Palm Springs, in the heart of the California desert, is a prime destination for those wanting non-stop sunshine, sitting by the pool and tanning until sunset. However, it’s also a mecca for some of the most beautiful and challenging golf courses in the United States beckoning golfers from around the world. We would like to highlight a few of the most popular ones so you can give yourself the gift of playing a round or two of 18 on one – or perhaps all – of these outstanding courses.
Have a look at five of the top golf courses in the Palm Springs area and get ready for some tee-offs.
Desert Willow Golf Resort
This incredible resort offers two courses to please both novice and experienced golfers. One of the most challenging courses in the desert – the Firecliff course, which opened in 1997 – pits you against more than 7,000 yards of water features and sand beds. Most of the Mountain View course – which opened in 1998 – is player-friendly and includes more water features.
There is a mile-long approach to the world-renowned resort. Once you’re in the clubhouse you will feel how consideration was given to guests in its creation. The design, function and flow are commendable and instantly make you feel welcome. The courses were designed by Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry. Hurdzan is a well-known architect with many awards to his name, including the Donald A. Rossi Award by the Golf Course Builders Association of America. Fry, an avid golfer himself playing for the University of Arizona, joined Hurdzan in 1988, becoming a partner in the firm.
SilverRock in La Quinta used to host the Bob Hope Classic, now the Humana Challenge. The Arnold Palmer Classic Course (designed in 2005 by Palmer himself along with Erik Larsen), owned by the City of La Quinta, is at the base of the Santa
Rosa Mountains and it features creeks, natural hazards and bunkers at every turn. The 7,578-yard course rolls over 200 acres. The front nine holes are relatively easy to conquer when compared to the challenge of the back nine, which are crawling with water features. Construction of two luxury hotels have begun at the resort.
Players are urged to “challenge the rock,” but you might want to spend some time in the practice facility prior to doing that. The course has received praise and awards from Zagat and Golf Week Magazine, among others.
Shadow Ridge Golf Resort
This course has been ranked one of the best resort courses in California by Golf Week Magazine. The well-kept course features unforgivingly steep sand traps, a signature design by Nick Faldo. Fairways can be uneven, and water features might claim a ball or two. The trick at Shadow Ridge is to attack the course conservatively rather than going for all-out glory. Located on a Marriott timeshare location, you can get some instruction and practice at the golf school on site.
Indian Wells Golf Resort
Both courses at Indian Wells earned spots as one of the top 20 to play in California, according to Golf Week Magazine. Both the Celebrity and Players courses are picturesque, but you’ll find the Players course a bit more challenging. The course first opened in 1973 and was professionally designed by Rene Muylaert who constructed a course where a dangerous array of water hazards, ravines and wooded areas come together to create a truly memorable golfing experience.
You will find exemplary service at Indian Wells. For instance, your clubs will be picked up in the parking lot, placed in your cart while your cooler is topped with ice throughout your game. After your round, your clubs will be waiting for you in the parking lot looking shiny and new. You’re encouraged to arrive early to warm up before tee off.
Escena Golf Club
This Jack Nicklaus-designed course is players’ favorite for its prime Palm Springs location. PGATour.com ranked the course at the sixth best to play in California. Right from the get-go you’ll experience some challenging holes. Four sets of tee boxes means you can set your own pace on the greens, so you needn't be intimidated. You might want to ask for a copy of the course layout. Descriptions and yardage for every hole will help you master the course.
Also of note is the clubhouse and its mid-century modern design. After a round of golf, cool off with your drink of choice in this relaxing, retro atmosphere.
LVH has vast experience fashioning golf itineraries numerous with golf courses. If you are dreaming of a California golf getaway, (or anywhere, for that matter) we will create your dream itinerary based on your wishes. We will handle your luxurious accommodations as well create a custom itinerary exceeding your expectations.