On the Links: Riviera Country Club

Riviera Country Club
1250 Capri Drive, Pacific Palisades | TheRivieraCountryClub.com

Founded 1926

Initiation Fee $250,000

Members The Riv, as it is often called, is challenged only by Bel-Air when it comes to attracting the most high-powered industry players, boasting the likes of Mark Wahlberg, Adam Sandler, Dennis Quaid, Luke Wilson, producer David Friendly, Lionsgate's Jon Feltheimer, Lloyd Braun, UTA's Jay Sures and WME's Ari Emanuel. WME's Nick Stevens (1.4 handicap) is perhaps the best player in the biz, with actor and Bel-Air member Jack Wagner (1.9 handicap) up there with him. One regular Saturday morning trio is composed of producers Mark Canton and Art Linson and Summit's Rob Friedman; another group includes TV producer Jeff Ross, film producer Craig Baumgarten and the Collective manager Michael Green, a 4 handicap ("Once I divulge my handicap to people, they joke I'm not working enough," he says). Larry David, adds one member, "wins most improved golfer" and is an 11 handicap. During one of Curb Your Enthusiasm's golf scenes, David notes that the owners of the show's fictional course are Japanese, a reference to the management at Riviera.

The Course Consistently ranked by national golf publications as one of the best and toughest courses in the U.S., Riviera plays host every February to the PGA Tour's Northern Trust Open, once known as the L.A. Open. The venue is notable for its serious players, cooling ocean breezes, challenging South African kikuyu grass fairways and an intimidating elevated first tee box, smack dab in front of the clubhouse. "You're really on display," says one member. The club allows phones out on the course ("People just can't be MIA on Saturdays and Sundays when the grosses come out," a member says) but not in the dining room or near the first tee. Tiger Woods has never won here and has apparently scratched it off his list; he hasn't played at Riviera since 2006.

Hollywood History The clubhouse walls are lined with pictures of such Hollywood greats as Mary Pickford, Gregory Peck and a foursome of Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis and Bing Crosby.