The LPGA’s Kia Classic returns to Aviara
The stage is set at Aviara Golf Club as the Kia Classic returns to the Carlsbad course March 25-28.
Nasa Hataoka will look to defend her 2019 Kia Classic title, which was her third victory on the LPGA Tour. The then 20-year-old Japanese player closed out the tournament with a 5-under 67 for a three-stroke victory over playing partner Inbee Park, top-ranked Sung Hyun Park, Jin Young Ko, Azahara Munoz and Danielle Kang.
With the 2020 Kia Classic cancelled due to Covid-19, this year’s tournament marks the eighth time in the last nine years that Aviara has hosted the event. Due to the pandemic, however, spectators will not permitted on site. You can follow the tournament action, though, through Golf Channel’s broadcast and streaming coverage.
Event at Indian Wells Golf Resort focuses on golf and photography experience
Like meat and potatoes or wine and cheese, golf and photography just seem to go together. The natural beauty of a golf course - whether it’s a municipal track in the middle of a city or an exclusive private club surrounded by nature - lends itself to spectacular imagery.
Now there’s a way to combine the two.
The Spring Golfography Experience will be held at the Indian Wells Golf Resort April 16-18, and it is one you won’t want to miss if you love a great bunker or sunrise shots – or both. The event is put on by world-renowned golf photographer Channing Benjamin and co-hosted by Patrick Koenig, also one of the top visual artists in the game. It is open to beginners, intermediate and advanced photographers and golfers alike.
Topgolf announces plans to tee up two of its first venues in Southern California
It’s official: Two Topgolf venues are coming to Southern California.
Topgolf Entertainment Group announced on February 8 that it plans to introduce its technology-enabled entertainment experience to the greater Los Angeles area with state-of-the-art facilities in Ontario and El Segundo.
The two highly anticipated venues will be the first locations to serve Southern California and will bring the total number in the state to four, joining Topgolf Roseville outside of Sacramento and Topgolf San Jose, which is expected to open in 2021.
West Coast Swing wraps up at Riviera with The Genesis Invitational
When it comes to the West Coast Swing, the PGA Tour always saves the best for last. While that’s not a knock on the events in La Quinta, La Jolla, Scottsdale and Pebble Beach – which are each terrific events in their own right – the level of excitement gets ratcheted up a notch for The Genesis Invitational.
Scheduled for February 18-21 at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, the Genesis features the largest purse of the year so far at $9.3 million and always draws a major championship-caliber field.
In addition to defending champion Adam Scott, all three major winners from 2020 have committed (PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa, U.S. Open winner Bryson DeChambeau and Masters winner Dustin Johnson, currently the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking), and 26 of the top 50-ranked players are in the field, including each of the top five.
Oceanfront golf resort in Dana Point becomes part of Waldorf Astoria
Since it first opened in 1985 along the shore of the Pacific Ocean in Dana Point, Monarch Beach Golf Links has long been a favorite destination for Southern California golfers as well as business and leisure travelers visiting Orange County. With its unmatched seaside location, prime course conditions and commitment to first-class service, it’s not hard to see why.
Starting in 2021, golfers and resort guests may notice upgrades, as the 400-room AAA five-diamond property has become the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club thanks to a new management contract with the world-class luxury hotel brand. Ohana Real Estate Investors, which purchased the club in 2019, will retain ownership.
While any changes to the golf experience may be subtle at first, the overall experience of guests visiting from near and far will be improved in many ways, said Eric Lohman, General Manager of Monarch Beach Golf Links.
Host course of The American Express has been challenging golfers for 35 years
Playing the PGA WEST Pete Dye Stadium Course in La Quinta is sort of like skiing a double black diamond, the most difficult of alpine slopes. For low handicappers, it represents a stiff challenge and truly forces you to bring your “A” game. For the rest of us, well, simply surviving is a feat in itself, and the stories you’ll be able to tell will last a lifetime.
“The Stadium Course is on everyone’s bucket list,” said Ben Dobbs, PGA WEST’s Executive Director. “Even though it’s one of the most difficult courses in the country, everyone still wants to play it. Low handicappers may go out and shoot 79 and say it’s one of the best rounds they have ever played. Then there are amateurs who stop keeping score after a few holes and just try to enjoy the experience.”
Indeed, the experience of playing the Stadium Course is unlike any other. The Pete Dye-designed track maxes out at 7,300 yards, has been named by Golf Digest as the fourth toughest course in America, and in case you weren’t already intimidated, the scorecard reveals that there are holes nicknamed Eternity, San Andreas Fault and Alcatraz.
The Celebrity Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort.
Indian Wells Golf Resort honored for finest playing conditions in SoCal
For the second time in three years, Indian Wells Golf Resort has been honored with having the best playing conditions in Southern California.
Greenskeeper.org, a well-respected online platform and social network with 75,000 members that features golf course reviews and maintenance alerts, awarded Indian Wells Golf Resort its 2020 Best Playing Conditions honor on January 4, and also in 2018.
Indian Wells Golf Resort features two championship courses, the Celebrity and the Players. Designed by Clive Clark, the Celebrity Course is a 7,038-yard, par 72 with spectacular mountain views, undulating fairways, lakes, waterfalls, flowing streams and brooks, and vibrant floral landscaping. The John Fought-designed par-72 Players Course stretches to 7,376 yards from the tips and features a classic American design complete with sculpted bunkers in a style reminiscent of Riviera and Winged Foot. Both tracks have received numerous accolades over the years.
San Diego County track gets a new name, along with major improvements
The start of a new year often brings new beginnings, and that couldn’t be more true for one golf course in northeast San Diego County.
On January 1, Woods Valley Golf Club will be re-named Native Oaks Golf Club, and that’s not the only notable change for the daily-fee track in Valley Center that has been popular among San Diego golfers since it first opened in 2004.
OB Sports was selected to manage Native Oaks in November 2019 on behalf of its owners, the San Pasqual Economic Development Commission, and the experienced company has already started to make noticeable improvements.
El Segundo hoping golf entertainment company can break ground in 2021
Nearly eight years since it was initially proposed, city officials in El Segundo remain hopeful that the first Topgolf facility planned in Southern California will become a reality.
Topgolf, which many Southern Californians may be familiar with because of its popular entertainment complex in Las Vegas, offers games and activities for golfers and non-golfers of all ages as well as upscale food and beverage service at more than 60 locations around the world.
The project in El Segundo has been planned as part of an agreement that would bring a major upgrade to The Lakes at El Segundo, a 9-hole executive course and driving range owned by the city and located along Pacific Coast Highway, near Los Angeles International Airport and the beach towns of Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo.
Inland Empire’s Goose Creek Golf Club has earned its stellar reputation
While Goose Creek Golf Club in Jurupa Valley is challenging enough to be a perennial favorite to host some of the biggest professional events in the region, it’s also welcoming enough to ensure that average golfers can enjoy themselves too.
Nestled in the Hidden Valley Wildlife Area and meandering along the Santa Ana River, the Inland Empire gem is easily accessible from Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Riverside counties and has hosted qualifying events for the PGA Tour, USGA and others. The par-71 Schmidt-Curley Design routing that plays 6,560 yards from the tips should be a destination no matter where you live in Southern California.
“If you are looking for a pure golf experience based on a creative and effective course design that’s well maintained and a course that’s fun and challenging to play for all levels, this is it,” said Ross Fisher, the PGA Director of Golf at Goose Creek.
Greetings, fellow golfers, and welcome to SoCal Golf Insider! We are Rob Lyon and Eric Marson and we've been reporting and writing about the game throughout the region since 1995. Here, we will provide you with the latest news, features, reviews and more on all things golf in Southern California. Let’s tee it up!
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