Industry News

Kapalua golf professionals honored by Aloha section of the PGA of America

Maui, Hawaii (March 3, 2023) – Kapalua Golf General Manager Alex Nakajima and Plantation Course Head Golf Professional Michael Castillo were recently honored by the Aloha Section of the PGA of America at the 2023 Ho’olaule’a Awards Ceremony at the Japanese Cultural Center on Oahu. The Aloha Section named Nakajima as its “2022 Golf Professional of the Year” and Castillo its “2022 Merchandiser of the Year” for resort properties. 

“Being named Golf Professional of the Year by the Aloha Section is an incredible honor,” said Nakajima. “And while the awards themselves are individual in nature, they are actually a reflection of the entire Kapalua team. Thank you to our agronomy staff, golf operations professionals and merchandising team for their hard work and dedication 365 days a year.”

Kapalua Golf's Alex Nakajima recieving award from Aloha Section.jpg

A 30-year golf industry veteran, Nakajima was named Kapalua Golf’s general manager in June of 2016. Over his six plus years at Kapalua he has led the award-winning property through multiple improvements and renovations, including the 2019 Plantation Course refinement, working closely with the design team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. He moved to Kapalua from Princeville Makai Golf Club in Kauai where he had served as general manager since 2009. In addition to his general manager role at Kapalua, Nakajima simultaneously works as the regional director of Hawaii operations for Troon. Among Nakajima’s many professional accolades, in 2015 he was named “General Manager of the Year for Troon Golf” as he was recognized for owner satisfaction, topline revenue growth and innovative ideas at Makai. Prior to his time at Princeville Makai, Nakajima was the director of golf asset management for Goldman Sachs Realty in Japan managing $1.2 billion in golf investments.

Michael Castillo has been the head golf professional at Kapalua’s Plantation Course since October 2019. He has 30 plus years of golf hospitality experience. Over that time, Castillo has led the golf operations at clubs throughout Hawaii and California, including TPC Valencia, Big Canyon Country Club, Princeville Makai Golf Club and Poipu Bay Golf Course. In September, Castillo won the 2022 Aloha Section PGA Championship at Poipu Bay on Kauai, which qualified him to play in The Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club this past January.  Castillo played in the PGA TOUR Champions Cologuard Classic by Exact Sciences in Tucson, Ariz. on a sponsor exemption. 

Kapalua Golf's Michael Castillo recieving award from Aloha Section.jpg

“Congratulations to Alex and Michael for not only winning these tremendous Aloha Section awards, but also for hosting an amazing Sentry Tournament of Champions event each year,” said Troon’s Chief Operating Officer Mike Ryan. “Their leadership and team-first approach are to be commended.”

Kapalua Golf’s Plantation Course and Bay Course are open year-round to resort guests and daily-fee play. For more information on Kapalua Golf, visit or call 1-877-KAPALUA. 

About Kapalua Golf & Tennis
Managed by Troon, Kapalua Golf & Tennis features two 18-hole golf courses (The Plantation and The Bay). Kapalua’s Plantation Course is ranked No. 23 on “America’s Top 100 Public Courses” list by Golf Digest.  Celebrating its 48th anniversary in 2023, The Bay Course has long been dubbed as “Hawaii’s favorite resort course.” Its breathtaking par-three 17th hole is the only hole to play over the ocean on Maui. Kapalua Golf Academy is Hawaii’s most comprehensive practice facility, offering individual lessons, Trackman analysis, custom club fitting, group lessons and on-course playing lessons. The Kapalua Tennis Garden is located in the splendid natural setting of Kapalua Resort and now features four dedicated pickleball courts. 

About Troon 
Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon is the world’s largest golf and golf-related hospitality management company providing services at 750-plus locations, including 740-plus 18-hole equivalent golf courses around the globe. In addition to golf, Troon specializes in homeowner association management, private residence clubs, estate management and associated hospitality venues. Troon’s award-winning food and beverage division operates and manages 600-plus food and beverage operations located at golf resorts, private clubs, daily fee golf courses and recreational facilities. With properties located in 45-plus states and 30-plus countries, Troon’s family of brands includes Troon Golf, Troon Privé, Troon International, Indigo Sports, CADDIEMASTER, ClubUp, Cliff Drysdale Tennis, Peter Burwash International, True Club Solutions, RealFood Hospitality, Strategy and Design, Casa Verde Golf and ICON Management. For additional news and information, visit

Media Contact:
Rob Myers