14 Feb GolfPass Grass Guru – Riviera Country Club
The Genesis Open • Riviera CC
Hole 6 • Par 3 • 199 yds
By Eric MacPherson
The tour stays in California this week with The Genesis Open hosted at the magnificent Riviera Country Club. At Riviera, there is only one bunker that I could have possibly chosen as the bunker of the week – the center green pot bunker on Hole #6.
This tiny bunker has been the bane of many a pro golfer’s existence. Normally, an arrow dead center on the green is a really good thing. That is, until you hit an arrow dead center on the sixth at Riviera. Hitting it in this bunker isn’t desired in any scenario, but hitting it long where you have to chip over, or putt around, this little demon could spell doom. There have been all sorts of dramatics with tour players over the years having to do just that. Now, with the ability to leave the pin in while on the green, we may get some golf shot trickery from the pros. Go ahead – use that flagstick as a backstop, I dare you. Now THAT would be a shot.
If I showed any golf fan a zoomed in picture of this green and bunker, I doubt anyone would get it wrong. This is arguably one of the most memorable and recognizable bunkers in all of golf. I can barely name 5 others that are so easily recognizable without the greater context of the rest of the hole, or surrounding landscape. The pot bunker on the sixth truly is one of the most unique in the world, not just on Tour. That doesn’t make up for the fact that walk mowing this green has got to be tricky. Turning a self propelled mower without tearing the grass is no easy feat. Throw down some turning boards and it only gets trickier – they can be quite slippery. I’d be willing to bet a large amount of money that an intern has dropped a mower or two into that bad boy.
Without a doubt, the crown jewel of this course, bunker-wise, is the sixth. However, Riviera has so many memorable bunkers. The 10th and the 16th green side bunkers are amazing. The architecture and design of this course are some of the most solid to ever be implemented. I typically like to pick the more understated and lesser known bunkers on courses, it’s in my DNA. It’s important to highlight the hidden gems that people might not normally think of or see. At Riviera, it was impossible because that little pot bunker on hole #6 truly is one of a kind.