Rain or Shine, The Genesis Open Sends Fans Home Happy
I went to the Genesis Open on the day it was almost rained out. And it was still awesome. Here’s my story.
When I rolled up on the Riviera Country Club in the Pacific Palisades to catch the first-class PGA action, fog, rain, and mud covered the course. Not exactly what you’d call ideal conditions for a memorable day on the links.
But here, the sheer amount of activities that Genesis brought to the grounds heavily overshadowed any inclement weather. With so much to do, the sheets of rain instantly began to feel like an afterthought. And since this is LA, after a few weather delays and a near cancelation, the sun finally decided to peek its head out.
Here’s all the golfy goodness that went down over the weekend.
The Riviera Country Club is stunning
Any event that takes place in the Palisades is going to be a stunner since you’re taking it all in on the Westside of Los Angeles, not far from Santa Monica, Venice, and Malibu. This right here is what people think of when they think of LA: palm trees, endless views, and, in this case, top-notch golf mixed with a wide array of food & drink options. Throw a country club into the mix, and you’re in for a day full of Instagram bait.
Speaking of which, The Open had two installations for you to make all of your followers jealous: one setup featured a huge golf ball perfect for selfies, the other, a golf cart decked out with Genesis branding and a surfboard strapped to the back. Pair these stunt-y shots with the brilliance of the course's lawns as a backdrop in any photo, and you’ve got a recipe for the most popular pic in your feed. The Riviera Country Club clearly has it figured out, and any day you spend there is going to be special, rain or shine.
You’re right in the action
This was my first golf tournament, so I wasn’t really aware that the only thing separating you from the pros is a tiny little rope. I’m much more used to watching from the nosebleeds and watching the game on the jumbotron, so this was awesome. Since golf can be extremely intense, there wasn't a lot of chatter in the gallery -- and that’s what makes the proximity to the game so enchanting. From right behind the rope, you can hear caddie conversations, decipher what the players are muttering at their shots mid-flight, try to strike up a quick convo with your favorite tour pro (as long as he’s in a good mood because he just stuck one close to the pin), and much more. It’s the closest I’ve ever been to pro athletes and it adds an entirely new dimension to the experience that you can’t replicate in many other venues in any sport.
The food and drink is no joke
Let's make one thing clear: you will not go hungry walking the course grounds. From food trucks, to Grey Goose-sponsored watering holes, to clubhouse catering, it was hard to miss a place to get a bite or a drink. As people strolled around the course, sipping drinks, eating food, and hanging out at picnic tables, the whole thing felt very much like a music festival. Genesis made sure this was absolutely nothing like your average golf tournament. The clubhouses and boxes were a ton of fun, too (and weather resistant to boot), with many of them rocking contests and giveaways. On a wet day, the view from the clubhouse window was excellently dry.
The real star of the show on the dining end, though, was the Slab BBQ tent. The underground popup-turned-brick-and-mortar was slinging their legendary 16 hour-smoked brisket not far from the 18th Hole. Slab tends to draw gigantic lines, so the fact that I was able to just walk up and get some brisket is something special. I was still thinking about it after trotting back down to the fairways.
There is no downtime
The pace of golf gives you ample free time to roam the grounds between your favorite pairings and the Genesis Open makes sure the fans always have something new to try out. Throughout the course, Genesis brings so much more than golf to the experience. If you’re the type of person who likes to ogle cars, good news, the entire lineup of Genesis vehicles was on display. That means the G80 and G90, but also, most importantly, the tournament prize, the G70. This allowed fans the opportunity to get an up-close look at the car 2019 Genesis Open winner JB Holmes got to drive off in.
And there was still more
Even though I had a completely full itinerary in the rain, the downpour did wash away some of my plans. But fans who had the rest of the weekend to spend at the Open got an extra serving of golf, food, drinks, and entertainment. The Genesis 14th Lounge was available once the clouds blew away for anyone looking to fine tune their putting stroke at the Performance Lab. There was even a monogramming station for attendees looking for a personal memento of what was (I’m assuming) the most memorable golf event of their lives. Anybody with access to the Genesis Skybox was in for a treat, too, with open bar and a fully catered food station.
Lucky fans who showed up on Saturday got to enjoy both a full round of golf’s best followed up by an epic party. The Genesis Open Backlot Party at The Riviera Country Club, hosted by Genesis and Thrillist, was a luxury experience for golf fans. The exclusive event provided appetizers and cocktails from Chef Susan Feniger and mixologist Karen Grill, music by DJ Vice, and much more.
At the end of the day, I still had as much fun as I could have had on a rainy day
Needless to say, I was bummed I didn’t get to live it up at every single activity available across the course. But in the end, what could have been a Fyre Fest-esque disaster was avoided quite easily thanks to the amount of great stuff going on. Even if you’re not a golf fan, there’s something for you in some form or another, from the clubhouse to the links to the backlot. And if you like food, drinks, activities, and rubbing shoulders with golfers and celebrities alike, you need to be at the Genesis Open next year, no matter what the weather forecast says.