Golf can not agree on anything. Blades or back cavity. Overlap or interlock. Tiger or elephant. Distance or return.
If you spend any time following golf, you will quickly realize that the person’s special way of talking about the game (“Golf is not a word!”) Can generate such hatred in other golf fans that you would think someone’s grandmother would just say fix her tire or open the door its.
One thing we can agree on is the Country Club Riviera. Every golf fan loves the Riviera. How can you not? The Riviera, in the modern age, is perfect. It’s not too long a golf course, but it still beats the best in the world every year. It is not majestic, in the traditional sense, lacks sea or mountain views, but is still stunningly beautiful. It is a golf course without penalty dangers that still makes the player feel like he is trying to avoid the big number.
So why has it been almost 30 years since we last saw the best players in the world take the Riviera as part of a major championship?
It’s really acinine when you think about it. With two major championships bouncing in the United States a year, it almost seems intentional to avoid returning to the Riviera.
The last U.S. Open here? It was the only one, in ’48, when “Dewey Defeats Truman” was the earliest of all the early talks. The last PGA Championship? It came in 1995, when Tiger was still a teenager, Dustin C. Vanson was just 11 years old and Brison de Chambo was about to see Candle No. 2 in his birthday cake.
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It looks even crazier when you dive into what modern players say about the Riviera Country Club.
“You look at a great golf course and does he check every shot, does he check everything you need?” Colin Morikawa, the reigning PGA Champion, said this week. “That’s what Riviera does. You hit every shot here, you hit a draw, you hit fades, wedges, long irons, 3-trees, everything, and I think that’s what makes a great golf course.”
How about the best desert of golf courses among modern players?
“It’s one of my favorites in the whole world,” Jordan Spate said in 2015. “It’s one of the few with history that he has, past champions, not just the champions, but only those who have walked those tracks.”
Spit would know. His legend began to grow on the Riviera in 2012, when he hosted the men’s championship in the NCAA. Spit asked to play in the final of Thomas Thomas, the eventual winner of the Skins Award as Player of the Year. “Can you match me to Justin?” Spit asked his coach, John Fields. “I know he’s a great player, but I think I can get into his head.”
Iron Socket 4 on the 15th hole, one of the toughest clusters in Year 4 of the PGA Tour, on the way to defeating Thomas and helping lead Texas to the title on Alabama.
How about an event that has been recognized as a major championship for decades, a US fan? In the 2017 championship game, Doug Jim – also from Texas – seemed willing to put the Vomier Cup over his brother when he was 2 with two to play. So Doc Redman brought up his game To meet the history of the club.
Clemson’s sophomore flooded Per 5 5God And flooded the 18thGod Let 37God a hole. And what better hole to set for the oldest championship in America than Per4 4God. The devilish hole grabbed Jim from his seat and it was Redman who flew home with something more as a sequel.
These moments are not accidental. Augusta National routinely does not happen to have sections two and nine finishing on Sunday. It happens that the course is designed for monumental moments and complete collapses. The golf course he excitement.
You can talk about Riviera in a similar tone.
This is when I remind you that Riviera will host the 28 ‘Olympics. It will have a big feeling, properly, and may have Wimbledon hosting the 2012 Olympics.
But it’s seven years away. This is another generation that misses the Riviera as a canvas for the biggest golf events.
The U.S. Open is scheduled for 2027. No Riviera. The PGA Championship is scheduled for 2029. No Riviera.
The USGA did visit the Riviera in 1998 ahead of the U.S. opening for seniors. It was won, appropriately, by the greatest senior of all time, Hale Irwin. History often clashes with history on the Riviera. And last year, Riviera was considered an alternative site to the U.S. Open when the dates were changed because of the COVID-19 epidemic. With the potential for the U.S. Open in December and a clear theme in Winged Pot, Riviera, the West Coast gem, was key.
“We were honored that Riviera came to offer their wonderful track to host the U.S. Open this year if need be,” USGA Chief Brand Officer Craig Annis told Golfweek in 2020. “They were wonderful partners and we reviewed the possibility of returning for many years to come. , But I could not figure out how to do it on a smaller footprint. This situation could have been ideal in light of the circumstances. “
Eventually competed for the U.S. Open in September and the Winged Foot was an excellent host. But the news of the Riviera is considered – at a moment’s notice – as an alternative site saying it all about its pedigree.
It’s time to bring back a big championship on the Riviera. As Anis mentioned, serious planning is required and will force the USGA or PGA of America to be creative given the smaller footprint the course allows, but logistics should not stand in the way of history.
If we keep waiting, another generation seems to be missing out on this opportunity. Dustin Johnson turned 37 this summer. Watson doll 42 years old. Adam Scott’s early years also appear behind him. All the events of the tour that won the Riviera. Everyone would relish an opportunity to tackle the trend there.
But none of them got the chance. And they are not alone.
Riviera is too good not to be involved in the upcoming big championship schedule. Every year we leave the West Coast swing and think about it. So we will finally finish the discussions and start the actions.