How To Play Hole 10 At Riviera Golf Course

Every year, Hole 10 at Riviera Country Club seems to rattle some of the pros when they compete in the LA Open. The design of the hole goes as follows. Short Par 4 with a hard fairway that kicks everything forward and slopes hard left to right. The green is narrow, and undulated in a way that is ridiculously tough to hold if you hit an approach shot from anywhere on the fairway that is right of the right edge of the left green side bunker. Bunkers surround the right side and back side of the green with a deep swale left of the green. 

Simply put, where you hit it off the tee will make or break your score, no matter who you are. I've seen countless incidents where a pro doesn't heed that warning and decides to bomb away. 

I've probably played Riviera hundreds of times and watching these pros fail is simply baffling. The proper way to attack the hole is simple. 

Hit a mid iron at the left edge of the left bunker. That will give the player a wedge in and the best angle into the green. Attack the right center of the green as the approach shot will kick and roll left towards the swale. Take you par and move on. Maybe you get lucky with the pin position and make birdie. That's the best you can hope for on Hole 10. It is what it is. 

DO NOT try and take a driver and think you can hold this green. The risk vs reward is not worth it. The right green side bunkers and the swale behind are unnecessarily penal and the truth is, there is maybe a 5% chance a pro can chip in from there. Worst case, you go back and forth from swale to bunker and make a double. Scratch that, worst case, you end up in the trees behind the green and make a snowball. I used to go to the LA Open every year when I lived there and I've seen it happen more times on Hole 10 than I can remember. The treachery of that hole is what makes it a draw for spectators. 

I've heard some people online say the move is to go into the left green side bunker and putt out. No way that's happening. Much better chipping out of that left bunker to get it close. Kikuyu grass, the grass at Riviera, is stickier than you can imagine and is unpredictable with those types of shots. The bunkers at Riv are typically very deep and steep with a very heavy, thick sand. Trying to take a putter out of a bunker would land a player on the lowlight reel. 

Here's Todd, the head pro of Riviera with his thoughts on the best way to play the hole. 

For entertainment value alone, I hope that the guys on Tour, don't take this advice and try to drive the hole anyway. It's really gratifying to know that even the best golfers can succumb to their egos and try dumb shit, only to fail miserably.