HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The course at the Waialae Country Club is unchanged from last year. However, there are many differences as fans get set to flock to the Sony Open.
The most notable change will come before they even enter the grounds.
"There's wanding for the first time that runs pretty quickly. But there's no large bags allowed in the tournament anymore. No backpacks, no large bags, 12x6x12 is the largest" said Tournament Director Ray Stosik.
The security was ramped up in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings last year. Some changes are for courtesy.
"All we ask you is to put your smartphones on vibrate, and no picture taking until after the round" Stosik continued.
Some of the changes are fan friendly, the crown jewel being the Sweet-16 Chalet. It's an indoor-outdoor tent that's been constructed along the 16th fairway. For $175/round, fans have access to the facility, as well as all the food and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) they want.
Within the ropes, the tournament boasts one of the strongest and most noteworthy fields in years. Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Adam Scott and Jason Dufner are all scheduled to play.
As for the conditions, they are always changing. Last year saw little wind, and thus little defense for the course. This year could be different.
"If they're playing the tournament and Kona blows on the weekend, all of the sudden the short holes become long and the long become short. It'll be a little test for them" Stosik said with a smile.