The Northern Trust Open is being played this week at one the the premier golf courses on the West coast swing, Riviera Country Club, located in Pacific Palisades, California (within city limits of Los Angeles).
Defending champion Bubba Watson and FedExCup leader Jimmy Walker are also joined by world No.7 Sergio Garcia and No.16 Victor Dubuisson who are making their 2015 U.S. debuts on the PGA Tour. It always a shootout at Riviera so be sure to check the latest golf betting odds.
Two-time NTO winner Fred Couples returns once again on a sponsor invite, extending his own record with his 33rd appearance at Riviera.
Riviera Country Club was designed by George C. Thomas (with help from famed architect Alister MacKenzie and William Bell) and opened for play in 1927 as the Los Angeles Athletic Club. It’s listed as a par 71 with a length of 7,279 yards.
The private club has been a playground for celebrities like Douglas Fairbanks, Bing Crosby, Walt Disney, Charlie Chaplin, W.C Fields, Humphrey Bogart* and Howard Hughes.
Current celebrity members include both star athletes and Hollywood elite like: Adam Sandler, Tom Brady, Larry David, Mark Wahlberg and Billy Crystal.
Ben Hogan, who had 3 wins here in an 18-month span (including the 1948 U.S. Open) once remarked, “Some of my most pleasant memories and thoughts are of this wonderful club and magnificent golf course.” The course is often affectionately known as “Hogan’s Alley”
Former PGA Tour player and current NBC Golf analyst Johnny Miller said,
“Riviera is definitely one of the greatest, no-nonsense golf courses in the world. It requires a player to play every club in his bag and every shot in his game.”
Riviera has some of the most memorable holes on the tour including the par-3 sixth which is famous for its bunker in the middle of the green (see pic above), and No.10 may be the best drivable par-4 in golf.
The marquee hole is the 18th – a world-famous par four. The tee shot is blind, and the ball must find the sloped fairway to have any chance of reaching the green, which is surrounded by a natural amphitheater with an exceptional view of the Spanish-style clubhouse.
*A tree by the 12th green is still known as “Bogey’s Tree”, since that’s where Humphrey Bogart would relax – flask in hand – and watch the L.A. Open – (aahhhhhhhh – sounds like a lovely afternoon for me!)
The Northern Trust Open is being held this year (2015) at the Riviera Country Club from February 18-22.