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Kapalua Golf professionals honored by Aloha Section of the PGA of America

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Kapalua Golf’s Alex Nakajima recieving award from Aloha Section

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 Hoʻolauleʻa Awards Ceremony at the Japanese Cultural Center on Oʻahu.

The Aloha Section named Nakajima as its “2022 Golf Professional of the Year” and Castillo its “2022 Merchandiser of the Year” for resort properties. 

Michael Castillo, PGA, Head Golf Professional at Kapalua Plantation Course.

“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.”


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 Hawaiʻi 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 Hawaiʻi and California, including TPC Valencia, Big Canyon Country Club, Princeville Makai Golf Club and Poʻipū Bay Golf Course. 


In September, Castillo won the 2022 Aloha Section PGA Championship at Poʻipū Bay on Kauaʻi, which qualified him to play in The Sony Open in Hawaiʻi at Waialae Country Club this past January.  He is currently playing in the PGA TOUR Champions Cologuard Classic by Exact Sciences in Tucson, Ariz. on a sponsor exemption. 

“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. 


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