With the forecast for Seattle in January predominantly consisting of rain, it appeared to be a prudent move to book a long weekend trip to Los Angeles. I called up my Portland buddy, Sean Ogle of Breaking Eighty and fellow Seattle-ite, Ben Garrett, and they both agreed with me. A sunny January date in LA was booked and tee times slowly filled up a marvelous agenda.
Everything was looking fantastic until about a week before the trip when someone told us to look at the weather forecast. Epic rainfall, flash foods, and the inevitable golf course closings!! Even our VRBO land owner offered to refund our money if we wanted to come back another weekend. However, these 3 golf dudes would not be denied. We had rain pants and it would take a lot more than some silly "flash food" to keep the drivers out of our hands. Plus, the weatherman is usually right only about 1 out of 10 times.
Up first on the agenda was The Riviera Country Club. After watching The LA Open on TV for years, I was super excited to play Riviera. Also, those clouds in the sky are definitely not bringing any precipitation. The tee shot on the first hole is one of the coolest I have experienced, you are probably fifteen feet or so from the clubhouse as you fire one off down the hill. They even announce your name on the tee to make you feel like a tour pro. Some of us hit that tee shot like a tour pro, some of us did not.
With respect to the rules of the game, no breakfast balls are allowed on the first tee at Riviera.
After drying off our socks and wringing out our pants, we struck gold with another rain free day at The Valley Club of Montecito. Not only was the weather good but the course is an absolute gem and we had a fantastic host. The Valley Club has done an outstanding job of keeping with Alister Mackenzie's original design plans and as a result, the course is very enjoyable.
Ben would make an eagle 3 on the 15th hole and Sean would almost card an ace on the 8th hole to secure a tie for the "Shot of the Day" honors.
With our tee time at Los Angeles Country Club coming up next, rain threatened another round. However, our host was just as hardcore as us and we headed out for a water logged round on one of California's finest golf courses. We finished up 18 and watched the Falcons destroy the Packers from the fantastic clubhouse. I can't wait to come back and visit this course on a sunny day... Or any other day, it's just flat out great.
After our round at LACC, we grabbed some grub at the Misfit in Santa Monica, then hit the hot tub. As you can see, the hot tub party was off the chain
After ringing out our pants for a second time, we had one last round to get in, the odds were in our favor with only a 30% chance of rain. As it turns out, the sun wouldn't be the only good fortune that would shine down on us during our round at Rustic Canyon. Ben Garrett would make his 7th career ace on the 8th hole. 4 of those 7 aces have come in the last 4 months. Probably time for this kid to start buying Powerball tickets. Hopefully, our next visit to LA will include more luck with the weather.
Probably the most talked about feature at Riviera is the bunker in the middle of the 6th green, after 3 putting my way around the bunker, we decided to play a shot out of it just for kicks. The 6th hole was certainly unique, but personally, I gave the nod to the 16th for best par 3.
The 10th hole was also just as fun as advertised. After driving it on the 11th tee box, I managed a nice par. A huge thanks to Mayumi and Tal for setting up a fantastic round.
After the rain free round at Riviera, we would not be so fortunate with our second round of the trip. After getting fully rained out at Wilshire Country Club, we found a course that was actually open for play. It was going to be a wet one at Griffith Park. After 15 holes of downpour, we played the last 3 in just a drizzle.