This week Tiger Woods announced that he would be playing in the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. Of Course, the Tiger Woods Foundation hosting the event helps, but this wasn’t a given. Woods hasn’t played at the Riviera since 2006. Think about how crazy that is. The biggest golfer in the world hasn’t played in the second largest TV market — and L.A. is a very large golf market — for over 10 years.
It isn’t as if the former Northern Trust Open and now Genesis Open didn’t have stars. Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson were regulars. There are also stars in the crowd. It’s pretty normal to walk around the grounds and see someone famous. It is Los Angeles after all.
Tiger is still one of the biggest draws in golf. Tiger’s return tour should drive ticket sales and ratings. Now he is back playing in Los Angeles and the activation possibilities are endless.
The big winner here may be Genesis. As they continue to build out their brand through their NFL partnership and now a flagship golf tournament with one of the biggest stars in golf, they will garner more brand recognition. This is Genesis’ first time sponsoring the tournament at the Riviera so it helps the biggest golfer in the world will be teeing off. The goal for the tournament is that Tiger’s return creates exposure. The tournament at the Riviera could be the must see event in February. As great as the tournament was before, it just didn’t have this type of pull before new management and sponsors came in. The Riviera is a great course and it will now get the exposure it deserves.
It’s odd that golf doesn’t come to Los Angeles more than once a year. It’s odd that a major hasn’t been held here in almost 70 years. The Genesis Open at the Riviera can really dominate the golf headlines in southern California, especially with Tiger involved . . . that is until 2023 when Los Angeles Country Club hosts as US Open. That’s a long run way for Genesis Open sponsors.