Waialae Country Club, home of the Sony Open in Hawaii on the PGA Tour, hasn't always had a W made from four palm trees behind the seventh green (the 16th hole for the Sony Open). In fact, the palm-tree W has only been around since 2009.
The story behind the palm-tree W, according to Golf Channel's Matt Ginella, really centers on Waialae member Ethan Abbott, who came up with the idea and lobbied the club for a year to approve it. After finally doing some investigating, the club learned the project of taking four existing palm trees behind the hole and moving them to create the W would cost just $4,000.
Perhaps the immediate reaction from a certain viewer would be of the treasure map from the 1963 movie "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," where the money is buried under an enormous W of palm trees.
STORY CONTINUES BELOW
So, how'd the club do it? Superintendent Dave Nakama took four trees altogether and replanted them so as to convince the palms to grow sideways. He used a pair of the original four trees behind the green as supports until the newly planted trees could stand up on their own.
Now, the palm-tree W is iconic and associated with the club. It's a logo the staff wear on their shirts. It's in a ton of wedding photos.