August 12, 2020

Five things most people don’t know about professional golf tournaments

Golf as a spectator sport can get a bad rap. The country club stereotypes are far from the truth when the PGA TOUR visits LA. Here are five things you might not know about PGA TOUR events.

  1. All PGA TOUR events are not-for-profit events benefitting local charities
    Sure, just like other professional sports, golfers on the PGA TOUR are paid top dollar for their on-course performances. But unlike other professional sports, all tournaments on the PGA TOUR raise funds for local charities. In January 2020, the PGA TOUR and its tournaments surpassed $3 billion in all-time charity giving. Locally, The Genesis Invitational raises funds for TGR Foundation. Founded by Tiger Woods in 1996, TGR Foundation helps students pursue their passion through education and to date has reached more than one million students worldwide.
  1. Field size and qualifications vary from tournament to tournament
    Not all tournaments are created equal when it comes to how many players compete and which players play in a given tournament. As independent contractors, your favorite professional golfer gets to pick the schedule that works for him. But he also has to qualify for the tournaments he wants to play. There are ‘open’ tournaments, such as LA Open when it began in 1926 where qualification is by one set of standards, and then there are ‘invitationals’ where qualifications are more difficult. Beginning with the 2020 tournament, the event at Riviera was elevated from an open qualifying tournament to an invitational, with Tiger serving as the official tournament host of The Genesis Invitational. The elevated event and invitational status in reflected in the strength of field at Riviera. The world’s best golfers circle Riviera each year on their calendar and the annual stop in LA is a who’s who of the golf world. Name a professional golfer ranked in the Top 20 of the Official World Golf Ranking and the chances he tees it up at Riviera are extremely high.
  1. Golf is the only professional sport to encourage fans to play on the field
    The closest you can get to playing in an NBA game is sitting courtside. Yes, your feet are on the playing surface but you’ll make SportsCenter for all the wrong reasons if you try to do anything more than sit in your seat. On the PGA TOUR, the rules are totally different. Each tournament hosts a pro-am before official competition gets underway. As the pros hone their game in preparation for the tournament, they do so playing with amateur golfers. You tee off from the same tee boxes, hit approach shots from the same fairways, and putt on the same greens that will host golf’s greats for 72 holes. Once round one gets underway, the opportunity to watch from ‘inside the ropes’ allows select fans to get inside access to the players. Walk side-by-side with a group of players as they compete for millions in prize money, world ranking points and much more.
  1. Our stadium is built from scratch every year
    When you go to a baseball or football game, your seat is bolted into the stadium’s concrete. At a golf tournament, we build your seat new each and every year. While The Genesis Invitational tees off each February, building the hospitality and spectator activations is a three-to-four-month process. Because hospitality at Riviera isn’t bound by stadium walls, each tournament is a new opportunity to build venues that directly fits the needs of our guests.
  1. The only sporting event with the luxury of time
    If you’ve watched professional golf on TV, you might have noticed that players are on course all day, not just during the broadcast window. At Riviera, tee times start as the sun rises and play lasts until the sun sets. With golf all day, there is no shortage of action over a four-day period providing flexibility in the days and times you spend at the course. This flexibility gives guests an experience unlike any other professional sporting event, as you can customize how you and your guests will spend the day on-course.