Your Guide to Attending the 2018 Sony Open in Hawai‘i Like a Real Pro
How to ace your attendance at this year’s Sony Open in Hawai‘i, Jan. 8-14. Plus, do’s and don’ts to know before you go.
Photos: Ross Hamamura
Sony Open in Hawai‘i runs Jan. 8 through 14 this year at the Wai‘alae Country Club, marking the 20th anniversary of Sony’s sponsorship of the event. A professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour and part of the tour’s FedEx Cup Series, this annual sports event brings together more than 100 of the world’s greatest golf professionals and raises funds for local nonprofits.
There’s plenty you should know before you head to the games, especially if it’s your first time, so we’ve compiled a handy guide. You’ll be on par with the regular attendees in no time!
SEE ALSO: 2017 Sony Open in Hawai‘i: Second Round
Season Badge: $60 (valid Jan. 10–14)
Good Any Day Ticket: $20 (valid any one day Jan. 10–14)
Daily tickets purchased at the gate: $25 per person
You can buy tickets here.
If you can’t make it, the event will be televised on Golf Channel. Broadcast times are 2 to 5:30 p.m. HST on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. HST on Sunday.
Note: Children 12 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by an adult ticket holder, and all military and dependents are admitted free with an official military ID. All military, honorably discharged veterans from all branches of service as well as family of those killed in action can request free tickets online via Veteran Tickets Foundation.
Sweet 16 Chalet
Located at Wai‘alae’s signature hole No. 16, the Sweet 16 Chalet tent includes ocean views and the perfect seating to see the golf tournament. Tickets are $185 per person per day (Thursday, Jan. 11 or Friday, Jan. 12) or $200 per person per day (Saturday, Jan. 13 or Sunday, Jan. 14). The price includes tournament admission, complimentary beverages, two glasses of wine or beer and cuisine by Hy’s Steak House. Expect dishes: rainbow ceviche, roasted Kurobuta ham, Hy’s Signature Never Ever Prime Rib, grilled hamachi kama, cherries jubilee and caramel mac-nut crunch bars.
Michelob Ultra 19th Hole
For $75 per person per day, you get access to a hospitality tent located in Spectator Village along the 11th fairway. Of note: It’s equipped with air conditioning. You can relax in a sports bar atmosphere, watch golf and catch the NFL football playoffs on a big screen. Price includes tournament admission and access to the Michelob Ultra 19th Hole for the day with two complimentary beers.
What to Wear
Feel free to dress to impress, but also be practical. Dresses are OK, but consider the weather in case it gets windy. For sunny days, wear a hat and bring sunglasses, and be sure to wear sunscreen (which you already do every day, right?). Be sure to wear shoes you can walk around in. They can be athletic shoes or comfy flats, as long as they’re golf-course worthy.
Players to Watch
Local boy Tyler Ota, three-time Hawai‘i State Golf Association player of the year, earned an exemption to the 2018 Sony Open in Hawai‘i after he won the qualifier for the Governor’s Cup amateur team in November. You’ll see him play along with PGA TOUR pros:
Justin Thomas (2017 champion)
Other champions include:
Jerry Kelly (2002)
Vijay Singh (2005)
K.J. Choi (2008)
Ryan Palmer (2010)
Mark Wilson (2011)
Johnson Wagner (2012)
Fabian Gomez (2016)
Jimmy Walker (2014 and 2015)
Two players, Jerry Kelly and Rory Sabbatini, will have played all 20 of the Sony Open events. And, yes, you can take selfies with your favorite golfers—just no selfie sticks allowed.
No outside food or drinks are allowed at Wai‘alae Country Club, but there will be plenty of options along the course.
Hy’s Steak House will be at the Sweet 16 Chalet hospitality tent for those with VIP tickets. And, Hiking Hawai‘i Café will be located at the Cart Barn. The following food vendors will be in the Spectator Village, found beside the Michelob Ultra tent:
Flavors of the World
Lee’s Hot Dogs
Olay’s Thai Food
Do’s and Don’ts
Keep your mobile device on silent at all times.
Travel light. Leave behind your backpacks, cameras and bags and consider bringing a small purse to carry necessities such as your phone, wallet and ID.
If raining or sunny, bring an umbrella (without the sleeve).
Bring a collapsible folding chair (without chair bags).
Bring binoculars (without case) to help you see all the highlights of the game.
Don’t bring any bags larger than a small purse (6-by-6 inches), including backpacks, camera bags or chair bags.
Don’t bring computers or laptops.
Don’t bring oversize or lawn chairs.
No posters, signs or banners.
Cameras are not allowed on official grounds.
For more rules, check out: sonyopeninhawaii.com/admission-guidelines
What to Know Before You Go
All items will be subject to inspection and all bags checked at the gates will be subject to search.
Spectators are allowed to take pictures and videos with their smartphones as long as they follow all posted rules and instructions. Use it only for personal, noncommercial purposes (so Instagram is OK). No live streaming is allowed.
You can talk on the phone in designated “Cell Phone Zones.”
There are restroom trailers set up behind the Cart Barn and portable toilets around the course.
Parking & Shuttle
There’s free public parking at designated areas nearby, with shuttle service. No public parking is available at Wai‘alae Country Club.
Hunakai Park (Monday through Sunday) on Hunakai Street
Kahala Community Park (Thursday through Sunday) at Pueo Street near Moa Street
There’s also shuttle service to take spectators to the intersection of Keala‘olu Avenue and Kāhala Avenue. Round-trip shuttle service from Waikīkī is provided by E Noa Trolley for $3 one-way. The shuttle departs every 30 minutes from the Hilton Hawaiian Village beginning at 7 a.m. from Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Shuttle service will continuously loop throughout the day.
Drop-off location for disabled or handicapped spectators is at the Pro Shop parking lot adjacent to the main entrance.
Bike valet is available at Wai‘alae Beach Park Access Road in partnership with Hawai‘i Bicycling League. Sony will donate $10 to the Hawai‘i Bicycling League for each bike that utilizes the bike valet service Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 12 to 15.
How to Get There
For more information, visit sonyopeninhawaii.com.