Inside the course: Riviera Country Club

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Badz/PGA TOUR
A scenic view of the ninth hole at Riviera Country Club, host of the Northern Trust Open.
February 12, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
Fast facts
Course Superintendent Matthew A. Morton
Original architect Captain George C. Thomas (1926)
Redesign Tom Fazio (2008)
Par value 71
Number of TOUR events as host venue 48 (including 2012)
Course ranking Ranked 10 (out of 51) in difficulty on the PGA TOUR in 2011
Yardage history 7,029 (1941-1993)
  6,946 (1994-1997)
  6,953 (1999)
  7,055 (2000-2001)
  7,174 (2002)
  7,222 (2003-2004)
  7,260 (2005-2006)
  7,279 (2007-2008; 2010-present)
  7,298 yards (2009)
Grass Bermudagrass, perennial ryegrass (tees); Kikuyugrass (rough, fairways); Creeping bentgrass, Poa annua (greens)
Tournament Stimpmeter 12 ft
Sand bunkers 60
Water hazards 0
Course tour Click here
Course record
Player
Ted Tryba
Year
1999
Round
3rd
Finish
T2
Holes-in-one
Player Hole Year
Dustin Johnson 6 2010
Jeff Quinney 6 2008
Retief Goosen 16 2007
Rich Beem 14 2007
Trevor Immelman 16 2006
Darren Clarke 6 2005
Carl Pettersson 14 2004
MattGogel 16 2003
Craig Stadler 6 2000
Bob Burns 16 1999
Jerry Kelly 6 1999
Glen Day 14 1996
Joel Edwards 6 1996
Patrick Burke 6 1996
Craig Stadler 6 1995
Peter Jacobsen 14 1994
Jay Delsing 6 1992
Doug Martin 4 1992
Ed Dougherty 16 1992
Ben Crenshaw 14 1991
Jim Benepe 6 1989
Donnie Hammond 4 1988
Jeff Lewis 4 1987
T.C. Chen 6 1987
Peter Jacobsen 6 1986
Mac O'Grady 6 1986
Mike Reid 6 1985
Payne Stewart 16 1985
Mike Donald 16 1985
Allen Miller 16 1984
2011 Rankings
Most Difficult Hole
The par-4 479-yard 12th"This now becomes one of toughest holes on the course because it is obviously more difficult to play a longer iron into this narrow green guarded on right by a deep bunker and on the left by Bogey's tree, which is named after Humphrey Bogart," -- Riviera Head Professional and Director of Golf Todd Yoshitake.
2011: 0 eagles, 30 birdies, 254 pars, 134 bogeys, 15 double bogeys, 3 others.
Easiest hole
The par-5 503-yard 1st A great starting hole, the tee rests 75 feet above the fairway. With a big tee shot, players can set themselves up for a birdie or possible eagle. With out of bounds left and trees right, an errant tee shot could spell trouble.
2011: 40 eagles, 258 birdies, 124 pars, 11 bogeys, 3 double bogeys and 0 others.
Riviera Country Club2011 rankings Last 29 years
Hole Par Yards Avg. Score Rank Avg. Score Rank
1 5 503 4.264 18 4.480 18
2 4 463 4.188 5 4.269 1
3 4 434 3.956 14 4.080 8
4 3 236 3.211 4 3.239 2
5 4 434 4.025 11 4.059 10
6 3 199 3.041 10 3.028 12
7 4 408 4.062 9 4.056 11
8 4 460 4.179 7 4.072 9
9 4 458 4.138 8 4.184 5
10 4 315 4.025 11 3.858 16
11 5 583 4.865 17 4.806 17
12 4 479 4.33 1 4.162 6
13 4 459 4.181 6 4.082 7
14 3 176 3.011 13 3.016 13
15 4 487 4.218 3 4.219 4
16 3 166 2.945 15 3.009 14
17 5 590 4.876 16 4.860 15
18 4 475 4.317 2 4.237 3
Course origins
The annual site of the Northern Trust Open is a gem designed by George Thomas, a Philadelphian who loved flowers and was engaged in a search for the perfect rose when directors of the Los Angeles Athletic Club invited him to design a course for them. Thomas had by then moved to Beverly Hills, had designed the highly-regarded North course of the Los Angeles Country Club and now set to work on Riviera.
The course is a beauty and a must-study for every serious student of course design. Thomas' bunkering is inventive, with their flashed far ends and their ragged look. The course plays in a bowl in the Santa Monica Valley and rises to a crescendo on the last hole, underneath the massive clubhouse that sits on the high point of the club. Riviera is probably one of the most interesting courses in the game when it comes to forcing a player to think his way around the bunkers and doglegs, along the angled approaches into the greens.
"George Thomas was very talented," said Ben Crenshaw, who was called in to return the greens to their original contours. "Riviera has so many fabulous things about it. The bunkering is wonderful, very bold. They have a grand scope about them, and there is also every conceivable type of hole. The course is so wellbalanced and requires you to work the ball so well."
Riviera Country Club has hosted the 1948 U.S. Open, the 1983 & 1995 PGA Championship and the 1998 U.S. Senior Open.
Tournament course history
Course Location Years
Riviera CC Pacific Palisades, Calf. 1999-present, 1984-1997, 1973-1982, 1945-1953, 1941
Valencia CC Valencia, Calif. 1998
Rancho Municipal GC Los Angeles, Calif. 1983, 1969-1972, 1956-1967
Brookside GC Pasadena, Calif. 1968
Inglewood CC Inglewood, Calif. 1955
Fox Hills CC Culver City, Calif. 1954
Wilshire CC Los Angeles, Calif. 1944
Hillcrest CC Los Angeles, Calif. 1943
Los Angeles CC (North) Los Angeles, Calif. 1940

The TOUR moves from Pebble Beach on to Los Angeles for the Northern Trust Open at historic Riviera CC.

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