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World Deaf Golf coming in October

WAILUA — Rep. James Tokioka walked around the Wailua Golf Course clubhouse with a mission, Monday.

“I’m trying to figure out where we’re going to put the different world flags,” Tokioka said. “There will be up to 14 different countries participating when the 13th World Deaf Golf Championships open here in October.”

The award-winning Wailua Golf Course will host the 13th World Deaf Golf Championships on October 17, and continuing through October 21 when 116 deaf or hard of hearing golfers from up to 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 teams, men’s and women’s senior, and senior team, Men Super Senior, and Super Senior Team. Additionally, there will be competition for Junior Boys and Girls.

More than 200 visitors, including golfers, family members, and tournament officials will visit Kaua‘i for the championships that will resume following the 2018 event that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous World Deaf Golf Championship locations include England, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, Sweden, Japan, Scotland, Denmark, and Canada.

The Royal Sonesta Kaua‘i Resort will serve as the host resort, offering guests a traditional Hawaiian luau and tournament opening ceremony taking place at Kalapaki Beach fronting the resort. Some of the countries being expected for the championships include the USA, Canada, England, Australia, France, Norway, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Sweden, India, and the Netherlands.

Kaua‘i’s own Pono Tokioka is serving as the tournament’s chairperson, and getting the help of the Hawai‘i State Junior Golf Association, and the Hawai‘i State Golf Association staff and officials to assist in the delivery of tournament logistics.

Tokioka is a graduate of the United States Golf Association P.J. Boatwright Jr. Internship Program through the HSJGA. An alumnus of the Kaua‘i High School where he played for the school’s golf team, Tokioka continued to play with the University of Hawai‘i men’s golf team from 2013 to 2017. He is organizing the tournament along with the leadership of the U.S. Deaf Golf Association.

“We are honored and excited to host the 2022 World Deaf Golf Championships here at our county’s beloved Wailua Golf Course,” said Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami. “And there is no one on Kaua‘i more fitting to chair this tournament than our own Pono Tokioka whom we’ve watched grow up on the golf course and excel in not 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. We wish all players the best of luck in October.”

Kaua‘i has a rich historty of hosting golf events, including the U.S. Amateur Public Links, the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, the LPGA Kemper Open, and various NCAA tournaments.
Source: The Garden Island

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