Waialae Course Preview – 2018 Sony Open

Welcome to the first full field event of 2018.  The Sony Open stays in Hawaii at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii.  This could be beneficial from the players who have a short trip from the Tournament Of Champions held last weekend in Maui.  However, the courses are very different so the only advantage would be the short travel and exposure to conditions in Hawaii.  Being the first full field cut event in 2018, we can officially welcome DFS Golf back!

Previous Winners

2017: Justin Thomas -27
2016: Fabian Gomez -20
2015: Jimmy Walker -23
2014: Jimmy Walker -17
2013: Russell Henley -24


The Course

The Sony Open is held at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Waialae presents a much different perspective from the wide open bomb and gouge fairways we saw at Kapalua.  With harder to hit fairways and an abundance of trees, accuracy off the tee will be important.  However, looking at past winners in JT and Walker, distance certainly helps if you can keep the ball in play.  Even though the fairways are more difficult to hit than last week in Maui, the scoring is still there as shown by winners coming in with scores in the twenties under par.  Wind is the biggest defense of this golf course we we will need to keep an eye on forecasts throughout the week.

Waialae measures up at 7,020 yards and plays at a Par 70.  With only 2 par 5’s in play this week, we will be putting greater emphasis on par 4 scoring.  We want to be able to target the players that can lap the field on these holes.  The greens are on the smaller side and played on bermuda grass.  Putting is tougher to predict as we have always maintained that it is easier to target the ball strikers that manage to run a hot putter for the weekend.  We want to target the ball strikers that give themselves ample opportunities to score.

Key Holes

Waialae has some unique holes throughout that have influence from other courses around the world. Right out of the gate on hole 1, it is very evident the holes takes after the “Road Hole” at St. Andrews. There are 3 deep bunkers that surround the green and players will have to approach the green with accuracy to avoid hitting in the sand.

The signature hole on the course is number 7 which is along the ocean and the unique assortment of palm trees creating a “W” (see photo above). Here is an insert from Waialae about the hole: “This dog-leg left hole usually plays straight down wind, so tee it high, let it fly and let it welo or float in the wind.  The ideal tee shot should favor the right center of this fairway which will leave you a clear short iron shot into this well bunkered green.  Do not let the panoramic view distract you as this green has a fairly flat putting surface making birdie a very possible score.”

Hole 17 also has some unique features with a green that has very sharp slopes. The tee shot is played from an elevated tee on this tree lined, dog-leg left, par 4. From Waialae: “Tee shots will have to carry water that runs across this fairway and must also avoid the forest of trees on the left and the fairway bunkers on the right.  A good drive will leave a a short approach to this wide but sloping green.  Birdie is possible here.”


Weather forecast looks perfect for golf this week. As of Tuesday afternoon winds are not going to be a factor and we will have clear skies with temps in the low to mid 70s. We will update this Wednesday evening if anything changes.


Key Stats Ranked

  1. SG:T2G
  2. SG: App
  3. Par 4 Scoring
  4. BoB%
  5. SG: Putting

Our Picks (Members Only)

Each week, Brandon, Miles and Dan will release their Draftkings golfers for the tournament. Memberships for the entire 2018 season are $19.99. Click here to access the weekly picks.

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