Tell us a bit about yourself? Who are you? What do you do and your journey to Maui?
My name is Tony Aranda and I am the 1st Assistant Golf Professional at Kapalua. Maui welcomed me in just over a year ago and it’s been the most incredible experience since the moment I stepped foot on the island. The island life is a familiar and comfortable environment for me and the golf is on another level. Kapalua Bay and Plantation courses are special, not from just incredible architecture and golf, but also the majestic views and environment that surrounds you. I worked as a golf professional at one of Arizona’s top private clubs for six years before this while completing my undergraduate and PGA qualifications. A incredible ride that was too, it required long hours, hard work, and pure dedication to golf. All was worth the ticket to Kapalua.
How did you get into golf and what has significantly improved your game?
Golf was introduced to my brother and I at a very young age. Safe to say it wasn’t my favorite sport growing up, I much preferred basketball all through high school. Once I graduated and realized that I wasn’t playing basketball anywhere but at my local gym, I quickly returned to golf. I seemed to love the game more every time I played. It was natural and being a plus handicap golfer helps give some credibility to a career in golf. The pure determination to win a professional event myself I think gives my life some purpose outside of the normal circumstances we all might encounter on a day-to-day basis. Having some sort of dream that could come to light as an adult is pretty cool, not everyone has that in their hobby or passion. The one thing that will help anyone get better at golf is a passion for it because you’ll play forever.
Can you recall a memorable time when you played golf? Was it a season in your life? Was it with a family member/friend?
Golf has provided some incredible experiences for me. Playing with PGA Tour pro’s, amazing PGA professionals and mentors, and my family. I think every moment I spend playing golf is a sudo-spiritual experience for me. At this point in my life, I try to be grateful for the opportunity that is just stepping onto a golf course as beautiful as Kapalua. To have a company like Titleist give me all the equipment necessary for success fit to my exact specs. Playing with other people and friends passionate for the game. I look forward to every year and the experiences that come with it.
What’s your favorite club in your golf bag?
My favorite club in my golf bag is my lob wedge, I call it my spoon. I guess you miss enough greens over the years you learn it’s good to be exceptional with one club. I would recommend people fall in love with theirs.
If you had to give a tip to someone who is planning to play here at Kapalua, what would you say? (You can be course specific.)
My tip for the lucky traveler coming to Kapalua is to hit more clubs than you think when you feel the wind. You’re at sea level, and you’re probably feeling a wind like you’ve never felt before on the links. HIT MORE CLUB.
What do you like most about your job?
No doubt, my favorite part of being at Kapalua is the people. I truly feel I have friends rather than coworkers. It’s a well-run, professional, but family-style environment that I love. Everyone is completely supportive of one another, and there doesn’t seem to be one bit of drama anywhere. Being one of the most beautiful places on the ENTIRE PLANET helps as well.
Who is your favorite golfer and why?
My favorite golfer is a tough question, but I would have to say Viktor Hovland because I had the opportunity to play 12 holes with him one-on-one at Kapalua. I would say it was the best professional learning experience of my life. He was the most hospitable and kind person while playing. I look back on it a lot now because it was just lots of fun to be out there and compare your swings with the best in the world.
Thanks for your time Tony.
If you are in the Kapalua area and looking to improve your golf game, please reach out to Tony and take a private lesson. .