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PGA Tour pro asks Tiger Woods to fix 'terrible' hole at Riviera

February 19, 2024

Riviera Country Club receives more praise from fans and players than perhaps any other golf course used by the PGA Tour. However, that doesn't mean everyone thinks the storied L.A. venue is perfect.

One hole in particular, No. 4, has had golfers grumbling at the Genesis Invitational the past couple years. The long par 3—once called "the greatest par 3 in America" by Ben Hogan—has gotten extremely difficult to hit. But never more so than over the weekend.

During Sunday's final round, only six of 51 players hit the green in regulation—or less than 12 percent! And those players still shot a combined one over on the 231-yard hole. But for the entire week, it wasn't much better.

Stats guru Justin Ray noted that the 15.4 percent that hit the green during the tournament is the lowest figure for any hole since the sixth hole at Royal Birkdale during the 2008 Open Championship (13.7 percent). And that's after only 16 percent hit the green in 2023.

So what's there to be done, if anything? Well, one PGA Tour pro, Adam Schenk, had a suggestion for what he described as a "terrible" hole. Bold! And he made it directly to tournament host Tiger Woods on Sunday night. Even bolder!

Two types of grass around the green? Hmm. It might look weird, but it could make the hole play a lot more fair—and as it was intended. Hogan probably wouldn't have heaped as much praise had he not been able to run shots onto the sloped green. Instead, the kikuyu grass has made that tougher to pull off.

Then again, with golf holes there's always going to be differing opinions. Lee Trevino once said they should "plow the hole up and start over" and more recently, Luke Donald tweeted: "No disrespect to Mr. Hogan, but wouldn't put the 4th hole at Riviera in my top 1000 par 3's in America!!"

In any event, we'll have to see what changes, if any, are made before next year's tournament. And while we're not sure if such a change falls under the purview of the tournament host, if anyone could convince the membership to get something done, it's probably a 15-time major champ.

Riviera Country Club
Riviera Country Club
Pacific Palisades, CA
198 Panelists
A compact and shrewd design by George C. Thomas Jr. and associate William P. Bell, Riviera features everything from a long Redan par 3 to a bunker in the middle of a green to an alternate-fairway par 4. With its 18th green at the base of a natural amphitheater, and its primary rough consisting of club-grabbing Kikuyu, Riviera seems tailor-made as a tournament venue. It hosted a PGA Championship in 1995, a U.S. Senior Open in 1998 and a U.S. Amateur in 2017, but no U.S. Open since 1948. Riviera was recently awarded the 2031 U.S. Open, and it will also host the 2028 Olympics. But it’s the site of an annual PGA Tour event, which is even better exposure to the golf world.
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