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The Sony Open in Hawaii is one of the most scenic and relaxing stops on the PGA Tour. Played every January on the island of Oahu, this tournament delivers tropical vibes along with world-class golf.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The Sony Open in Hawaii is played at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll give you all the details on the location, course, and atmosphere of this Hawaiian PGA Tour stop.

Waialae Country Club: Home of the Sony Open

History and Overview of the Course

The scenic Waialae Country Club was founded in 1912 and originally designed by Seth Raynor. The par-70 course was later redesigned in 1965 by Geoffrey Cornish and Bill Amick. Spanning over 7,044 yards, Waialae is lined by palm trees and features narrow fairways, small greens, and strategic bunkering that challenge the world’s best players each year.

Since 1965, Waialae has hosted the PGA Tour’s Sony Open in Hawaii, the first full-field event of the calendar year. The tournament attracts an elite field to kick off the mainland portion of the PGA Tour schedule with lush tropical views along the way.

Past champions include titan names like Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, and recent winners such as Kevin Na and Hideki Matsuyama.

Course Layout and Key Holes

Waialae is best known for its trio of challenging finishing holes that regularly determine the Sony Open champion. The par-4 16th features an elongated green surrounded by palm trees and demanding bunkers. The 17th is a tricky par-3 playing at just 176 yards but guarded by water and bunkers.

Finally, the classic 18th is a dogleg left par-4 of 454 yards requiring precision and finesse off the tee.

Other notable holes include the 532-yard par-5 9th which doglegs right around a lake that grips the left side. The 454-yard par-4 14th isanother stunning but perilous hole with lush foliage and a creek bisecting the fairway.

The Hawaiian Atmosphere

Beyond its history and challenge as a course, part of the charm of Waialae is its idyllic Hawaiian setting. Gentle ocean breezes rustle palms along the fairways, with mountain vistas providing a soothing backdrop.

The tropical climate means the Bermuda grass thrives year-round, with impeccable conditions for early season play.

The atmosphere brings a relaxed island vibe, accentuated by floral leis and shirts rather than stuffy collars. The Sony Open offers a taste of golf in paradise for viewers and players alike amid Oʻahu’s natural splendor.

Getting to Waialae Country Club

Location Within Honolulu

Waialae Country Club is located at 4997 Kahala Ave in Honolulu, Hawaii. It sits in the affluent neighborhood of Kahala, about 10 miles east of downtown Honolulu and Waikiki. The club is nestled between the Koolau Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, providing spectacular views and a peaceful setting for golf.

The easiest way to access Waialae Country Club is by rental car. Many major rental companies have locations across Honolulu. Depending on traffic, the drive from Waikiki to Waialae takes 15-30 minutes. There is free self-parking available for all ticketed attendees.

Transportation Options

Driving is the most convenient way to reach the Sony Open. Attendees can utilize GPS and online maps to navigate to the course. Parking is free and readily available.

For those without a rental, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft provide transportation to the country club. The trip costs around $25-40 each way from popular tourist areas. This allows visitors flexibility without having to navigate or pay for parking.

Public bus routes are very limited in proximity to Waialae CC. The closest stops are over a mile away. While public transportation is affordable, the connections are inconvenient for attending tournament play.

Finally, attendees can hire a private shuttle or taxi. These direct options cost more than rideshares but may be preferred by larger groups traveling together to the Sony Open events.

Experiencing the Island During Tournament Week

Hotels Near the Course

There are several excellent hotel options near the Waialae Country Club, the host venue of the Sony Open. Some popular options include the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel, which is a conveniently located 4-star hotel nearby.

The Halekulani is a luxurious beachfront resort and spa known for its customer excellence. Those on a budget might consider the more affordable Aqua Waikiki Pearl about a 10 minute drive away that still provides good amenities like free WiFi and a pool.

Top Restaurants and Bars

Oahu has no shortage of exceptional restaurants and fun bars to experience. Tournament attendees shouldn’t miss popular Duke’s Waikiki located right on the famous beach with tasty Hawaiian dishes, refreshing tropical drinks, and often live music at night.

Those seeking an exceptional meal should consider chef-driven MW Restaurant, home to the 2022 winner of the James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef in the Hawaiian Islands.

For local flavors and vibrant nightlife, head to Chinatown where you’ll find hip bars and unique Asian fusion cuisine. Or enjoy drinks with an awesome 180° ocean view at the Beach Bar located inside the Hokulani Waikiki hotel.

Things to Do on Oahu

There are countless fun things to experience across the island of Oahu when you want a break from staring at the golf course! 😎☀️ From world-famous North Shore beaches for surfing and snorkeling to iconic Diamond Head State Monument offering stunning 360° views, outdoor opportunities abound.

The island also boasts incredible shopping and dining in areas like Ala Moana Center, historical sites like Pearl Harbor and the Battleship Missouri memorial, along with awesome attractions like swimming with dolphins at Sea Life Park.

There’s always something amazing to do when visiting Oahu around Sony Open tournament week!


With its breathtaking Hawaiian views and exciting PGA Tour action, the Sony Open offers the perfect island getaway for golf fans. We’ve covered everything you need to know to experience this one-of-a-kind tournament in paradise.

From the history of Waialae Country Club to transportation and entertainment options, use this guide to plan your own Hawaiian golf vacation.

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