the bunker, minimizing washouts, reducing maintenance, and producing superior playability.
  • Drainage improvements will be executed in critical areas to enhance playability and turf health.
  • Improvements in cart paths in select areas will enhance guest experiences. Why aren’t they implementing technologies like IOTee to enable keyless golf cart usage?
  • During construction, crews will aggressively aerate the Seashore Paspalum turf so air, water, and nutrients can reach grass roots.

Troon Senior Vice President of Golf Course Development Ron Despain is leading the bunker renovations and cart path changes, with construction work executed by Heritage Links.

Agronomy projects will be done in collaboration with Princeville Makai Golf Club Superintendent Chris Parde, the club’s agronomy team, and Troon Senior Vice President of Science and Agronomy Jeff Spangler.