A course for the players
“Riviera is special to me, I love that area, I love LA”.
These are the words of three-time tournament winner, Bubba Watson, who is just one of the many PGA TOUR pros who love what The Riviera Country Club has to offer.
The Riviera Country Club is located right on the coastline of the entertainment capital of the world, just miles from Los Angeles. Riviera has been the host of major golf tournaments since as early as 1948, which include the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship, and now The Genesis Invitational. Originally established in 1926, Riviera is known for its historic course that many of the players enjoy.
“Riv is fun to play because it is an older style golf course. We don’t get a chance to play older venues like that. We wish we did,” said tournament host Tiger Woods.
The course is an 18-hole golf course at a length of 7,322 yards. Known for its unique layout that is on the smaller side, Riviera gives tournament golf a sense of closeness. Woods mentions how the closeness of the course makes the tournament exciting to be a part of.
“You can hear the roars around the golf course and that is what makes it pretty fun to play,” Woods said.
The course is set up to make players think. Woods’ caddie Joe LaCava, who won twice at Riviera while on the bag of Fred Couples, said that “you have got to think your way around the course,” while Woods added “the golf course is tricky, it’s tough.”
Watson said one of the most difficult parts about playing at Riviera is guessing the direction of the grass and part of that comes into play on the iconic 10th hole. The 10th hole at Riviera is famous for its difficulty and the process that the player must go through when deciding the best way to play the hole.
“Ten is a guess. I’ve tried to play it every which way,” Watson said.
Keegan Bradley has a straightforward approach to playing the 10th.
“I hit driver over the green and I try to just chip it on the green and try to make a four every day,” Bradley said. I don’t ever try to get cute with anything.”
With all that is said about Riviera and its difficultness, it is still a lot of players favorite place to play. Bradley said, “Riviera is my favorite course. I love going there, the atmospheres incredible, and the golf course, I think, is the best in the world, so it’s fun to go there and compete, it’s a great field and there are great champions that come out of there”.
With a top-15 finish last year and a runner up finish in 2018, it’s no surprise that Tony Finau has high marks for Riviera.
“They used every inch of that place as well as they could, so it is really cool to be a part of that event at Riviera, an iconic place, a lot of great champions,” said Finau.
The list of champions at Riviera is a who’s who of the golf world. In February, that list will gain a new member as The Genesis Invitational tees off at Riviera February 10-16, 2020.