Local Knowledge: 2013 Northern Trust Open

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Riviera Country Club provides one of the most exciting finishing holes in tournament golf.
T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer

Series: Local Knowledge

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013 | 8:30 a.m.

One of the shorter courses on the PGA Tour schedule also happens to be one of the most legendary -- Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

This is a place for shot-makers, the kind of course that isn't exactly the bomber's paradise we're used to seeing on a weekly basis. Bill Haas is the defending champion after he managed to hold off Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley in a playoff last year.


Riviera Country Club is the venue for this week's Northern Trust Open. Have you played there? If so, click on the course names to write a review of your experience. Also, be sure to check out our PGA.com Course Guide to review all the courses you've played and to find the perfect course for your next round.

Our local expert
Todd Yoshitake
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Destination: Los Angeles

Are you thinking about taking a golf vacation to Los Angeles? If so, don't just go there without reading up on the courses. PGA.com has an extensive database of courses all over the U.S. with reviews from people who have played them. Learn more and put together your itinerary.

Before the tournament teed off, we caught up with Riviera's PGA Director of Golf, Todd Yoshitake.

Yoshitake shared some thoughts on his job, the tournament and highlighted some spectacular places you don't want to miss if you ever find yourself in the area.

PGA.com: Todd, we appreciate you joining us. You're one of our favorite interviews throughout the year. Let's start off on a personal note. What has been the highlight of your career as the PGA Director of Golf at Riviera, one of the most famous golf courses in the world?

Yoshitake: Contributing to the team that has been entrusted to polish this great golf course. The owner and staff has had one goal from the start; to create the best golf experience for the members and guests, as well as be able to challenge the best players in the world.

PGA.com: There's so much going on around Riviera. Hollywood is right there. If someone has a day to spare for some sightseeing, what are the top three things they can't miss in the area?

Yoshitake: The pacific coast from Venice, Santa Monica to Malibu is breathtaking. Sometimes I take the longer route home and drive the coast to see the sunset and the waves. It’s the perfect way to end the day.

PGA.com: Last year, you had an unbelievable finish with Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley each holing huge putts at the 72nd hole to join Bill Haas in a playoff (which Haas eventually won). Does it get any better than that? What was it like to watch?

Yoshitake: the 18th hole at Riviera is the perfect amphitheater. The crowd was huge and the noise was deafening. It was a pure theater.

PGA.com: Final question for you, Todd. What's your favorite spot on the course and what makes that particular spot so special?

Yoshitake: I love to watch No. 10 green. When the pros try and drive the green and are not successful, they wish they had laid up. When they lay up, they wonder if they could have driven the green. The short game required on that hole allows the gallery to see every shot imaginable, and then some.