LACC goes against traditional rulings, sort of, for U.S. Open

LOS ANGELES — This won’t happen at the People’s US Open.

Hosting the 123rd U.S. Open this week, the Los Angeles Country Club will be the antithesis of the Bethpage Black U.S. Open in that it will be a flashy, glamorous and high-profile event.

Virtually everyone who lives and plays golf in the New York metropolitan area has played at Bethpage or attended a professional tournament at a historic public institution. Even though Wilshire Boulevard bisects the club’s north and south courses, he’s one of the busiest streets in the city, but most people in LA have no idea where LACC is. I don’t even know

Golf Channel on-air personality Damon Huck, who hails from LA and attended college at UCLA, which is almost across the street from the LACC, hadn’t been on the ground until Monday.

It’s exactly what the club has wanted for years – to be hidden in plain sight. The club welcomes publicity as much as its emerald fairways and greens are sick.

Until this week.

Clubs are a contradiction. Based in Tinseltown, they have built a reputation for rejecting potential members who have entertainment ties to Hollywood.

Australia’s Cameron Smith heads for the 9th hole during practice rounds before the 123rd US Open Championship at the Los Angeles Country Club
Getty Images

Bing Crosby was denied membership in the Los Angeles Country Club because of his ties to the entertainment industry.
Bing Crosby was denied membership in the Los Angeles Country Club because of his ties to the entertainment industry.
Getty Images

The LACC is not a gathering place for famous actors, directors and famous musicians. This is where industry leaders – CEOs, lawyers, and other big companies – meet and mingle.

Bing Crosby lived near the 14th hole and famously wanted to become a member, but was not welcomed because of his ties to the entertainment industry.

David Pavoni, who co-authored the book Golf in Hollywood with Robert Chu, told the story of an actor who once wanted to join LACC but was turned down.

he writes: “I have a funny story about actor Randolph Scott. I have a movie about it.” ”

Interestingly, musician Lionel Richie owns one of the most impressive homes on the course, a mansion overlooking the 4th green previously owned by Cher.

The famous Playboy mansion once graced the LACC’s 13th hole, but no longer. Legend has it that Playboy founder Hugh Hefner wanted to build a helipad at his home, but the club would not allow it. When Mr. Hefner said he would be happy to become a member if it helped, the club replied, “No thanks.”

So, perhaps as a way to flip the club’s proverbial bird, Hefner built a zoo in the backyard adjacent to the 13th hole, with monkeys, parrots and other rare birds calling over the fence.

The former home of the late film and television producer Aaron Spelling is also on the course.

So the course is surrounded by celebrities from the entertainment industry, but we don’t want them as members.

The Riviera, which hosts the Genesis Invitational, has members such as Larry David, Adam Sandler and Sylvester Stallone, just to name a few.

In the shadow of Warner Bros. Studios, Lakeside is where Bob Hope once played golf and now Justin Timberlake. Amelia Earhart had a home in Lakeside.

Hugh Hefner
Hugh Hefner
Getty Images for Playboy

Hillcrest is LA’s famous Jewish club, where the Marx Brothers and George Burns were once members. Some scenes from “Tarzan” were shot at the Bel Air Country Club, where many of the rich and famous golf.

This week, despite its world-class status (the North Course is ranked 16th on Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 Greatest Courses), it has for years rejected offers from the USGA to host the US Open. The LACC will have a moment to attract attention.

And ironically, many of the tournament attendees will be the type of people the club has long avoided as members.

Stan Kroenke, owner of sports teams including the Los Angeles Rams, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and Arsenal in the Premier League, bought up the entire LACC Pro Shop for a week and turned it into his own luxury suite overlooking First Tea. bottom.

Estimates vary as to ticket distribution for the US Open, but around 75 percent of the 22,000 tickets per day this week are believed to be corporate-based, with the money and connections to acquire tickets. A much smaller percentage remain among ordinary sports fans who don’t have one. A view of the corporate tent.

That would undoubtedly make the U.S. Open much quieter than, say, Bethpage Black’s U.S. Open, but that’s a shame. It’s almost certain that we’re all waiting for someone else’s U.S. Open this week.

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