Los Angeles hosts a lot of great golf events, but none can come close to the Walker Cup at LACC.
I have had the pleasure of going to a lot of great golf tournaments in my day. Most years I go to Riviera for the Genesis Open. One year I even volunteered and walked inside the ropes with a group while carrying the scoring placard.
I was at Torrey Pines for the 2008 US Open when Tiger Woods won his last major.
I’ve been to Jack’s event at Muirfield and seen the pros struggle to get around that brutally difficult track.
But no event has been as memorable as attending the 2018 Walker Cup at the Los Angeles Country Club. Talk about golf as it was meant to be played. Watching those young men compete at the absolute highest level on one of the world’s premiere courses was incredible. Even more than though was the way the event is conducted. You can walk right with the groups. There are no ropes or stands, just hundreds of hard-core golf fans following some of the best amateurs in the world and admiring their talents.
I have never been to a better event. First, the golf is at such a high level it’s hard to believe. Cameron Champ hit a drive on number one I will never forget. I had never heard of him, but when I heard the ball come off his club face I was blown away. I have seen all the longest hitters in the game (DJ, Tiger, Koepka), but Cameron Champ is another thing all together.
For those of you who have been to professional events and heard the sound of the ball coming off a pro’s club face you know it sounds like a rocket taking off. Those guys hit the ball with incredible force. The sound that Champ’s ball makes is indescribable. He hits the ball so hard I thought he was going to break a club. I’m not being hyperbolic. The kid averages 321 yards of carry! It’s unreal.
But you know what’s really crazy? At the Walker Cup it hardly mattered. Of course he was way past everyone he was playing with, but the competitors were undeterred. They just played their game and competed with him. It was awesome to watch because it reminds you that you’ve got to play your game. Those guys were not intimidated because they are confident in their own game. Guess what? Champ lost a few matches. He’s not invincible despite that power.
The hospitality of the Walker Cup was amazing too. All the members at LACC are, of course, a who’s who of Los Angeles, but they could not have been more welcoming and accommodating. They were proud to show off the course and quick to help with anything that a guest could need. I even got to meet the GM who personally took me to his office to get some of my gear as a volunteer. He was kind and pleasant and it just reminds you that the game is best when it’s enjoyed with people who appreciate the game and fellow golf lovers.
If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend attending a Walker Cup and walking with the best players in the world. It’s an experience you’ll never forget. And if that’s not enough of a reason then maybe getting to see Seminole (2021) and Cypress Point (2025) would be excuse enough. I know I’ll be there.
Have you been to any Walker Cups? If so, leave a note in the comments. I’d love to hear your experience. Are there any other events that compare? If so, tell me about them so I can put them on my list. Thanks y’all!