Forecaddie: LPGA returning to historic Wilshire with deal extension

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Forecaddie: LPGA returning to historic Wilshire with deal extension

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Forecaddie: LPGA returning to historic Wilshire with deal extension

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Maybe it’s the Golf Channel shots of the old movie studio lots or perhaps it’s Wilshire Country Club’s charming architecture, but The Forecaddie is ecstatic to hear the mid-city club has extended its commitment to LPGA golf for an additional five years.

Initially, the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open was signed for three years in December 2017 as part of the club’s centennial celebration. The Man Out Front worried that might lead to a little fatigue with members after two years, but from informal surveys around the lively clubhouse area, the club is gladly hosting the world’s best female golfers. With the extension, the club will host through 2025.

It has not hurt that late afternoon tee times put the course on Golf Channel’s East Coast prime-time coverage, earning a new level of national respect for a course typically in the shadows of Riviera and Los Angeles Country Club.

But as more of the country has seen Wilshire’s Kyle Phillips-restoration of the 1919 Norman Macbeth layout, Wilshire has taken on a new level of prestige.

“It’s an exciting golf course,” Brooke Henderson said before noting that Wilshire poses all sorts of danger to aggressive play. “Patience is definitely a huge key around this golf course.”

The small, pitched greens and glorious bunkering once again produced a worthy all around winner in new Rolex world No. 2 Minjee Lee. Now The Forecaddie just hopes the event locks up sponsors Hugel and Air Premia for years to come.

Hugel is a South Korea-based maker of beauty products, including Botox, and has hopes of entering the U.S. market soon. The Forecaddie hears all are happy with the sponsorship, with hopes of an extension beyond next year to join Wilshire’s commitment for tournament operator Eiger Marketing Group.

Besides highlighting a great track, the return of the “LA Open” moniker is proving relatable to a longtime southern California audience. Since that was the name of the PGA Tour stop for more than 70 years and abandoned in 1995, it’s helped boost the LPGA’s return to the city after a 10-year absence. Now The Forecaddie hopes there are many more years to come.

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