This post is now sponsored by Los Angeles golf courses. However, the opinions are my own and this is not how I scored tickets to this event. The tickets were from a friend of mine.
I was incredibly excited to score weekend tickets to the Northern Trust Open. Yes, both days. Never mind that I got them for no charge, but they were also Clubhouse tickets. Needless to say, I was pumped.
That was, I was totally pumped until I got there. It's a good thing I didn't have to pay the $75 face value of the ticket. I would have flipped out. Really, the only benefits to these higher-priced tickets were that you got to use the fabulous & clean restrooms in the clubhouse instead of the portables. Some may argue this is worth the extra fee. You did also get access to a private dining area with a VERY limited menu. Yes, you still had to pay for the food and drink and it wasn't a great value if you get my drift.
Now let me just say that I was still pumped to be there. This is my 3rd year in a row at the tournament and I enjoy every moment of it. You did hear me say that I had tickets for the weekend - I only got out there today. No matter what I tried, I could not get hubby out there yesterday. This is quite odd considering I'm the surfer girl that he got into golf about 5 years ago. I love watching it in person so much better than on the TV and the course at Riviera is so awesome to be at. Top that off with the week of rain we've had and I just wanted to get outside.
Anyways - we managed to park at the 9th and see some great players roll by. First was KJ Choi, Trevor Immelman, and Vaughn Taylor. There was a toddler standing close by that said "KJ Choi" as he walked up. The golfer turned and smiled and as he walked up to the tee his caddy handed the youngster a ball.
Next was JB Holmes, Stuart Appleby, and Martin Laird. Its true what they say about Holmes. That guy can crush the ball. Even more interesting is he's not the biggest guy out there.
The next group was Justin Rose, Stewart Cink, and Spencer Levin. They were followed by Harrison Frazar, Jimmy Walker, and Robert Allenby. I just love watching some of these big-name golfers tee off. It's amazing how well they hit the ball and seeing it in person just makes your jaw drop.
Finally John Senden, Ryan Moore, and Vijay Singh were up. Vijay looks so much bigger on TV. In person you see that he's in amazing shape. We stood there in awe as he crushed a massive drive.
And lastly the leaders came - Fred Couples, Kevin Na, and Aaron Baddeley. Somehow, the most obnoxious guy in the crowd was standing right behind us. If you were watching on TV and heard the dude on 9 yelling his encouragement to Couples, he was right behind us. There were also a couple of 12-year-old girls wearing homemade t-shirts that said, "I <3 Baddeley". Many of the media photogs stopped and snapped their picture.
Badds can sure hit the ball. It was epic. Na didn't do so bad either. We totally felt for Couples, you could tell he was experiencing some pain as he winced through his drive.
Overall, it's a great event but they're getting cheaper in a lot of ways. This time they were doing buy 1 get 1 free tickets and let everyone in free after 1:30 pm today. You could tell this affected the rest of the event. A can of soda was $5 and trying to find the free magazine program was impossible. This is the first year I didn't get one. To top that off, there were much fewer food choices this year and those that were available were pricier than Dodger Stadium (which is saying quite a bit if you've ever been there). This year in "The Grove" food court there was ONE choice for food. Outside of this area you were pretty much down to hamburgers and hot dogs. Two years ago they had several clinics and fun things for the fans to do, like taking a picture with a life size Phil Mickelson cutout that they would email to you.
I'll still get down there next year. I love going. Now I've just got to find someone that will take me to play Riviera. I've just got to play this place.
Congrats on the win to Aaron Baddeley!