Culture 

Why the 2024 Genesis Invitational Felt Bigger Than Ever

Recapping the food, spectator fashion, and the rides at the 2024 Genesis Invitational, featuring the GV80 SUV.

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Why the 2024 Genesis Invitational Felt Bigger Than Ever

Recapping the food, spectator fashion, and the rides at the 2024 Genesis Invitational, featuring the GV80 SUV.

Welcome to LA, the home of Hollywood Walk, Venice Beach and Sunset Boulevard. From art, to music, to food and hiking, the city has a little something for everyone. But unbeknownst to many, LA is also a rising destination for golf, and The Genesis Invitational in Pacific Palisades is the week where everyone comes together to see the game’s biggest stars take on Riviera Country Club.

Although Monday started off with the focus on the tournament host Tiger Woods, by Sunday evening a new champion, all eyes were on Hideki Matsuyama, the first ever Japanese player to hoist the trophy. Between the awe-inspiring plays and honors, The Genesis Invitational cemented its reputation as the most fan friendly tournament in golf, and indeed one of the pivotal competitions on the calendar.

The Next Chapter

The Genesis Invitational is already well established as one of the biggest tournaments of the year. But weeks before the 2024 edition arrived, golf fans were marking the date February 12 on their calendars thanks to Tiger Woods. After Woods and Nike parted ways, the 15-time major champion announced that his next chapter would become known the Monday before The Genesis Invitational.

Sun Day Red, a joint venture between Woods and TaylorMade, was officially revealed at a private event in Pacific Palisades on February 12, and the next day the public got to see the pieces first-hand as Woods began his preparations for Thursday’s opening round. The story dominated headlines early in the week, as people online debated over logo design, material choice, silhouettes and so forth.

Tiger opened the tournament with a solid 72 dressed in a striped blue and polo and white pants, but the next day he really turned heads with a red, white and blue striped polo that paid tribute to the one he wore in his 1992 tour debut at Riviera. Unfortunately, he only made it through 6 holes that day as he was forced to withdraw with flu-like symptoms.

Korean Hospitality

Son-nim is the Korean word for honored guest, and it embodies the brand’s philosophy of providing a warm welcome to all of its clients. There were exactly 71 honored guests competing for The Genesis Invitational trophy, and one of them, Tiger Woods, brought an In-N-Out truck to the course to hand out free burgers to patrons. It turns out Tiger prefers his patties sans pickles, which was thoroughly documented on social media.

But what’s unique about Genesis is that this attitude doesn’t just inform how players or VIPs are treated, it’s relevant for everyone. That was most apparent at the Genesis 14th Lounge, which was completely free for all ticketed attendees. Offering a reprieve from the LA sun, the covered lounge provided a perfect vantage point of the par-3 14th hole, where Will Zalatoris made a hole-in-one on Friday and won himself and his caddie Genesis SUVs.

But this area offered much more than just spectating. Any golfer who has been to a professional tournament has at one time felt the urge to take aim at the nearest flagstick, and the mobile golf simulator Dryvebox hosted a closest to the pin challenge where anyone could test their skills. Elsewhere, legendary LA street artist Jonas Never live painted a mural depicting Riviera Country Club, and Bang & Olufsen had a headphone station where fans could listen in to the sounds on the 14th tee box.

That’s not even to mention the free coffee and authentic Korean snacks. Naturally, the Genesis lineup of automobiles was also on display, including the new 2025 GV80 which has yet to be released. It’s truly the best free lounge at any professional tournament in the game.

The Fits

Part of what sets The Genesis Invitational apart from other golf tournaments is that it takes place each year in a major, international city. Naturally, that leads to a younger and more diverse makeup of fans, and you can really see that in the way people are dressed.

While spectators have historically mirrored the fashion of the competing professionals (think golf shoes or runners, khaki shorts and polyester polo shirts), those attending The Genesis Invitational tend to favor indie brands that are disrupting the traditional golf uniform. On Sunday at the tournament we saw people wearing the likes of local brands Metalwood Studio and Quiet Golf, Arizona-based Devereux Golf and Black-owned Eastside Golf. We even ran into the creative director for Born X Raised, Alex “2Tone” Erdmann, while lifestyle brands like Stussy and Aime Leon Dore were also spotted.

The Rides

Whether you’re the driver or the passenger, getting around Los Angeles can be complicated. Simply put, the traffic is inescapable, but it’s much easier to tolerate sitting in the back of a Genesis G90. For those who are unfamiliar, the G90 is Genesis’s premier luxury sedan, and with its clean lines and premium touchpoints the interior was a calm and quiet oasis among the chaos of busy Los Angeles. But as journalists who spend a lot of time hunched over computers the feature that we appreciated the most was the 18-way power seating, which includes four different massage modes covering the entirety of the pelvis, back and shoulders. The various modes could be selected from a touchscreen on the center dropdown console where you controlled the climate, music and other features.

But a car needs to be driven to fully understand its benefits, and despite the omnipresent traffic there are a few places to find some open road. From our hotel in Koreatown, we drove the GV80 SUV north through Hollywood to the iconic Mulholland Drive. The first thing we noticed was the electronically controlled suspension which made light work of the uneven city streets’ potholes, dips and rises. Once we reached Hollywood Hills, the GV80s limited slip differential allowed us to take sharp turns on the steep, zig-zagging road.

Despite being the largest SUV in the Genesis lineup, the GV80 is surprisingly nimble in tight spaces. That was especially true navigating in and out of the overlook above the Hollywood Bowl. The small, L-shaped parking lot was unsurprisingly packed with other cars (and amateur content creators), but the parking sensors combined with the overhead camera view gave us confidence in exiting safely.

As we embarked on our last car ride of the week, which was to LAX to return home, we reminisced on a week of perfect weather, panoramic city views, new friends and of course top tier golf.

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