Spotted: Tiger Woods visits Los Angeles Country Club (North), site of the 2023 U.S. Open, and 4 other things we learned

LOS ANGELES. I was touring the Los Angeles Country Club (North), site of the 123rd US Open, and T-13 in Best Classic Golfweek Courseswhen three-time US Open champion Tiger Woods rolled onto the first target.

The member, who was kind enough to show me around, actually asked me, “Who is that?” and when I broke the news that it was a 15-time main winner in flesh and blood, looking hefty as a violin, he replied: “Are you kidding? Saint…”

Woods, who announced on Friday that he was ready to play in a real PGA Tour event at this week’s Genesis Invitational was there with his assistant, Rob McNamara. I was tempted to get my phone out and take a picture, but I’m pretty sure I would have been escorted out of the compound right away. But I witnessed Tiger being given a rundown book at the US Open and some good advice from a club official, and then jumping into a golf cart to tour the course in Beverly Hills. Tiger had no clubs on his cart, but stopped to watch Hero Motors CEO Dr. Pawan Munjal, who sponsors Tiger’s silly seasonal event in the Bahamas, tee off.

Woods, who won the US Open in 2000, 2002 and 2008, skipped last year’s national championship at The Country Club in Brooklyn, Massachusetts to focus on playing at the UK Open in St. Andrews. Looks like he’s gearing up for a fourth US Open title in June.

Here are four more things I learned about the US Open in June at LACC.

Tiger wasn’t the only pro at LACC

It’s usually a quiet day at the private club on Mondays – you can hear the skittle drop, as one member said – but this time at LACC, the first court was so busy that I asked if the walk would start. Turns out the away game ends on March 1st, so everyone has a friend who wants to win a round before the US Open comes to town.

This includes Adam Scott, who kicked off just before Woods appeared. I was told that six to ten PGA Tour pros were expected on Monday, including reigning champion Matt Fitzpatrick, who was scheduled to do a photo op with the USGA. Apparently, several pros also showed up before and after the San Diego Farm Insurance Open last month. It doesn’t seem difficult to take an early look at the course ahead of the third Major of the year.

2022 US Open
2022 US Open

Matt Fitzpatrick celebrates winning the US Open with caddy Billy Foster during the final round of the US Open. (Photo: Peter Casey, USA TODAY Sports)

Special tee #1

It never ceases to amaze me how far trails go to add a few yards. In LACC (North), the USGA wants to increase the length of the first hole. To do this, you need to build a new special jersey for the tournament, which will be right in the middle of the practice putting green. This means that the first hole will be in the 580 yard area. As with the Riviera, another design by George C. Thomas, the first opening is a gentle handshake and will continue to be available to many in the field.

Los Angeles Country Club
Los Angeles Country Club

A general view of the clubhouse and putting green during the 123rd US Open – First Look event on the North Course of the Los Angeles Country Club. (Photo: Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports)

Fairways you can really get into

Traditionally, at the US Open, the fairways are so narrow that they have to be walked in single file. Not so in LACC. The fairways will be wide, with the first and 12thth holes with the narrowest fairways 28-29 yards wide. For this reason, there will be no intermediate cutting of diamonds, which has been commonplace in recent years.

Los Angeles Country Club
Los Angeles Country Club

View of the 17th Lawn during the 123rd US Open is a First Look event at the Los Angeles Country Club’s North Field. (Photo: Kelvin Kuo, USA TODAY Sports)

Champions locker room

LACC takes a page from the Augusta National gamesbook and creates a separate section in the players’ dressing room for past champions. It’s a nice touch. LIV members Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and, if he qualifies, Graeme McDowell will all change there.

There is still a lot of work to do, but the LACC is getting ready to open its private gates and welcome the Open back to Los Angeles for the first time since Ben Hogan won at the Riviera in 1948. As one participant put it, “It’s an incredible wedding to take place in June.”

Maybe. No. Wait.

Los Angeles Country Club
Los Angeles Country Club

A general view of the clubhouse during the 123rd US Open is the First Look event at the Los Angeles Country Club’s North Field. (Photo: Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports)

The story originally appeared on GolfWeek.


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