2023 Kā‘anapali Classic tees off to support Maui wildfire victims

Funds raised by teams, alumni and fans will directly benefit families who lost their homes

Dates: October 26 – 28, 2023
Venue: Royal Kā‘anapali
Location: Lahaina, Maui
Yardage (Par): 6,700 (71)
Format: 54 holes; 18 holes each day; 5-count-4
Tee Times: 8:30 a.m. HST shotgun each day
Live Scoring: Golfstat
Host School: Hawai‘i
Defending Team Champion: Oklahoma
Defending Individual Champion: Andrew Swanson, Clemson
Donation Link: 2023 Ka'anapali Classic Invites You to Support Families of Maui Wildfires

The University of Hawai‘i will host the ninth annual Kā‘anapali Classic – Collegiate Invitational from Oct. 26 – 28. Annually a deep fall field in men’s college golf, twenty teams from sixteen states will compete over three days for the Valley Isle title.

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Royal Kāʻanapali’s fifth hole at sunrise.

In partnership with 501(c)3 organizations Spare for Change and Member for a Day, a fundraising campaign has been launched to benefit Maui's wildfire victims, including Kā‘anapali Golf Courses' own associates who tragically lost everything. The campaign has no minimum donation and no cost to register. Everyone is invited to help in one of two ways:

  • Make a one-time contribution of your choice.
  • Pledge the amount of your choice for each birdie and eagle made by your favorite school.

Scores and fundraising updates will be shared after each round. Check back often to see which university's team, fans and alumni raise the most amount for families in need across the island. Pledges will close on Saturday, Oct. 28.

Following the Saturday, Oct. 28 trophy presentation on Kā‘anapali’s driving range at approximately 3 p.m., Hawai‘i men’s golf coach Scott Simpson, his players and multiple head coaches will lead a clinic for kids in the Maui Junior Golf Association and Lahaina Junior Golf Association. Local children will be given one-on-one access to NCAA Division I players and coaches, where they can discuss recruiting opportunities, course management techniques, swing tips and more. A shave ice truck will serve complimentary treats to all attendees.

Maui Prep, Dillon Jonke, Hole 17 Tee, Rd. 2, 2022 HHSAA Golf Championship.jpg
During the final round of the 2022 HHSAA Golf Championships at Royal Kā‘anapali, Maui Prep’s Dillon Jonke led the Pueo’s with an individual runner-up performance. 

Dillon Jonke, who graduated in spring 2023 from Maui Preparatory Academy, will reunite with family and friends on Maui for the first time since he left for Cal State Northridge in early August, just days after the Maui wildfires. Jonke was a key contributor on Maui Prep’s 2022 Hawai'i High School Athletic Association championship team, placing as the individual runner-up at the Kā‘anapali Golf Courses’ hosted event.

The current CSUN freshman noted in a recent interview that during this time last year, he attended a dinner with CSUN’s golf team in Lahaina town. Now, the restaurant and entire town have been destroyed. When asked about his emotions ahead of coming home to Maui, he stated, “I know that I’m gonna be all over the place. I’m gonna experience everything, remembering many fun memories as well as the hardship of knowing that that’s no longer there. Each team traveling to Hawai‘i cares about Kā‘anapali. We’re very thankful for the opportunity to play and show our appreciation for everyone on Maui.”

Air Force, Boise State, Clemson, Colorado, CSUN, Denver, East Tennessee State, Georgia, Gonzaga, Hawai‘i, Kansas, Liberty, Louisiana Lafayette, Mount St. Mary’s, North Florida, Oklahoma, Sacramento State, San Jose State, UConn and Wyoming.

The Oklahoma Sooners will seek their fourth team title at Kā‘anapali.

ACC (1), ASUN (2), Big 12 (2), Big East (1), Big Sky (1), Big West (2), MAAC (1), Mountain West (5), Pac-12 (1), SEC (1), SoCon (1), Summit League (1) and Sun Belt (1).

Storied men’s golf programs that have captured the Kā‘anapali Classic team title include Oregon (2014), Oklahoma (2015, 2019, 2022), Clemson (2016), LSU (2017), California (2018) and Kansas (2021).

Clemson's Andrew Swanson (left) receives the individual trophy from University of Hawai'i Men's Golf Coach, Scott Simpson.png
Andrew Swanson (left) is praised by University of Hawai‘i men’s golf coach, Scott Simpson, after breaking Clemson’s 54-hole school individual record during the 2022 Kā‘anapali Classic.

Four teams visiting Maui qualified for the 2023 NCAA Championships: Colorado, East Tennessee State, Georgia and Oklahoma.

11 players in this year’s field are ranked in the top-100 of the PGA TOUR University Rankings. Oklahoma senior Ben Lorenz is the tournament’s highest-ranked individual at No. 14.

“Everyone who lives in Hawai‘i was impacted in some way by Maui’s wildfires. To see the devastation and people struggling for survival was hard to believe. Lahaina was such a historic town; seeing it burned so suddenly and unexpectedly was surreal. If there is any silver lining, it’s how people from all over the islands have really come together to support one another,” said seven-time PGA TOUR winner and current Hawai‘i men’s golf coach, Scott Simpson.

“We consulted with everyone for two weeks to see if we would have the tournament. The debate centered on being sensitive to the recovery versus raising funds for those affected and creating a positive boost to the local economy, while drawing attention to Maui families still in need of financial assistance with our fundraising efforts. I think we made the right decision.”

Simpson added, “Each team will be donating to the relief effort to help Kā‘anapali’s affected workers. The Kā‘anapali Classic is one of America’s top college tournaments. Everyone is excited to come. It will be a somber yet joyous tournament to support those affected by the fires.”

When describing the venue, Simpson noted, “Royal Kā‘anapali is a really fun course. Certain spots can get you into trouble, but overall, these college kids have a chance to make a lot of birdies. Kā‘anapali’s staff always has the course in fantastic condition. Fast greens are the course’s best defense. Accurate iron shots help avoid big breaks on their undulating greens.”

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Tournament attendance is free and walking spectators are welcome. Parking can be accessed via Kā‘anapali Golf Courses and Whaler’s Village throughout the event.

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About Kā’anapali Golf Courses

Built on 300 acres of land once home to Hawaiian royalty, Kā‘anapali Golf Courses present golfers with pristine conditions and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and West Maui Mountains.

Opened in 1962 and designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., the par-71, 6,700-yard Royal Kā‘anapali Course features wide fairways and undulating greens which make it both distinctive and demanding.  The tournament-tested layout played host to the Champions Tour Kā‘anapali Classic for 14 years, Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf, the Canada Cup and LPGA Kemper Open, welcoming Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Fred Couples, Jan Stephenson, Betsy King and other legends.

Complementing the Royal Kā‘anapali Course is the modernized Kā‘anapali Kai Course, which hosted Golf Channel’s “Big Break Kā‘anapali” in 2008. Extensively renovated in 2005, the 6,400-yard, par-70 layout boasts an array of strategically placed bunkers, contoured fairways and resurfaced greens.

More information: www.kaanapaligolfcourses.com and 808.661.3691.

About Troon

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon is the world’s largest golf and golf-related hospitality management company providing services at 825-plus locations, including 825-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 www.Troon.comTroonMagazine.com or connect with Troon on FacebookTwitterInstagramTroon ChroniclesPress Room, and via The Turn Podcast.

About Spare for Change

Husband and wife team David and Susan Havens founded Spare for Change in 2011 to make a difference in golf.

David moved to Maui in 2004 to begin his golf career in Hawaii. He was selected as the Aloha Section PGA Junior Golf Professional of the Year in 2012, Aloha Section PGA Teacher of the Year in 2013, and Aloha Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2017.  He is a former officer and President of the Aloha Section PGA supporting the Board of Directors and Hawaii's PGA professionals. He is the owner/operator of The Havens Experience as a teaching professional at Eagle Ranch Golf Club in Eagle, CO and Maui Nui Golf Club in Kihei, Maui, HI.

Susan's passion for golf began at the age of 10 in Indianapolis. After graduating from Purdue University, she moved to Maui to pursue a career in hospitality. She met David a few years later and the pair had their first date at the Challenge at Manele golf course on the island of Lanai.

Spare for Change currently operates out of Eagle, CO where the Havens family recently relocated. Both Susan and David, having worked at Kā‘anapali for 15-plus years, have a special place in their heart for Lahaina and those who call Lahaina home. It is their pleasure to partner with Kā‘anapali Golf Courses to give back to those who lost so much.

Pate Clarson