PGA in Hawaii: Three Reasons to Visit Hawaii in January

By Andy Beth Miller
pga hawaii sony open

Fabian Gomez, of Argentina, holds the championship trophy after winning against Brandt Snedeker in the 2016 Sony Open in Hawaii. Photo: Jamm Aquino/

The sport of golf has long attracted spectators from across the globe, but when competitions are held in the most heavenly of locales—I’m talking about Hawaii, of course—who can resist? Get ready to pack your bags, as listed below are the PGA Hawaii Golf Tournaments.

PGA Hawaii: Tournament of Champions, Kapalua, Maui

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17th Tee at The Plantation Course, Kapalua. Photo: tobze.

To kick off the competition, the Tournament of Champions, held in Maui on January 4-8 at The Plantation Course at Kapalua, issues an invite that includes winners-only from the previous 2015-2016 PGA Tour season. Jordan Spieth reigned at last year’s event, and with this year’s purse coming in at a whopping $5.9 million, you can surely expect these golfers to come out swinging.

PGA Hawaii: Sony Open, Waialae, Oahu

pga hawaii sony open

Nick Mason, second from left, walks to the green with his caddie on the 17th hole during the final round of the 2016 Sony Open in Hawaii on Sunday at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. Photo: Jamm Aquino/

Held each January at Honolulu’s Waialae Country Club on Oahu, the Sony Open in Hawaii offers a high-stakes competition to 144 PGA Tour professionals who desire to pursue its coveted purse of $6 million smackers. Won last year by golfer Fabian Gomez, this year’s January 9-15 matchup is unique in that it is also the largest charity golf event in Hawaii, having raised an impressive $16 million dollars+ since 1999.

PGA Hawaii: Mitsubishi Electric Championship, Hualalai, Hawaii Island (Big Island)

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Late afternoon shadows across the 18th green of the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course at Hualalai. Photo: Rosa Say.

Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, held at the Hualalai Golf Course situated on the gorgeous grounds of the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Kaupulehu-Kona on Hawaii Island, is scheduled to take place from January 19-21. Anticipation is high for this event, as it promises an appearance by this past year’s returning champion, Duffy Waldorf, as well as the return of several longtime favorites like Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer, Miguel Jimenez, and more. Unique to this competition, the criteria that determines the roster invites is quite specific, only including those official champion winners from the 2015-2016 seasons, those golfers who have won majors since 2012, and a smattering (about 10) of handpicked pros who have at least five career victories (one of which has to be a major) to bring to the table (or the lawn, in this case)!

LPGA LOTTE Championship, Ko Olina, Oahu

Previously held at Oahu’s stunning Ko Olina Golf Club, the LPGA LOTTE Championship has enjoyed a five-year run in the islands, proudly representing and celebrating today’s ladies who come out swinging, bringing their golf games strong. And although the LPGA has recently ended its contract with Hawaii, many (including myself!) are holding out hope that our relationship will be renewed, and the event gathered back to the Gathering Isle in the non-too-distant future.

No matter which tournament you decide to spectate at (or if perhaps you make it out to all), you are ensured an enjoyable time of observing true competitors at the heights of their games amid the unmatched scenery of Hawaii Nei!

Click here to read more about golf in Hawaii.

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