Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i (September 15, 2022) – Kaua‘i’s Wailua Golf Course in Lihue, Hawaii will host the 13thWorld Deaf Golf Championships October 17 – 21, 2022. 116 deaf or hard of hearing golfers from 14 countries will compete in a 72-hole stroke play tournament over 12 divisions, including Men’s and Women’s’, Men’s and Women’s’ Team, Men’s and Women’s’ Senior and Senior Team, Men’s Super Senior and Super Senior Team, as well as Junior Boys and Girls.
The World Deaf Golf Championships were established in 1995 and are held every two years. The biennial event will be held for the first time since 2018, after the 2020 World Deaf Golf Championships were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Previous World Deaf Golf Championships locations include England, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, Sweden, Japan, Scotland, Denmark and Canada.
2022 World Deaf Golf Championships events will begin at Wailua Golf Course on Monday, October 17thwith a practice round (8:30 a.m. shotgun start), followed by four rounds of competition Tuesday through Friday with tee times beginning at 7:30 a.m. each day. Wailua’s classic design has hosted three USGA championships and dates back to the “Golden Age of Golf Course Architecture,” with its original nine holes designed in 1920. The course expanded to 18 holes in 1962 under the direction of Hawaii Golf Hall of Famer Toyo Shirai. In June of 2021, GOLF Magazine ranked Wailua as one of “America’s Best Municipal Courses,” saying, “Wailua exudes a laid-back atmosphere paired with some sneaky bite…”
More than 200 visitors, including golfers, family members and tournament officials will visit Kaua‘i for the Championships. Royal Sonesta Kauai Resort in Lihue will serve as the host resort, with a traditional Hawaiian Luau and the event’s opening ceremony taking place fronting Kalapaki Beach. Countries represented include: USA, Canada, England, Australia, France, Norway, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Sweden, India and the Netherlands.
Kaua‘i’s Pono Tokioka is serving as the tournament’s chairperson. A graduate of the United States Golf Association P.J. Boatwright Jr. Internship Program through the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association (HSJGA), Tokioka is a Kaua‘i High School alumnus who played on the University of Hawaii men’s golf team from 2013-2017. He is organizing the tournament along with leadership of the U.S. Deaf Golf Association (USDGA). The HSJGA and Hawai`i State Golf Association (HSGA) staff and officials will volunteer to assist in the delivery of tournament logistics.
“We are honored and excited to host the 2022 World Deaf Golf Championships here at our county’s beloved Wailua Golf Course,” said Kaua‘i Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami. “And there is no one on Kaua‘i more fitting to chair this tournament than our very own Pono Tokioka, whom we’ve watched grow up on the golf course and excel in not only his talent but also his ability to connect the deaf community throughout our island and state. We extend our mahalo and aloha to Pono and all involved in bringing this highly anticipated tournament to the Garden Island of Kaua‘i and wish all players the best of luck in October.”
Kaua‘i has a rich history of hosting golf events including the US Amateur Public Links, the PGA Grand Slam and various NCAA tournaments. Nicknamed the Garden Island for its lush tropical foliage, waterfalls and ever-present Pacific Ocean scenery, Kaua‘i boasts numerous daily-fee and resort golf courses. The destination is perennially recognized for its beaches, award-winning golf courses, ideal playing weather and stunning natural beauty. For more information on Kaua‘i golf, visit www.gogolfKauai.com.
Photo Caption: From left to right: State Representative Jimmy Tokioka; Dan Urwiler, Wailua Golf Course Director of Golf Operations and Maintenance; Pono Tokioka, WDGC Tournament Chairperson; Kaua‘i Mayor Derek K. Kawakami
About The Go Golf Kaua‘i Courses
- The Ocean Course at Hōkūala – The Ocean Course at Hōkūala is a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course that boasts the longest stretch of oceanfront holes in all of Hawai‘i. The picture-perfect course winds its way through papaya and guava groves to dramatic seaside cliffs. A 2016 renovation added sparkling white sand to all the bunkers, framing holes to be even more spectacular than before. The Ocean Course at Hōkūala has been rated as Hawai‘i’s Best Golf Course by the World Golf Awards 2018 – 2020.
- Po‘ipū Bay Golf Course – Po‘ipū Bay Golf Course was designed by renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr and is set between lush mountains and rugged ocean bluffs. The course incorporates more than 30 acres of colorfully landscaped tropical plants and flowers, making it one of Hawai‘i’s most beautiful courses. Po‘ipū Bay hosted the PGA Grand Slam of Golf from 1994 to 2006.
- Princeville Makai Golf Club – Princeville Makai Golf Club opened in 1971 as the first solo effort of Robert Trent Jones, Jr. The course was completely renovated in 2009, introducing spectacular new Seashore Paspalum turf grass on all fairways and greens. Princeville Makai features surreal vistas of Mt. Makana (aka Bali Hai) and Hanalei Bay, including the signature par-3, 7th hole that offers a 213-yard shot over scenic cliffs.
- Puakea Golf Course – Designed by architect Robin Nelson, Puakea is a spectacular layout built along massive ravines and lush tropical undulating terrain, with the backdrop being used for the Jurassic Park series. Named one of the top courses in Hawai‘i by Sports Illustrated, Golf Advisorand Golfweek, the dramatic 18-hole golf course is also known for its high-quality, "Kaua‘i-style" customer service. Puakea was rated “Best of Kaua‘i” by Garden Island Newspaper from 2013 – 2019.
- Wailua Golf Course – Wailua Golf Course offers classic, golden-era seaside golf holes just a few steps from the Pacific Ocean. First built as a 9-hole course in the 1930’s, and expanded to 18 holes in 1961, Wailua has hosted three USGA Amateur and three US Public Links Championships. This wonderful municipal layout was designed by Toyo Shirai and features stunning mountain views along the Royal Coconut Coast.