The first time I drove through the sleepy and rural town of Waimanalo, I had to do a double take — was that a a polo field I just saw?
Turns out, it was! Yep, the sport of kings is big business in the islands. And, taking-in a match while you’re on vacation could be one of the most memorable things you do here!
Here’s everything you need to know about polo in Hawaii:
History of Polo in Hawaii:
Polo in Hawaii dates back to the last decades of the 19th century and is intimately intertwined with the culture of the “Paniolo,” the Hawaiian cowboy. Colorful, romantic and dramatic, the paniolo tradition is that classic blending of East, West and Polynesia which defines the best of Hawaii Polo, the most exciting and consuming of horse sports, was a natural outgrowth of the Hawaiian cowboy’s love of horses, excitement and drama.
That polo was introduced in Hawaii not via America, but from Asia, through an Australian cowboy visiting from India, is even more proper and fitting to the multi-cultural, ethnic blending which helps define our island culture in Hawaii.
The Honolulu Polo Club sits on 27 acres in Waimanalo with the beautiful Koolaus in the background. The matches are played on a field equivalent to the size of nine football fields.
Since 1986, the Honolulu Polo Club has been a club member of the Hawaiian Islands Circuit of the United States Polo Association. The Honolulu Polo Club schedules five to seven USPA tournaments each year.
Organized in 1986 and originally known as the Waimanalo Polo Club, the first match was played in March 1987. Matches were played on Saturdays. In 1990, the club changed the name to the Honolulu Polo Club and moved to Sunday matches.
General Admission: $5.00
Children under 12 – No charge
Military and families with ID –
Note: If you’ve booked an Oahu Circle Island Tour, make sure you ask your guide to take you by the Waimanalo Polo Fields — you drive right by!
Hawaii Polo Club
Established in 1963, the world-renowned Hawaii Polo Club, located in Mokuleia on the pristine North Shore, has provided a unique and exceptional venue for the game of kings to share the passion and lifestyle of the sport of polo, both on and off the field.
The club attracts both national and international spectators with a wide range of demographics to watch elite professional polo players competing for the prestigious tournaments that are exclusive to the Hawaii Polo Club.
Gates open at 11am. Come early to grab the best tailgating spots. For a refined afternoon, clubhouse seating is available for purchase both online and at the gate. Games start at 2pm, the band starts around 5pm and the entertainment goes on until sundown!
Note: The Winter Wahine Tournament is coming up on December 11th
Enjoying a day of polo in Hawaii could be one of the most unique and fascinating experiences you have here. So, put on your Sunday best, have a cocktail, and head out for a day of upper-crust excitement!