Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Tournament

Okay, I have dragged a few unwilling people with me to this event and I know how to do it. Just follow these simple rules:

1) Be ready to walk through a hurricane. This means have good shoes that can deal with mud. Understand you may walk 5-10 miles from car door to car door. Also, especially this week, there may be weather, so have a nice set of layers to deal with it. And be ready to wear all of it, because they won't let any bags on the course. Oh, and keep your phone quiet, or they may take it.
2) Be respectful of the players and those around you. Unlike other sporting events, you will be in the middle of the playing field the whole time you are on the course. The golf ball can go anywhere and the player may have to chase it there. The best way to be mindful of where the players are is to keep your antennae up, pay attention to the marshalls and anyone giving you directions. Just for these few hours, humble yourself and try to be an invisible fly on the wall. It is worth it. There is SO MUCH STUFF TO SEE HERE.
3) Pay attention. You are going to be tits to tits with not only the elite top shelf athletes of a great game, and all the weirdness surrounding that, you will also be sociologist to a unique population. You will see many, many people far out of their elements, including golfers. Also notable: the houses bordering the golf course on Santa Monica Canyon, the occasional mega-rich, the spectacular golf course, the amazing network of people who support the tournament, the vendors, the volunteers, and of course YOU in the middle of it all. Now, if you are REALLY AMBITIOUS take a stroll through Santa Monica Canyon off of the golf course, a special mix of Monterey, Bel Air, and Venice.

Namaste, and FORE!



  1. Um, BTW, The Tournament refers to the Northern Trust Open, a PGA golf tournament held this week (Feb. 14-20) on the Riviera Country Club in Brentwood, CA.

    More Info Links:


  2. Okay, OK! Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Canyon, Los Angeles, and West Los Angeles are all accurate descriptions of the location of the golf course.

    My recommendation, and what I do as often as I can: get yourself to the intersection of 26th Street and San Vicente Blvd in Santa Monica. coincidentally, you just may find street parking here. Just check the signs. 2) Walk north on 26th St. past La Mesa Drive on your left and Rockingham on your right. You can see that the road drops steeply away from you. You are entering Santa Monica Canyon. The course (Riviera Country Club) lays before you, but you can't see it. You will probably start picking up signs of the tournament (busses full of shuttle-taking people belching deisel, smarter, more informed walkers such as ourselves, and local residences hatches-battened against the fray). Keep walking down as the road drops and curves. In 3/4 mile you will turn left with the flow and enter the course through the east gate. Have big fun enjoying the incredible golf course known as "Hogan's Alley." Oh, by the way, even though he began his PGA career here 22 years ago, Tiger Woods rarely plays this course. Only reasons I can see are that the course is too hard and unpredictable, and he really isn't chasing anything but money. If he is really chasing Nicklaus' legacy, he would play here and Pebble without exception. End of rant.

    Have big fun! This is a rare treat!