I don’t mind telling you how excited I was to be following TPG or The Points Guy on twitter and seeing a tweet about free tickets to attend the PGA event at the Riviera Country Club just north of LAX. What a historic course. And it got better. It included not just tickets but access to a suite on the 17th green – someone pinch me! Having been to the SPG suite twice now for the final major of the year (see this post and this post for the review) this sounded just amazing. But first some background.
You see the tickets were free for United elites. Now if you are a regular reader of the blog you know my loyalty and status is with Delta. In fact I cannot even remember the last time I had anything good to say about United. And the only United experiences I have had for years included bugs in their 1st class lounge in Chicago before my Lufthansa 1st class 747-800 flight. The point is, how did I get the tickets?
It’s funny really when you think about it. I am also no big fan of Marriott or them swallowing up SPG that I really do like. But, since I have been an SPG Platinum for years I was able to match instantly with the merger to Marriott Platinum. You may say “so what”. Well, that comes with free United Silver elite status. And that, my dear readers, is how I scored free tickets for ZERO United miles (very convenient since that is my current total balance) to attend the event! 😉
I would have loved to have shown you lots of panoramic scenery shots of the outside of the tent and the golf course itself, but you see there was one tiny little issue. If you did not notice the news last week there was a rain storm of the century that blew in and hit the coast of California. Just look at this video when it was raining lightly and you get the idea (click full screen after play):
The suite was larger than the SPG one but the difference between this hospitably tent and the SPG one is that here each unit was it’s own little area vs. cubes and a huge shared outside balcony. I liked both and did enjoy the setup with all the rain having cover outside.
In addition to complimentary continental breakfast (fruit and muffins) later came salads and steak fajitas. Considering the weather they were quite good. Adult beverages were also free too, but it was so cold even holding one was not much fun. Let’s take a peek outside.
It really was a great view of the 17th and had the conditions been warm and perfect it would have been fun to see the pro’s go for this green in two on the long par 5. Instead, everyone laid up and that mostly yielded safe shots into the center of the green. Either way it was out, freeze, then back inside and warm up.
At about 2 PM, a few hours after we had taken a 30 minute LYFT ride to the course from our hotel near the airport, they closed the course as it was raining and blowing to beat the band. TexasYankee who was foolish enough to join me on this adventure and I had to beg for trash bags just to make it out without being utterly soaked to the bone. Oh, and UBER, that was the “official” car for the event, was surging at 3-4x the price we paid to get to the event. We again took a reasonable LYFT ride back, but due to the traffic and rain we enjoyed 1 hour back to the hotel before we did use UBEReats to get room service and warm up.
Overall it was an experience to remember. A fun one? Well… travel is always fun and I did get to see a little bit of Riviera so yep I chalk this one up as a points win! – René