January 4, 2018 - 10:31am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Kapalua
USA Today Sports Images
The 663-yard, par-5 18th hole at Kapalua's Plantation Course yields some of the coolest shots you'll see on the PGA Tour all year long. We'll get to see it again this week when the Sentry Tournament of Champions tees off on Thursday.

One of the wildest holes in golf will be on display this week at Kapalua's Plantation Course, home of the PGA Tour's Sentry Tournament of Champions.

The hole we're talking about? The rollercoaster that is the 663-yard, par-5 18th.

This hole is, well, just awesome.

The backdrop is magnificent. As you tee it up on the final hole, you're looking out at the Pacific Ocean and the island of Molokai. It's not uncommon to see whales breaching throughout the day in that spot.

RELATED: Sentry Tournament of Champions leaderboard/tee times

The terrain is dramatic. If you thought the paradise that is Maui was relatively flat, you'd be wrong. The elevation changes at Kapalua can be crazy and no hole out there is more dramatic than the last. It's straight downhill and -- when caught in a downwind situation -- can lead to some of the longest drives you'll ever see.

Tiger Woods blasted a 498-yard drive on the 18th at Kapalua during the 2002 Tournament of Champions, which remains the longest drive in PGA Tour history recorded by ShotLink.

According to our friends at Golf News Net, 11 of the longest drives in PGA Tour history were hit on Kapalua's 18th hole with a remarkable 10 of those coming in 2002.

GNN also has this incredible nugget:

Kapalua's Plantation Course has given up the overwhelming number of 400-yard-plus drives in PGA Tour history. In the history of the PGA Tour's use of ShotLink, there have been 437 drives of 400 or more yards dating back to Casey Martin being the first to do it in 2001. Of those 437 drives of 400 yards or more, 233 were at the Plantation Course. Another 56 have come at Firestone Country Club's South Course, home of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Another 41 came at LaCantera Country Club, former home to the Valero Texas Open. Three courses account for 330 of the 437 400-yard-plus drives in the PGA Tour's history of using ShotLink.

Many of those 233 at the Plantation Course were on 18.

Davis Love III, who recently captained the winning 2016 Ryder Cup USA team at Hazeltine, smashed a 476-yard drive on the hole in 2004.

While watching players absolutely unload at the 18th hole is a thrill, there are other mind-blowing shots that have been struck there, most notably, this driver off the deck by Bubba Watson with his second shot in 2011:

How good was that?

In 2015, Jason Day thumped the grandstands to the right of the 18th fairway with a wayward approach and got a gift of a bounce from the golf gods that set up an up and down for birdie:

Patrick Reed has a sweet eagle on No. 18 in the opening round of the 2016 tournament thanks to this approach:

In 2016's third round, Jordan Spieth nearly had a walk-off albatross, missing the hole by inches with a 3-iron from 250 yards out:

How about this 56-foot eagle putt that Robert Garrigus canned in 2011?

So, yeah, with shots like those -- more of which we're almost guaranteed to see this week -- we're pretty pumped about golf that matters on TV starting up again on Thursday.
 

No. 18 at Kapalua could be one of the most fun holes in golf