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Kapalua Golf Academy

The Kapalua Golf Academy is Hawaii's most complete state-of-the-art golf school and practice facility, designed by 3 time US Open Champion, Hale Irwin.

The Golf Academy and recently renovated 23-acre practice area provide golf instruction in all aspects of the game - putting, chipping, wedge and bunker play, specialty shots and the full swing.

Additionally, Kapalua's renowned staff of PGA Professionals offer a full spectrum of instructional programs: individual golf lessons, corporate clinics, golf schools, daily clinics and custom on course instruction.

Some of the Kapalua Golf Academy's recent awards include:

  • "Top 25 Golf Schools" - GOLF Magazine
  • "Best Teachers in Hawaii" - Golf Digest
  • Ben Hongo - "Teacher of the Year" - PGA Aloha Section (2002, 2017)
  • Certified Ping, Taylor Made, Callaway, PXG and Titleist Club Fitters
  • 2018 Golf Range Association of America Top 50 Range in the Public Category

Contact Us or 808.662.7740

Meet Our Instructors

Ben Hongo, PGA
Senior Lead Instructor

Ben joined the Kapalua Golf Team in 1989 and then helped open the Kapalua Golf Academy in 2000.  He has become one of the most respected instructors in Hawaii. In addition to the multiple Teacher of the Year Awards, Ben has also recieved "Aloha Section PGA Youth Development Leader" in 2008 & 2013, "Aloha Section Horton Smith Award" in 2018, "One of Hawaii's Top Teachers" voted by Golf Digest three times (selected by his peers), and was named "Hawaii's Junior Golf Leader Award" in 2008.

Ben's extensive teaching knowledge and patient style appeals to golfers of all ages and skill levels.  Ben's hobbies include fitness and sharpening his culinary skills while spending time with his wife and daughter.


Brad Bowen, PGA
Senior Teaching Professional

Brad began his career in golf with Kapalua in 1991 after relocating to Maui from San Jose, California.  After earning PGA membership in 1995, Bowen was the Head Golf Professional at Maui Country Club from 1998-2004 and Kahili Golf Club from 2004-2009 before shifting his focus to instruction.

Bowen's playing highlights include: winning the Aloha Section PGA Senior Championship (2011 & 2017); qualifying for the PGA Senior Professional National Championship five times (’11, ’13, ’14, '16 & '17); Medalist Honors at the 1997 US Open Local Qualifier in Honolulu, 4 time member of Hawaii Governor's Cup Professional Team.

His teaching philosophy is simple – help the golfer build a repeating swing through an understanding of proper fundamentals. Effectively, train these fundamentals to develop the trust to execute the basic golf shots of putting, chipping, pitching, and full swing. A quick pre-shot check list of grip, ball position, posture, aim / alignment specific to the shot type ensures the body is preset to make the proper motion.


Chris Armanini, PGA
Teaching Professional

Growing up on the island of Maui, Chris has always spent his time playing sports. Falling in love with the game of golf at a young age, Chris immersed himself in as many junior events as possible. It wasn't until he got involved with the Junior Program at the Kapalua Golf Academy, that his golf game took off as he and his team (Baldwin High School) won the Hawaii High School Athletic Association State tournament in 2006. Chris played collegiately for University of Hawaii Hilo for three years after attending Santa Clara University for two  years.  He first turned pro in 2012 and started an apprenticeship at Wailea Blue course, moving to Kapalua Bay Course in September 2015 and received his PGA Class A membership in December 2016.

In addition, Chris is Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certified and believes that there is more than one way to swing the golf club. There is one efficient way for each golfer to swing a golf club, and that is based on what they can physically do. Golfers with limitations in basic fundamental movement patterns will tend to have corresponding limitations in their golf swing and with the basic knowledge of the body-swing connection, Chris is able to recognize what the athlete can and cannot do in their swing and work around their limitations. He also believes in the importance of physical fitness, and if done correctly (tailored to the golfer's needs) has huge benefits for the golfer. Increased distance and consistency are what most golfers strive for, which results in lower scores.  Chris is also TPI Junior Development Level 2 certified, a program that is focused on developing junior golfers into athletes first, golfers second to give the junior the best chance of meeting their athletic potential as they mature, as each programed practice is based on the developmental age of the junior. For more information on TPI, including corrective exercises and practice drills to improve your golf game click here.


Facility Highlights

  • 85,000 square feet of grass teeing area
  • Multiple practice putting greens
  • Ample target flags and greens
  • Specialty short game area
  • Indoor video studio with Trackman analysis
  • 3,500 square foot learning center