How Can I Play Riviera Country Club?

We explore the options for playing the world-renowned Los Angeles course

Riviera Country Club
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Riviera Country Club hosts one of the most prestigious tournaments on the PGA Tour, the Genesis Invitational, so it’s no surprise that the Los Angeles course is one of the best in California. Architect George C. Thomas Jr designed the course with incredible attention to detail. It took 18 months and 15 iterations before it finally opened in 1927, with the project’s cost reportedly $250,000. However, the effort and expense were worth it, with the course quickly establishing a pristine reputation and hosting Majors including the US Open and PGA Championship.

In 1992, Coore and Crenshaw renovated the bunkering, and nowadays, Riviera Country Club is known for having one of the most natural layouts of any course. It's also ranked one of the top 50 in the world. But how can you play it? With famous members including Tom Brady, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg, you could be forgiven for assuming that securing a round at the Riviera Country Club is next-to-impossible short of being on first-name terms with an A-lister.

Indeed, knowing a member is one way to do so. However, the club has a membership of around 1,500, which is a higher number than some other Californian courses with similar reputations. Still, even if you can get an invite from a member, playing a round isn’t cheap. You’ll need to pay around $350 in green fees, and that’s before a caddie fee and tip.

Another option is to purchase a charity sponsorship. Children’s charity Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles holds an annual event at the club. For $4,500, you will get one twosome, a caddie and two spots at the reception gala.

The Genesis Invitational Pro-Am offers a third way to play the course. There are two Pro-Am tournaments, held on the Monday and Wednesday before the main event, and anyone with the necessary funds of several thousand dollars can sign up. 

Finally, the easiest way to guarantee a round at the Riviera Country Club is to become a member. However, it’s also the most expensive option, with the initiation fee reportedly costing $300,000. 

Riviera Country Club 18th hole pictured

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How much does it cost to join Riviera Country Club?

As one of three Los Angeles courses known for its rich and famous membership (the others are Bel Air Country Club and Los Angeles Country Club), membership of the course is not cheap, with a reported initiation fee of $300,000.

Who are the members at Riviera Country Club?

Over the years, the Riviera Country Club has taken membership fees from many A-listers, including Humphrey Bogart, Glen Campbell, Walt Disney, Douglas Fairbanks, Peter Falk, Dean Martin, Gregory Peck and Mary Pickford. As a result, some of the clubhouse’s guest rooms have nameplates of celebrities who have stayed there.

What are all the dead trees at Riviera Country Club?

One of the best-known features of the Riviera Country Club is its abundance of eucalyptus trees. The giant trees stand out because of their white bark, and they play an essential role in ensuring several of the holes are particularly challenging.

Mike Hall
Mike Hall

Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.