News Release

800 Kapalua Drive * Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii 96761
(800) KAPALUA * (808) 669-0224 * Fax (808) 669-4480 * email

Kapalua Working to Reduce Grain on the Plantation Course Greens
January 3, 2000

KAPALUA, Maui, Hawaii -- "This Month at the Mercedes Championships" features news from Kapalua's Plantation Course and the 2000 Mercedes Championships, Jan. 6-9:

Kapalua Working to Reduce Grain on the Plantation Course Greens

The term "grain" describes the direction grass grows on a green, and it can dramatically affect the speed at which a ball rolls and the path that it follows after it is struck. By nature, the grain is more pronounced on the Bermuda-grass greens in Hawaii. Special steps are being taken to reduce the grain of the Plantation Course greens for the Mercedes Championships to increase consistency and predictability for the players. "We're literally brushing the greens against the grain at the same time we mow to make the grass stand straight up," said Plantation Course superintendent Steve Collins, an agronomist who has worked on course preparation for The Masters and the U.S. Open. "We're also rolling the greens to compact the grass for a truer putting surface."

GeoGolf Surveys Plantation Course for 3-D Course Model

The PGA TOUR, Kapalua resort and Mercedes-Benz USA have jointly retained GeoGolf, a nationally respected mapping and animation company, to create animated "tours" of the 17th and 18th holes of the Plantation Course using data gathered from a global positioning system (GPS). During the Mercedes Championships, ESPN viewers will be treated to a virtual low-level "flyover" that shows the contour and elevation of each hole from many different angles.

Long-Range Wind Forecast Predicts Trade Winds for the Mercedes Championships

According to Dr. Steve Lyons, tropical wind expert for The Weather Channel, the trade winds should blow for the Mercedes Championships. "Our long-range outlook is for brisk trade winds beginning on Jan. 5th and lasting throughout the tournament. That could make the course play tougher." The Plantation Course was designed with the trade winds in mind, and scores increased an average of four strokes last year during the final round when the trades were blowing.

"There is a high-pressure system east of Hawaii, and Kapalua is on the western edge," said Dr. Tom Schroeder, director of the Joint Institute for Marine & Atmospheric Research at the University of Hawaii. "Winds should be from the East/Southeast, and true trade winds are from the East/Northeast, which is a slightly different angle. That is a subtle difference, but the pros will notice it. Winds could range from 10 mph Jan. 6th, to more than 20 mph Jan. 9th for the final round. And the weather should be dry throughout. The critical issue is if that high pressure system moves South, that could decrease the winds."

Mercedes Championships Provides Media Service

During the Mercedes Championships, members of the media can keep up with the action on course thanks to three key information systems designed specifically for this tournament. In addition to ESPN's live coverage Jan. 6-9, information can be gathered through the following methods: - listen to broadcast-quality player interviews toll-free at 877-793-3700. - go to on the Internet for free copies of player interviews, news releases and photography of tournament leaders. - visit for up-to-the-minute postings of daily scores.

Media Bulletin

For a 2000 Mercedes Championships media credential application form, contact Linn Nishikawa, media coordinator, (800) KAPALUA, (808) 669-4480 fax or e-mail

Mercedes News | Mercedes Home | Kapalua Home