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.
SoCal native Max Homa won The Genesis Invitational at Riviera. (Courtesy The Genesis Invitational)
Five things we learned about Genesis champ Max Homa from his Wiki page
Los Angeles has long been known as the City of Angels, but in the last six months it can also lay claim to the title “City of Champions.” First it was the Lakers winning the Covid-delayed NBA Finals in October for the first time in a decade, followed 16 days later by the Dodgers taking home their first World Series trophy since 1988.
For golf fans, the holy trinity was achieved when SoCal native Max Homa captured The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club on February 21, becoming the first hometown kid to win the city’s revered PGA Tour stop since John Merrick did it in 2013.
Homa, 30, earned his second win on the PGA Tour after a two-hole playoff with Tony Finau following rounds of 66-70-70-66 (272). After missing a three-footer for birdie on the 72nd hole to win in regulation, Homa made a remarkable par save from the base of a tree on the opening playoff hole, the diabolical 10th, then made a par 3 on the 14th hole as Finau bogeyed from a greenside bunker.
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.
Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines serves as a warm-up for 2021 U.S. Open
With the 2021 U.S. Open set to return to Torrey Pines Golf Course in five short months, the seaside La Jolla track will get a dress rehearsal this week during the $7.5-million Farmers Insurance Open.
San Diego’s PGA Tour stop annually attracts one of the best fields outside of the major championships, and while fans can’t be on site this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, those watching on TV will see a field loaded with talent – many using it as a chance to prep for the season’s third major championship in June. The field includes 23 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, led by World No. 2 Jon Rahm, who won the event in 2017.
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.
Carlsbad-based Callaway Golf continues to revolutionize the way we play
It’s no surprise that Callaway Golf is always front and center as one of the companies making waves in the industry year after year. What else would you expect from the brand that introduced us to the Big Bertha nearly three decades ago and forever changed the way golf equipment is made?
The last half of 2020 saw Callaway release the Big Bertha B21 drivers, fairways, hybrids and irons, as well as the Big Bertha REVA line of metals, hybrids and irons for women – with REVA complete sets coming early this year.
Lower handicappers were also presented with the company’s Apex muscleback and forged cavity-back and utility irons. To say the offerings were well received would be an understatement, and excitement among Callaway loyalists remains high with new products hitting retail early this year.
Top schools in the country set to compete at PGA WEST in The Prestige
One of the top college golf events in the country, The Prestige presented by Charles Schwab returns to the PGA WEST Greg Norman Course February 13-14 for its 21st year.
The annual men’s golf tournament will feature 24 teams, including nine from California – UC Davis, Stanford, Cal, Cal Poly, Long Beach State, Pepperdine, San Diego State, USC and UCLA. Three of the top-10 teams in the Bushnell Golfweek coaches’ poll through mid January are scheduled to attend, including No. 1 Pepperdine, No. 9 Texas Tech and No. 10 Arizona State.
Brian Hughes, the PGA Clubhouse Manager and Head Golf Professional at the Greg Norman Course at PGA WEST, said the quality of the competition has been strong since the event first started, and The Prestige has steadily bolstered its reputation as one of the best college tournaments in the country.
West Coast Swing tees off as The American Express returns to La Quinta
The party once known as the Bob Hope Classic will be considerably tamer this year, as the PGA Tour’s annual visit to the Coachella Valley will be held without fans in attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions. But that doesn’t mean The American Express – the event is in its second year being sponsored by the credit card company – will be any less exciting.
Fans can tune in on Golf Channel from January 21-24, and with homes lining all three courses in the rotation, plenty of homeowners will likely set up in their backyards for a closer look. When they do, they’ll watch a field of 156 of the world’s top players plying their trade with a $6.7 million purse on the line, a group that already includes nine of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
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.
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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