The Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Waialae Golf Course were built by the Territorial Hotel Co. as part of a promotional program to develop luxury travel trade to Hawaii. Matson Navigation Co. built the luxury passenger liner Malolo as part of this program. The hotel and golf course lands were leased from the Bernice P. Bishop Estate. The Golf Course was opened for play on February 1, 1927.
Mr. Seth Raynor, world famous golf architect, and his associate, Mr. Charles Banks, designed and supervised the building of Waialae. Their outstanding work is reflected on many of our holes.
- The par three 13th is designed from one on the Biarritz Course in France.
- Waialae's 8th hole is paterned after the famous Redan hole on the North Berwick Course in Scotland.
- Our unique 16th hole is similar to the 6th hole of the National Course at Southhampton, Long Island.
- The 10th Hole introduces features of the 17th or Road hole at St. Andrews in Scotland.
Local players were able to use the course, and by payment of annual fees for play became "privilege card holders" in the Territorial Hotel Company's Waialae Golf Club. In 1930, a group of these Waialae players formed a private club within the Waialae Golf Club which they called Waialae Country Club. Waialae Country Club dates from September 29, 1930 when this group was formally organized and By-Laws were adopted. It enlarged a small service building close to the main clubhouse, installed showers, and had its own clubhouse where the swimming pool is now.
1930s - The great depression of the 1930s severely reduced travel and resulted in bankruptcy of the Territorial Hotel Co. Matson took over the obligations and interests of the Territorial Hotel Co. which included the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, the Moana Hotel, and Waialae golf Club. During these years play on the course was mainly by local privilege card holders, most of whom were members of Waialae Country Club.
1940s - In August of 1941, fire destroyed the Waialae Pavilion which was used by Waialae Golf Club for dining and dancing, and Matson decided to turn the golf course and remaining buildings over to Waialae Country Club. Before this plan was consummated, the United States had entered World War II, the military had requisitioned the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, and numerous military defenses had been installed along Oahu's coastline including the golf course at Waialae. Waialae Country Club was incorporated on September 30, 1942 and became lessee of the golf course acreage and a small section of land owned by Matson on which the old Isenberg home (later The Pavilion) had been located. The military built a replacement for the Pavilion because of the heavy use of the course by military personnel during the war.
1950s - The old Waialae Country Club clubhouse was destroyed by fire in 1952, but through the ingenious conversion of the military structure into kitchen and dining facilities, and the building of new locker rooms, Waialae was again in full operation within twenty-four months after the fire. Tennis courts, swimming pool and added parking units were completed in 1958 and Waialae became a Country Club in fact, as well as, name. No major physical changes were made in the golf course layout until 1954 when the 15th hole was lengthened from 320 yards to 435 yards.