David Ishii Hawaii Golf HOF Bio

Hawaii Golf Hall of Fame Plaque is Inscribed:

David Ishii has been a role model for Hawaii’s golfers and an ambassador of Hawaii’s golfing community for over three decades. A native son of Kauai, David became one of Hawaii’s most accomplished champions under the tutelage of Toyo Shirai at the Wailua Municipal Golf Course.

As a junior, he won the Hawaii State High School Championship. As an amateur, he captured both Hawaii major titles, the Manoa Cup and the State Stroke Play Championships. As captain of his University of Houston golf team, David and his teammates won the 1977 NCAA Championship. Individually, he twice won the All-American Intercollegiate Invitational. As a professional he dominated Hawaii golf with over 17 Open titles including the Hawaii State Open three times and the Hawaii Pearl Open six times.

David competed full-time on the Japan PGA Tour, where he won 14 times. In 1987, he became the first foreigner to win the Tour Money Title. At the time of his induction into the Hawaii Golf Hall of Fame, he ranked sixth in Japan Tour career earnings with winnings of over $8 million dollars. Highlighting his career, David won the 1986 Chunichi Crowns title in Japan and the 1990 United Airlines Hawaiian Open (now known as the Sony Open in Hawaii), a PGA Tour event.

In addition to his competitive accomplishments, David has financially supported the Hawaii State High School Golf Championships, now named after him, and has formed the David S. Ishii Foundation, a non profit organization benefitting Hawaii’s junior golfers.

In the opinion of many, David Ishii is the greatest competitive golfer in Hawaii golf history. He is a gentleman of character and unsurpassed accomplishment.


Born: July 26, 1955, in Lihue, Kauai

Family: Wife Lorraine Daos (married 7/11/87), son Colan, step-daughter Misty and three grandchildren. Mother Ethel, brother John and sister Kathy live on Kauai.

Graduation: 1973 Kauai High (1973 state high school champion), 1977 University of Houston (captain of 1977 NCAA Championship team), graduated magna cum laude

Japan PGA: 14 wins from 1985-1994 and $10 million-plus in earnings, ranking him in Top 20 on career list. In 1987, Ishii became the first foreigner to win the Japan PGA money title, capturing six titles.

PGA Tour: Became second Hawaii golfer (after Ted Makalena) to win a tour event when he captured 1990 Hawaiian Open. Ishii also won the inaugural 1982 Kapalua Open, an unofficial tour event with a field that included Peter Jacobsen, Hale Irwin, Curtis Strange, Lanny Wadkins and Bernhard Langer. He played in 39 tour events.

Majors: 1987 Japan Order of Merit championship earned him exemptions into the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship in 1988. His Hawaiian Open championship earned him an exemption into the 1990 Masters. That win also earned him an invitation to the Senior British Open in 2006 in Scotland. David has also played in four U.S. Senior Opens.

Locally: Won nearly 40 titles in Hawaii. Amateur career included the 1977 Mänoa Cup championship. Turned pro in 1979. First professional victory came at 1980 Hawaii Pearl Open. Won Pearl (where he was Director of Golf) six times, JAL Rainbow Open five and Hawaii State Open, Mid-Pacific Open and Waikoloa Open three times each. Inducted into Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and Hawaii Golf Hall of Fame in 2006.

David S. Ishii Foundation: David has sponsored the state high school golf championships since 1997 and started his foundation in 2000 with Lorraine.

Did you know: Ishii was 1965 Punt, Pass and Kick champion of Hawaii