The U.S. Open Championship is one of the four major tournaments in professional golf. It’s organized by the United States Golf Association (USGA) NOT the PGA (so you’ll see both LIV and PGA players). The tournament is is held annually in mid-June so that, if there are no weather delays, the final round is played on the third Sunday, which is Father’s Day. The location of the tournament changes each year, rotating among several prestigious golf courses across the United States. This year, for the first time ever, the tournament is being held at the prestigious Los Angeles Country Club.
Located right in the heart of Beverly Hills, the Los Angeles Country Club (LACC) is one of the most exclusive and historical golf clubs in the world. LACC boasts TWO 18-hole courses, the North and South, that offer golfers picturesque views and challenging play. The club prides itself on its tradition, exclusivity, and a membership that prefers discretion. Although exact figures are kept under wraps, the initiation fees are reported to be upwards of $100,000 with annual dues exceeding $10,000. As it is a private club, membership is invitation-only, and the process is notorious for its thoroughness, with prospects needing endorsements from six existing members and an invitation from the board. Despite its proximity to the entertainment industry, the LACC is known for its “no Hollywood” rule which historically discouraged actors and celebrities from joining, although in recent years this has somewhat relaxed.
And while you may not find celebrities in the clubhouse at LACC, you may catch a glimpse of an A-lister if you happen to find yourself teeing-off from one of the club’s 36 holes.
For example, if you hear some exotic animal sounds while teeing-off from the North course’s 14th hole, you’re hearing furry residents of the Playboy Mansion’s zoo, the only officially-sanctioned private zoo in Los Angeles. FYI, Hefner was never granted membership to the club despite multiple application attempts.
Other celebrities who own mansions in the vicinity of the LACC include:
Sean “Diddy” Combs: Diddy’s 13,000 square foot mansion, which was purchased in 2014 for $40 million, is not actually on the course but is very close.
Sean Parker: The Facebook early-investor bought his nearby mansion, just a few doors up from Diddy, in 2014 for $55 million. The seller was Ellen DeGeneres.
Aaron Spelling: Spelling Manor is also not on the course, but it is two doors down from the Playboy mansion and is the largest private residence in California. Spelling’s widow Candy sold “The Manor” to heiress Petra Ecclestone in 2016 for $85 million.
And… most importantly to this article…
In 1999, Lionel paid $6 million for a luxurious mansion that overlooks the fourth green of LACC. Lionel Richie’s house dates back to 1929 and spans 17,000 square feet of living space, with 28 rooms (six bedrooms and 13 bathrooms). It’s hard to peg a current value on this property. At minimum it’s worth $40 million. One could argue it’s worth $60-70 million, or more.
Lionel’s mansion has been prominently visible during the US Open’s television coverage.
For example, as Yahoo Sports columnist Dan Wetzel tweeted: “Lionel Richie’s house lording over the US Open is one heck of a flex:“
In the photo below you can see professional golfer Lucas Glover chipping onto the fourth hole at the start of the tournament with Lionel’s house imposing in the background:
There’s a salacious rumor floating around the tournament about Lionel’s house.
Let’s start with a fact. It has been confirmed that Lionel is not personally living at the house during the tournament. He rented the mansion for the month so a fan could have a prime view of the tournament.
Where the rumor gets a little fuzzy, and very salacious, is with regard to the amount Lionel supposedly charged for the month. One source I’ve heard from told me that Lionel rented the house to one person for $1 million PER WEEK.
If Lionel required the renter to pay for the full month, that would be $4 million for the month.
Another report that was printed in the Palm Beach Post, then replicated across a dozen Gannet-owned newspapers including the USA Today, claims Lionel rented his mansion for the month for the mind-numbing fee of…
Let me repeat that. Lionel Richie is rumored to have been paid $10 million to rent his house for the month. If true, that equates to $2.5 million per week, $333,333 PER DAY. That’s a literally unbelievable amount of money, even for Lionel Richie, who has a net worth of $200 million by our count.
A very friend of mine, Scott Palmer, was lucky enough to walk the course today while the Open was being played. He was also gracious enough to snap a couple of photos of Lionel’s house. Here they are:
Who would pay that much? Not a player. The top prize is $3.6 million. No player is going to spend $6.4 million of their own money to potentially win the US Open.
I would wager that the renter is a run-of-the-mill billionaire golf fanatic. And since rich people, billionaires especially, tend to LOVE golf, the list of renter-candidates is fairly long.
Either way, congrats to Lionel Richie! You are the real winner of the US Open!
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