The Forecaddie: Wilshire CC gets LPGA Tour event

Wilshire Country Club

The Forecaddie: Wilshire CC gets LPGA Tour event

Forecaddie

The Forecaddie: Wilshire CC gets LPGA Tour event

Since the LPGA Tour announced an April return to Los Angeles for a tournament, The Forecaddie has been pondering the venue choice. After all, The Man Out Front wondered if there were strong options. 

The last time the best women golfers visited the L.A. market, they played at the less-than stellar Pacific Palms Resort. This time TMOF was thrilled to learn that Wilshire Country Club has landed a three-year deal to host the new HUGEL-JTBC Championship, April 19-22.

“There’s a different air walking in here,” said the LPGA’s rep, Sean Pyun, launching the $1.5 million, 72-hole tournament along with execs from sponsor HUGEL and local LPGA greats Amy Alcott, Natalie Gulbis and Jenny Shin.  

For those who haven’t been fortunate enough to play this gem in the heart of L.A., the nearly 100-year old Wilshire CC is a fantastic Norman MacBeth design restored by Kyle Phillips that has previously hosted Los Angeles Opens, the PGA Tour Champions and the LPGA. Only nearby Rancho Park, the defunct Desert Inn in Las Vegas and a few other courses can say they’ve hosted all three tours.

But Wilshire is about more than tournament history and an underrated design. Just walk the halls of its Mediterranean-style clubhouse and look at photos of old Hollywood, read up on a history that includes former U.S. Open winner Olin Dutra as its pro, or listen to current head pro Rick Reilly tell you about the rejuvenated membership of young Hollywood types and you have the ingredients of one seriously fun LPGA Tour stop. 

“Wilshire is one of those golf courses that everyone wants to play,” said Gulbis, who lives in the Newport Beach area and has played the course since her teenage years. “And when you have that attached to an LPGA event it just elevates the tournament.”

Shin, an L.A. native, was blunt about what will attract the LPGA Tour’s culinary connoisseurs, who she expects to be grilling her for advice. 

“And the food is amazing here,” she said.

Mostly though, TMOF knows that Wilshire has always drawn nice crowds for tournaments in a notoriously fickle town. With a location between Hollywood and L.A.’s massive Koreatown, this “get” by LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan’s team makes it an A+ move. 

Surrounded by mid-city driving ranges galore, the Hollywood hills as a backdrop and punctuated by stories of Hogan and Howard Hughes, the LPGA’s finest players will have a hard time saying no to a date with a Tinseltown’s toniest tournament option.  

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