My Five: Hollywood's Brightest Stars

SUBSCRIBE

My Five: Hollywood's Brightest Stars

February 14, 2011

Photo By: AP Photo

Photo By: Golf Digest Resource Center

Photo By: Jeff Robbins/AP Photo

Photo By: Gary Newkirk/Getty Images

Photo By: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Ben Hogan: 1942, 1947, 1948Hogan once said "anyone who doesn't live in California is a victim of circumstance." He loved Hollywood, where he took a screen test in 1941, and where stars like William Holden, Jimmy Stewart and Katherine Hepburn befriended him. He even enjoyed consulting on "Follow the Sun," despite the result. "Hogan liked movie people," said Paul Runyan. "He understood them and they understood him." Hogan's consecutive wins at Riviera, followed by his 1948 U.S. Open victory, caused it to be dubbed Hogan's Alley. The course was also the site of his most poignant LA moment, when he made the 1950 tournament his first start after his near fatal car accident, and showed his grit and brilliance before losing in a playoff to Sam Snead.

Photo By: AP Photo

Lloyd Mangrum: 1949, 1951, 1953, 1956With a thin mustache, jet black hair and dangling cigarette, Mangrum -- a Texan who took up residence in LA -- looked like he'd stepped out of a film noir adaptation of Raymond Chandler. Wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, his hardbitten demeanor, high stakes card games and ever-present silver-plated side arm gave his peers pause. "(Because of the war) some of us weren't sure was quite right mentally," said Sam Snead. But Mangrum had it together on the course. He won 36 PGA Tour events -- his last his fourth victory at LA -- with his demeanor and clutch putting earning him the nickname 'Mr. Icicle." Wrote one sportswriter, "Who said Riviera is Hogan's Alley? Let's rename it Mangrum's Meadows."

Photo By: Golf Digest Resource Center

Arnold Palmer: 1963, 1966, 1967It was fitting that as golf's man of the people, Palmer won all three of his L.A. Opens at Rancho Park GC, among the most played municipal courses in the nation. Blessed with true star quality, Palmer shined brightest in the 60s, and especially when he hit Tinseltown. A-listers would invite him here and there, he'd sit down with Johnny Carson, and when he walked into legendary Chasen's on Beverly Blvd., where Sinatra, Ronald Reagan, and Groucho Marx each had a booth, patrons would cheer. Palmer was magnetic even when he failed, like in 1961, when he took a 12 on Rancho Park's par-5 ninth, when, determined to hit the green with a 3-wood, he put four balls out of bounds. A plaque still marks the spot.

Photo By: Jeff Robbins/AP Photo

Fred Couples: 1990 and 1992Though he is Seattle born, Couples is the embodiment of L.A. cool. With his broad shoulders and flowing power, he is the rare golfer with the kind of big-time athletic gifts that is catnip to a town that's revered virtuosos like Koufax, Kareem and Kobe. But in an entertainment culture rubbed raw by loud strivers, Couples carries it all lightly and with an ineffable grace, which makes him doubly appealing. It's instructive that it took a then-small LA apparel company -- Ashworth -- to "get" Couples in the late 80s, matching him with a loose-fitting ensemble of natural fabrics that he hasn't really changed. Couples calls Riviera his favorite course, and his playoff victory over Davis Love in 1992 was the apex of their too-brief time at the very top.

Photo By: Gary Newkirk/Getty Images

Phil Mickelson: 2008 and 2009Phil isn't quite LA -- his apple pie persona is more suited to his San Diego birthplace -- but only Torrey Pines is more of a home game for Mickelson. The fans admired his scrambling artistry in his recent back-to-back victories, and despite their well-cultivated cynicism find themselves connecting with his gee-whiz smile and engaging manner. Phil has some Hollywood in him - he appeared on his favorite show, "Entourage", in 2008 -- and he and Amy are also close friends with producer Terry Jastrow and his wife, Ann Archer. But during the tournament, his coolest move is using his private jet for a family-focused daily commute that he has down to 90 minutes door-to-door between his Rancho Santa Fe home and the Riviera locker room.

Photo By: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Shop This Look