Noboru Watanabe founded and works as president of the Riviera Group. Passionate about golf since his youth, Noboru Watanabe stays active as a golfer and helps with the Pro-Am Northern Trust Open held at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California.
The corporate history of Northern Trust’s partnership with the tournament began in 1926. The tournament has featured numerous milestones over the years, including course records set by Ben Hogan, Joe Louis becoming the first African American to compete in a PGA-sanctioned event, and Jack Nicklaus earning his first PGA paycheck. In 2015, James Hahn won his first-ever PGA Tour tournament in a three-hole playoff against Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey.
The Northern Trust Open 2016 was played February 15 through 21, with a purse of $6.8 million. Bubba Watson carded 68 in the final round, including five birdies, and posted a 15-under-par tournament win, beating Adam Scott and Jason Kokrak by one stroke. It was his second victory at this tournament, as he had previously won in 2014.
Noburu Watanbe is the president and founder of Japanese lifestyle company Riviera Corporation. Noburu Watanbe is also the owner of several marinas in Japan, one of which will play a part in the windsurfing and sailing competitions of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In September 2015, it was announced that surfing may also be included in the 2020 Olympic Games, consisting of two events for 20 male surfers and 20 female surfers. Surfing has been proposed by the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee as a new addition to the Games, along with skateboarding, karate, sports climbing, baseball and softball. Fernando Aguerre, president of the International Surfing Association, has been advocating for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympic Games for over a decade, arguing that surfing is practiced in over 100 countries, with over 35 million surfers worldwide.
Since 1992, ISA leaders have been lobbying for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympics. The sport lost five Olympic bids over the last two decades, though the ISA was granted recognition as a “Recognized Federation” in 1997. This year’s proposal by the Organizing Committee was a historic victory for professional surfers.
Riviera Country Club
An accomplished business owner in Japan, Noboru Watanabe leads the Riviera Corporation as the president and founder. Noboru Watanabe is an avid golfer and, after visiting as a child, made it his mission to acquire the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. He succeeded in his dream and has since helped the Club become recognized for its top-quality golf course and amenities.
Dedicated to offering its members a luxuriating experience, the Riviera Country Club maintains several standards and etiquette rules for those enjoying its amenities and services. Within the main clubhouse, all guests are asked to wear casual attire during business meetings or while dining with only some exceptions. Golf and tennis clothes are allowed in the bar and dining room until 6:00 pm every day while men are asked to wear jackets on holidays and Saturday nights.
Beyond clothing requirements in the main clubhouse, members must wear the proper golf attire while playing on the course. This includes standard length trousers or Bermuda length shorts along with tucked in collared shirts and soft spiked golf shoes.
As a general etiquette request, the Club also asks members to be respectful about the use of cell phones, PDAs, and computers. Sounds and ringers on phones should be off while at the club and use of such items is only allowed in designated areas. These areas include parking lots, locker rooms, and the tennis deck.
For over 25 years, Noboru Watanabe has led Riviera Corporation, a lifestyle company that employs a staff of more than 2,000 individuals in Japan, the United States, and China. An avid boater, Noboru Watanabe contributes to youth sailing programs and supports several sailing competitions, including the IFDS Blind Sailing World and International Championships.
Founded in 1993 by the International Federation of Disabled Sailing (IFDS), the Blind Sailing World and International Championships (Blind Worlds) is a biennial competition in which teams of sailors who have visual impairments compete for The Squadron Cup. Teams are divided into three classes–B1, B2, and B3–based on the extent of each crew members’ visual impairment. In addition to visually impaired crew at the helm, each team includes two sighted members who serve as the team’s tactician and jib trimmer.
Over the years, the Blind Worlds have been held in countries around the globe, including the United States, Australia, and Japan. In 2015, the competition took place at the Chicago Yacht Club and ended with Great Britain taking home the top prize. In 2017, the Blind Worlds will be held in Houston.