The tournament formally known as The LA Open is a lesson in highs and lows. First there is Riviera, one of the truly great courses and clubs that we attend each year. The first tee is one of the best starting places in golf. You stand on the tee, which is 70 feet above the fairway, with the pro shop, dining area, and putting green behind you.
The first hole, a short par 5, is an easy beginning hole. The tee is elevated 75 feet above the fairway, tempting players to hit driver, but out of bounds on the left side makes players think twice. Scores range from eagle to double bogey.
The par 3 fourth that Ben Hogan called the best in golf. The crazy green on the par 3 sixth that has an amazing amount of tilt and a bunker in the middle of the green. I can remember Bobby Jones hitting shots to the ninth and up 18 in his instructional series. Those are the good things.
It's a 3 mile drive to the hotel and it takes about an hour to get there at rush hour. It would be quicker to walk. Bryan and I just decided to leave the hotel before 7am to not get stuck. But it's worth it for 1 event each year. And the walk from the range up the hill to the clubhouse is a challenge for all of us in a hurry to help out our players.
A walk with Geoff, Kevin and Camilo
Today I walked with Geoff. It was the first time I have seen him hit his new Cobra MB Pro (Prototype) irons. They are a new forging we came up with for our staffers. I have to thank the Cobra R&D department, Poulter, and Geoff for their input. This iron is a beauty. It is the best looking and best performing MB iron I have worked with. Geoff has been testing his new King Cobra Pro D driver. We are close to getting him fit.
Next week, Geoff defends his WGC Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson. It's kind of interesting the event has been moved here as Geoff didn't get to defend his Tucson Open title last year, because of qualifying for the match play. He will have a double defense of sorts. I guess he plays really well in late Feb.
Kevin Na is very happy with his new King Cobra Speed Pro D driver. We made a change in loft to an 8.5 head which has decreased his vertical landing. Now the ball is rolling a good distance, adding to his overall distance.
Camilo is ready to play as well. His game looks to be rounding into form after a good finish at Pebble. He is also very happy with his King Cobra Speed Pro S 8.5. Matty Bednarski, Camilo's caddie, looks nervous as I approach him with any drivers in hand. I think he is very happy with Camilo's gamer.
Ian made it back to the US after a few weeks back home in England. He says they were under a load of snow and showed me picks of his family building snowmen. One had Ian's custom headcover on top. Classic!!!