The Riviera Country Club - Pacific Palisades, CA
With members like Larry David, Billy Crystal, and Mark Wahlberg, Riviera has its share of celebrity members and the course is surrounded by some of the world's most expensive real estate. Situated entirely in a canyon, the golf course itself is also one of the world's best.
Having heard so much about Riviera's finishing hole, I was pleasantly surprised to find it's opening hole to be just as exciting. Teeing off only feet from the clubhouse, your tee shot descends into the canyon and your round at Riviera begins. There are so many fantastic and unique holes at Riviera that make the course so excellent. There is the bunker in the middle of the 6th green, the mounding to the right of 5, the green complex on 10, and it all caps off with one of the world's greatest finishing holes.
Established in 1926, William Bell and Alister Mackenzie assisted George C. Thomas in the design of The Los Angeles Athletic Club. After changing it's name to The Riviera Country Club, Ben Hogan would give Riviera the nickname "Hogan's Alley" after dominating the LA Open in 1947 and the US Open in 1948. In 1922, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw would help to restore the course to Thomas' original design intentions. That same year, a kid by the name of Tiger Woods would play in his first ever PGA event. Unfortunately, he would miss the cut after shooting 72, 75.
In a race against sunlight, our group finished up as the sun set over the 18th hole. With a clutch par putt on the iconic green, I would slide into the 70's by a single shot. I haven't heard back from the committee regarding my suggested name change to "Koenig's Alley"