Sony Open Is On At Waialae Jan. 12

Come next Monday, the world’s best pro golfers will start swinging at Waialae Country Club, and East Oahu residents will have a ringside seat for the Sony Open.

Fans also can help out as volunteers along the course or in the office for the signature PGA Tour that kicks off the pro season for 2015. The Friends of Hawaii Charities, a nonprofit, all-volunteer group, produces the event for Sony Corp. and considers it the biggest fundraiser of the year for its 100 local nonprofits. About 150 golfers will be here for the event, which runs from Jan. 12 to 18.

Partnering with the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation (which provides matching funds), the Friends are able to raise more than $1 million each year for charity and, according to its own figures, the tournament is broadcast to more than 560 million homes in 200-plus countries and contributes about $100 million in marketing and economic impact to Hawaii.

To offer help as a volunteer, call Friends of Hawaii Charities at 792-9300, email friend@friendsofhawaii.org, or visit friendsofhawaii.org. To watch all the action, tickets at the gate cost $20 per day, or $50 for a season badge that’s good all week. Presale tickets cost $15 online at sonyopeninhawaii.com.