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« Questions Surround Gulbis Decision To Pose With Painted Swimsuit In Swimsuit Issue | Main | Stars Of 70s Align To Give Tiger Advice, Make Yet Another Career Major Count Prediction »
Monday
Feb132012

It's Northern Trust Open Week!

Riviera and No. 10 circal 1929, soon after greenside bunkers were added on the famed short par-4 (click on image to enlarge)I know this week is blocked off on your calendars and your bingo boards are all ready to go, just waiting for Gary McCord to describe kikuyu with the word velcro or Jim Nantz to make his first Bel-Air Hotel reference so you can mark off the upper left corner while hoping they'll show a little tenth hole play before a witty segue into a CSI Los Angeles plug.

I'll do my best to highlight the best and worst of the event formerly known as the L.A. Open. Because it's one history-rich event played at a still-great course with a strong field this year. This cool PGA Tour Productions film gives just a flavor of the recent tournament fun, but they are just scratching the surface. The fun has been going on at Riviera and other L.A. area courses since 1926.

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Reader Comments (20)

Hope you can do a couple of your DIY golf architecture movies for us Geoff!

Have fun out there....

DM
02.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDick Mahoon
Double edge sword on how The PGA Tour treats history it's either Walter Hagen winning then Cialis Western Open or the Event just started they don't seem able to treat it right.
02.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaboy
Wow, I guess the pgatour doesnt have to run these videos pass the sponsors first.... The inclusion of Mike Weir?? Surely NT would have just excluded that.
02.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterM
Nice to see that Tiger used to have fun on the golf course. Look at when Mayfair beat him in the playoff, he seems pretty nice about the defeat.
02.14.2012 | Unregistered Commenterraggededge
I would love to see photos or video again.
02.14.2012 | Unregistered Commentersidvicius
M, funny point. What a complete ball-drop by whoever it is that's making the selections at this event. Weir has a long track record of supporting the event including the years immediately after he won the Masters.

How about that putting stroke of Mayfair's!

The 3-wood Allenby hit was one of the old Callaway original Bertha's....the whole head wasn't much bigger than a walnut and the sweetspot was about the size of a peanut. It was a helluva shot.
02.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDel the Funk
M, funny point. What a complete ball-drop by whoever it is that's making the selections at this event. Weir has a long track record of supporting the event including the years immediately after he won the Masters.

How about that putting stroke of Mayfair's!

The 3-wood Allenby hit was one of the old Callaway original Bertha's....the whole head wasn't much bigger than a walnut and the sweetspot was about the size of a peanut. It was a helluva shot.
02.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDel the Funk
Geoff, sorry for the double post. I think there's a glitch in the software. Seems as though every time you go back and make a change it creates a shadow copy and then at the time of posting, posts them all.
02.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDel the Funk
You're right about Allenby's furniture shot, Del. If I recall not only was it wet, it was cold.
02.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
interesting that neither Jack nor Woody have won there
02.14.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt
Del - I noticed Mayfair's putting stroke too. Wow. How often did that stroke work? Often enough I guess. Don't think Jim Furyk ever saw it, it might match Furyk's swing.

jb
02.14.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjb
Del - and about that double post you did. Maybe you've still got Natalie on your mind.

jb
02.14.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjb
D. mac, you are correct, they were all bundled up with knit caps and such. About the only person I ever saw hit a better shot with that particular club was Chuck "The Hitman" Hiter...don't pass it up if you ever get a chance to see The Hitman!

jb, I don't think most people realize that Billy Mayfair has been a world class player, and prominent, since he was 12 years old. He was the US Am Champ, US Publinx Champ, NCAA POY, 5 PGATour wins including a Tour Championship back when it meant something. He lost 5 other events in playoffs. Heck, he even won Tour School a couple years ago!

Two years ago I was looping for a buddy who was trying to 4-spot for the Quail Hollow event, Mayfair flies in last minute, literally goes straight from baggage claim to the 1st tee, makes 6 birdies and 12 pars on a course he's never seen before to shoot 66 thank you very much, and leads the Quail event for 3 rounds before he runs out of gas -- that's talent folks!

And by all accounts he's a pretty darn nice guy. But that putting stroke has always been sight to behold, he makes it work!
02.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDel the Funk
Del - thanks on Billy Mayfair. I remember the US Amateur championship, probably knew and forgot some of the others. But not that much. Best remark you made was that Mayfair is "by all accounts he's a pretty darn nice guy." Better than a good putting stroke, to be known as a pretty darn nice guy.

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

jb
02.14.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjb
Del - I have Chuck's first performance, on tape if that tell you something. Chauffered a station wagon full of juniors over to TPC River Highlands to see him live, best hand-eye in my book. I can imagine what Hogan would have said, the possibilities are endless.
02.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
Seriously D. mac?!?!? That's astounding!

I was once at an outing at Grand Cypress and we were warning up to play, but first The Hitman was performing. Grudgingly I quit hitting balls and went over to watch -- probably the best golf related decision I ever made! I'm actually just laughing out loud about it right now...most unbelievable thing I've ever seen.

He had the 5-wood version (think even smaller) of the 3-wood Allenby hit (made me think of Hiter). The Hitman would throw a ball in the air and before he hit it call out "high hook", and he'd hit a high hook...."low fade", hits a low fade...and on and on and on...I'd love to see that show again. And I'd be shocked if there's anyone else in the world that can do the things he does with a club and a ball.
02.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDel the Funk
Del - Makes you wonder what his BA would have been if he played ball. Maybe not, but he certainly have been the fungo king. I think the smallest 3-wood I can remember was the original Bobby Jones.....think hybrid on a 41" shaft. Hell, the head on my Joe Powell DSP J1 persimmon was bigger than that.
02.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
D. mac, as I think about it I remember that the club in question is actually the Callaway S2H2 fairway wood....tiniest of heads.

I'm pretty sure he did play baseball at at least the college level. The outing was a scramble that day and when we went out to play the course they stationed him on a tee and for each group he'd toss a ball in the air and pound it out there with a driver, if his drive was the best you could use it. It was the best. But I asked him how he got started and said it was picking balls at a range. They'd walk around the perimeter with a wedge digging balls out of the long grass or edge of the fence where the picker couldn't go, and he'd flip the ball up in the air and hit it into the range with the wedge. He got pretty good!

So who's the favorite this week, Phil? Does he go back to back?

Wouldn't surprise me...
02.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDel the Funk
You mean Phil the enigma? I can never figure out what's coming from round to round let alone event to event. The more complicated it is the more he likes it. I mean, who goes belly and then back to a 32" and suddenly develops laser lock on the hole? He might be bored after Friday if they don't give him enough tough pins to fire at.
02.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
probably the best regular tour stop of the year, or at least my favorite...can't wait to get down there tomorrow to check out some of the practice action!...I can't wait until they start taking out some of those eucs...
02.14.2012 | Unregistered Commenterg_r_c

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