This week, the PGA Tour is stopping by Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, CA for the Northern Trust Open. Riviera is without a doubt one of the most majestic courses in the country and constantly plays host to pro athletes, celebrities and the who’s who in Hollywood. It is an old style course that has stood the test of time, which is something surprisingly uncommon in the world of golf.
This week’s field is about as diverse at the everyday clientele at Riviera. 18 of the top 30 golfers in the world will be teeing it up this week. Luke Donald, currently ranked third in the official world golf rankings, is the highest ranked golfer taking part in the event. Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, ranked first and second, respectively, did not make the trip.
One of the interesting things about Riviera is the fact that golfers with markedly different styles feel the course suits their respective games. Generally with newer courses, you have one style of player that feels a decided advantage, whether it is the guys who crush the ball, those with touch around the greens or anyone in between. It’s rare to find a course that seems to set up well for so many different styles of play. K.J. Choi addressed that very fact in an interview when he said, ““It is a course that makes you think. It is not just for the long hitters. You have to be able to work the ball. I think it suits my game.”
Riviera is a course that you have think your way through. You can’t just grip it and rip it and hope for the best. Each shot must be calculated, and you have to commit to each and every one. The gofer that does that the best this week is going to come out on top.