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PCCraig

  • Karma: +0/-0
Both opening holes at these George Thomas designed courses start with short, reachable par-5's.


Riviera


One of the more famous opening tee shots in golf, the player stands (literally) in the shadow of one of the most famous clubhouses in golf. There is a significant amount of width off the tee, but much of it is covered in rough.





The 2nd shot is played over a barranca, and the primary challenge is to line up the best angle for a putt or chip to that day's pin for your third.





The green at Riviera's first is extraordinary for its horseshoe nature, and the severity of its fronting greenside bunker. There is a major difference in difficulty depending on the hole location. On the left, the layup is relatively simple and a 4 would be a likely score. A pin on the right would require a fairly testy chip either over the bunker (as shown above) or from rough short right of the green. Certainly the strategy would be improved if the short grass was expanded significantly short and right of the green.


LACC

Much as with Riviera, the first tee at LACC brings the player a tremendous sense of place as it sits in the shadow of a sprawling white clubhouse, terrace, and putting green. Not to mention the row of rose bushes planted by George Thomas himself.


While not elevated in the same way, the hole flows downhill with the Beverly Hilton serving as the primary backdrop in the distance.





The tee shot has width as well, yet this width is in the form of 150 yards of short grass. The strategic interest comes from either carrying the shorter bunker on the right, or hugging the left bunker for a better angle of attack on the 2nd shot.





The green, while not as visually dramatic as Riviera's horseshoe, is shaped almost as a redan with a huge amount of slope from short right to back left. Any lay ups must take on a huge fairway hazard 80 yards short right. Any approach to this green requires a ball to land well short of its target. The player then hopes for a good bounce, but not too much of a bounce as long of the green is a severe drop off.


LACC gets the slight edge due to the added strategic interest from tee to green.


Match


LACC - 1 up

« Last Edit: Yesterday at 08:42:23 PM by PCCraig »
H.P.S.

Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2022, 02:03:58 PM »
Ooh this is going to be good. How are you going to work Fowlerís Little Seventeenth in? :)
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2022, 03:41:04 PM »
Surprising that no one has done this before.

Fairway width on 1 at Riv is silly, but the green complex sublime. The second shot is plenty interesting. Going for the green is tempting, but positioning is important. The left bunker 100 yards short complicates a layup.  I would give the edge to Riviera.

Brent Carlson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2022, 04:18:19 PM »
I would halve the first hole as neither one stands out above the other.  The tee shot at Riv is cool having your name called out.  Rustic Canyon has a better opening par-5 than both, with more interest and strategy.

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2022, 05:38:47 PM »
I guess the natural question is since when was Bel-Air deemed chopped-liver in the Battle for LA?  Especially now that its been returned to its former glory...

Adam G

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2022, 10:58:19 PM »
Let me guess the rest having not seen the courses in years...
2 is hard, mabye the edge goes to LACC
3 LACC
4 Riv
5 is tough but goes to Riv
6 Riv
7 LACC
8 LACC
9 Riv
10 Riv
11 LACC
12 Riv
13 LACC in a nailbiter
14 LACC
15 Riv
16 Riv but its clsoe
17 LACC
18 Riv
We end all square...
« Last Edit: April 21, 2022, 11:00:04 PM by Adam G »

PCCraig

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2022, 12:34:24 PM »
I guess the natural question is since when was Bel-Air deemed chopped-liver in the Battle for LA?  Especially now that its been returned to its former glory...


Because I haven't been to Bel-Air and can't speak to it?  ;D



H.P.S.

Carl Nichols

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2022, 01:17:59 PM »
I guess the natural question is since when was Bel-Air deemed chopped-liver in the Battle for LA?  Especially now that its been returned to its former glory...


Because I haven't been to Bel-Air and can't speak to it?  ;D


I've also never heard anyone say that Bel-Air (even as restored) is "better" than either. 

Brock Lynch

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2022, 01:19:22 PM »
Wow, another thread gone off the rails.


PCCraig, good work, continue on.

PCCraig

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2022, 02:49:51 PM »
The similarities continue on the 2nd hole, both approximately 450 yard par-4.5.


Riviera


The 2nd at Riviera is a dogleg right. Trees are on the right and the driving range screen is on the left. One can't help but think they could use the screen as a bumper if hitting a draw. The green is banked up against the massive hill the clubhouse sits on, giving it a subtle redan feel, making the player want to hug the left side of the fairway. Curiously the only fairway bunker is on the right/inside corner of the dogleg. Overall a wonderful hole and effectively the 2nd par-4.5 in a row.





LACC


The 2nd at LACC is a slight dogleg to the left with a subtle uphill tee shot to a ridgetop. On the approach you could be confused as to what direction to go in as there are two greens...yet the one up the hill on the right is unoriginal and the new restored green sits on the left in a dramatic location just over the barranca. The current green has a number of interesting ruffles in it, including a neat backdrop feature behind the pin shown below.







LACC wins hole 2 in a close one. Riviera's 2nd could be extraordinary if some short grass is brought back right of the green.  LACC's 2nd green sits in such a dramatic place and the approach shot is a thrilling one over the unkempt barranca.


Match


LACC - 2up
H.P.S.

Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2022, 02:56:40 PM »
My general thoughts. LACC is the better property and is currently way closer to expressing its full potential. Instinctively though, I believe that Riv is the greater design.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Tim Leahy

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2022, 07:53:59 PM »
Does Riviera get a plus for the Kikuyu and Eucalyptus or a minus?
I love golf, the fightin irish, and beautiful women depending on the season and availability.

Matt_Cohn

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2022, 02:02:00 AM »

Riviera's 2nd could be extraordinary if some short grass is brought back right of the green.



It is now short grass right of the green.

PCCraig

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2022, 11:09:14 AM »
Even more similarities come on the 3rd holes. Both are medium length par-4's that feature loads of strategic interest.

Riviera


The 3rd at Riviera features a left to right tee shot that plays around a good sized slope/hill on the right. The strategy off the tee is to flirt as much as possible with the left bunker in order to gain the better angle to the green. From that angle you can carry the left/short bunker to find easier access to the pin. If not, the greenside bunker on the right is in play and it's is an incredible one - deep, hard, and a difficult up and down. A very strong hole.





LACC


The third teeing ground at LACC is a stunning corner of the property. With little 17 to your left and a rolling/heaving fairway (which made me feel like home for this WBYC guy!) ahead at the 3rd. The large green is bisected in front by a deep, mean looking bunker. The pin location dictates the strategy off the tee between hitting a driver, laying back, and angle.










Both are wonderful, world class, holes. But I would give the edge to LACC for its third given the multitudes of strategic options.


MATCH


LACC - 3 UP



H.P.S.

Alex Miller

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2022, 03:12:49 PM »
I guess the natural question is since when was Bel-Air deemed chopped-liver in the Battle for LA?  Especially now that its been returned to its former glory...


Because I haven't been to Bel-Air and can't speak to it?  ;D


I've also never heard anyone say that Bel-Air (even as restored) is "better" than either.


It's not and I've never heard anyone say that either. Heck I don't think there's a consensus 3rd place in LA, but the top 2 are well-ahead.


My general thoughts. LACC is the better property and is currently way closer to expressing its full potential. Instinctively though, I believe that Riv is the greater design.
I agree with the first part - the second is harder to visualize currently.

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2022, 03:40:35 PM »
I will admit to not having the inside scoop on the best of LA offerings.

That being  said, several courses like NGLA, Crystal Downs, etc, were thought to be chumps for decades until a closer look in conjunction with research and restorative efforts shot them far up the best of lists...

Phil Burr

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2022, 10:24:43 PM »
When I was at Riv for '83 PGA, #2 was played as a par 5 for membership and par 4 for professional play.  I don't know if that's still true but (without giving deep thought to the matter) I'm generally inclined to take points off when "par" conflicts with the design.  When designing #2 on Riv did George Thomas anticipate the hole being played as a par 4?

V. Kmetz

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2022, 10:41:32 PM »
If this is honest match play, why aren't #1 and #2 "halved"?  There was no special difference cited; just tiny subjective margins; difference between a win and half in match play is enormous...difference between winning 3 or losing 4 is enormous. Saw nothing clear offered as to why those holes can't be halved, in a honest match comparison.
"The tee shot must first be hit straight and long between a vast bunker on the left which whispers 'slice' in the player's ear, and a wilderness on the right which induces a hurried hook." -

PCCraig

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2022, 11:34:10 AM »
If this is honest match play, why aren't #1 and #2 "halved"?  There was no special difference cited; just tiny subjective margins; difference between a win and half in match play is enormous...difference between winning 3 or losing 4 is enormous. Saw nothing clear offered as to why those holes can't be halved, in a honest match comparison.


Letís discuss. Why would you say 1 and 2 should be halved? I have my opinions, which is the 1st at Riviera is hampered by a lack of appropriate short grass, and the 2nd at Riv has a terrible range net to the left and is slightly less interesting and dramatic than its opponent.


Iím not sure one hole has to be the clear and absolute superior to win a hole. Consider a real life match can sometimes be decided by a lip out!  :)
H.P.S.

Don Baker

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2022, 01:54:41 PM »
Two classics for sure......... and both have had less dramatic changes than many courses that have been renovated.  Maybe that's because the original architects did such a good job?  I remember a couple of the old tee boxes at Riviera that are no longer there, but would be fun to add back for occasional play.  #2 was originally a Par 5 with a small tee box just off the right edge of #1 green.
#10 used to have a small tee box, no bigger than a dinner table, cut into the hill just off the right edge of #18 green!   :) [size=78%] [/size]

V. Kmetz

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2022, 07:25:35 PM »

Letís discuss. Why would you say 1 and 2 should be halved? I have my opinions, which is the 1st at Riviera is hampered by a lack of appropriate short grass, and the 2nd at Riv has a terrible range net to the left and is slightly less interesting and dramatic than its opponent.

Iím not sure one hole has to be the clear and absolute superior to win a hole. Consider a real life match can sometimes be decided by a lip out!  :)


I'm not sure it does either...and I'm merely going off your descriptions that broadcast very slight, even subjective differences... I've never played or visited LACC...


#1 How come that one of a kind teeing experience and amazing first green not give it a slight "edge;" as for fairway grass, I went to the Genesis two months ago and there was no rough on the Riviera property unless you count 1/4" wispy brown, unprepared ground as an impingement on shots and a restriction on design. They could make two gang cuts on either side of the fairway and satisfy your basic objection... draw/halve at the very least... debatably a win for Riviera.


#2 - You've got scant remarks for the 2nd Riv green which is one of the sportiest things you'll ever find at the end of a brawny hole, in a beautiful location.  Again, I've never seen LACC up close or with detail, so I'm taking your word, but if a range net loses the hole, then I'd ask Riviera to put the range back, east of the course as it was for a number of early years...will the range net harm #10 when you get to that tee, and you can see it all?


My feeling is LACC ought be 1 up after 3...not 3 up....There doesn't seem to be much decisive difference in the first two holes on a comparative basis.
"The tee shot must first be hit straight and long between a vast bunker on the left which whispers 'slice' in the player's ear, and a wilderness on the right which induces a hurried hook." -

David Panzarasa

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2022, 11:44:39 PM »
I don't agree on the first hole.
 
1st hole at riv, better tee box and opening shot. enough short grass for sure!, makes you think on the opening hole if you hit driver or 3 wood more than LACC. 
 Green complex is better at Riv on 1st hole.  LACC 1st hole is nice easy warm up where only a shank or slice/draw can get you in trouble from making par.  The green complex at Rivera 1st alone, bunker in front of green, just an easy win for Riv on that hole

David Panzarasa

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2022, 11:58:31 PM »
Your third hole description, I believe you have the LACC tee box and little 17th on left mixed up.


That's on the second hole, looking left, not the third. 






Ryan Hillenbrand

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2022, 03:25:42 PM »
Pat,


That's a generous photo you posted of #2 at Riviera - you can't see the giant practice range net down the left side of the hole. I know when comparing shot values we shouldn't count those things, but it made that hole forgettable for me. Haven't played LACC but the 1 & 2 scores looks right to me based on the photos. Looking forward to the rest.

Matt_Cohn

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Battle for LA - Riviera vs. LACC - Match Play
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2022, 04:30:12 PM »
Let's put the results up to a good old-fashioned vote! Please use use this Google Form to vote for hole-by-hole winners. You can do the whole 18 in one go, or you can submit votes for individual hole numbers as we go along. Just please don't vote twice for the same hole number!




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