Culture

Here's the Go-To City Guide to LA for the Genesis Invitational

The inside scoop on the best golf, food, shopping and more.

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Here's the Go-To City Guide to LA for the Genesis Invitational

The inside scoop on the best golf, food, shopping and more.

The Genesis Invitational is the first big golf tournament of the PGA TOUR season. Golf has a long history in LA, but its profile has reached new heights in recent years thanks to luxury automaker Genesis Motor America, who became the tournament’s official sponsor in 2017. With the event held in one of the biggest cities in the world, there’s a myriad of things to do on top of watching world class athletes navigate the historic Riviera Country Club.

The possibilities are endless so we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help fill your stay with golf, food, shopping and more while in LA.

The Golf

To be clear, there are plenty of locales around the world with more golf courses per capita than Los Angeles. But what really makes the city’s offerings unique is the blend of municipally run golf courses, each with a distinct identity and diverse mix of players, and aspirational private clubs that are steeped in history. And no course is as synonymous with golf in LA as Riviera Country Club. Founded in 1925, pretty much any golfer who has made a name for him or herself has stepped foot on its grounds, from popular film stars and comedians, to elite professional golfers and influential politicians.

The club is located in the hilly Pacific Palisades area of the city, with the majority of the course nestled into a valley below the Spanish revival clubhouse and first tee. The most recognizable holes tend to be the ones that use that scenic setting to its advantage, and both have great areas to watch the action as a fan.

Upon arrival, you’ll want to spend some time on the 1st tee watching players start their rounds. It’s an elevated tee shot with a view that gives you a good sense of the property. Next, on the deceptive short par-4 10th, a hole that consistently punches above its weight, you can sit behind the green and watch players navigate the notoriously difficult green. Lastly, the signature par-4 18th that plays up towards the clubhouse has a natural amphitheater for viewing the drama unfolding on Sunday afternoon.

If you’re looking to squeeze in some golf for yourself during the week, try Penmar Golf Course just south of Santa Monica. It’s a super casual 9-hole course where polos are optional and beers and hot dogs are served.

The Accommodations

 

There are endless hotel options to choose from in Los Angeles, but if you’re planning to be at the Genesis Invitational for multiple days, it’s best to stay somewhere close to the tournament. That’s why we recommend sun soaked Santa Monica, and particularly Santa Monica Proper Hotel. Situated in a 1920s era building, the 267 room hotel is just a 15 minute walk from the oceanfront. That means you’ll have plenty of shopping, sightseeing and beach lounging to do between enjoying the hotel’s various amenities like a rooftop pool, outdoor restaurant and Ayurvedic spa.

A less expensive option is Courtyard Santa Monica, which is only four blocks from the beach. This hotel boasts rooms with views of the pier and an outdoor pool in addition to standard amenities like a fitness center, cafe for small bites and event spaces.

The Food

 

Restaurants in Santa Monica tend to take advantage of their coastal setting with ocean views, and Elephante takes it one step further by designing a menu that evokes the flavors of the Mediterranean. A mixture of fresh seafood pasta dishes, classic Italian fare and inventive cocktails are served in an indoor/outdoor beach house setting with warm, natural wood tones. If you can, book a reservation around sunset or come early for a drink at the bar. Those who are feeling adventurous can get a $56 USD espresso martini with a photo printed on top. Another option, Fia offers a similar Italian coastal menu, but with a greater emphasis on seafood delivering various crudo appetizers plus grilled sea bass and lobster capellini mains.

Alternatively, you can head just a bit eastward towards Sawtelle and Japantown, where you can find authentic Japanese, Filipino, Chinese and Thai restaurants. One particular spot to try is Tempura House, which opened in 1949 and is one of the city’s oldest Japanese restaurants.

The Shopping

 

Given LA’s reputation as a hotbed for upstart, fashion-focused golf brands, you can easily impress people at the Genesis Invitational by putting some extra thought into your outfit. That doesn’t necessarily mean wearing golf clothes, but perhaps a hat or a t-shirt from one of the city’s “IYKYK” labels.

Located in the trendy shopping district of La Brea is Metalwood Studio, a golf and streetwear label founded by an LA native and former college golfer Cole Young. The shop offers a dynamic customer experience that isn’t just limited to apparel, and experienced and novice players alike can also shop for used golf clubs, or bring in their own set for repairs.

And this may be an article about LA, but don’t sleep on Quiet Golf’s store in Orange County. The brand, whose minimal aesthetic takes inspiration from classic American sportswear, opened its flagship store last summer. Expect a more laid back vibe compared to the city proper where you can practice your putting out front or take a few swings in the simulator inside between browsing the store’s selection.

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