The John Fought-designed Players Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort is one of the Coachella Valley's best. (Courtesy of Indian Wells Golf Resort) The Golf Club at Terra Lago's North Course is among the most underrated plays in the Coachella Valley region. (Courtesy of The Golf Club at Terra Lago) The golf courses at PGA West are part of what makes La Quinta the stay-and-play epicenter of the Coachella Valley. (Courtesy of PGA West) Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert offers two can't-miss courses. The Firecliff is shown here. (Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor) Indian Canyons Golf Resort's South Course counts among the most enjoyable, player-friendly experiences in the Coachella Valley. (Courtesy of Indian Canyons Golf Resort)

A city-by-city golf guide to Palm Springs, California and the entire Coachella Valley



PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- Often referred to as the "Palm Springs" region, the desert's epicenter of social and cultural activity is actually one of 10 municipalities that encompass the golf-rich Coachella Valley.

Home to nearly 125 golf courses, the area presents no shortage of choice public plays across the 45-mile stretch of desert floor and mountain surrounds.

Here is a city-by-city breakdown of golf courses that ensure diverse terrain and worthy visits for all level of player.

Coachella Valley golf: Cathedral City

The pair of John Fought-designed courses at Cimarron Golf Resort present an open, airy and unencumbered style of layout unique to the area. Framed by the San Jacinto Mountain range, the championship Boulder Course takes on all comers, while the par-55 Pebble Course at Cimarron is a fine play for beginners or those on a tight schedule.

Coachella Valley golf: Desert Hot Springs

The area's lone public design from the prolific Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Desert Dunes Golf Club presents an excellent mesh of solitude and manageable distance. Free of residential routing, the test upon these (occasionally) wind-swept grounds is found in billowed, sizeable putting surfaces.

Coachella Valley golf: Indian Wells

Indian Wells Golf Resort is a mid-valley nexus of play and pleasure. Upon the golf campus encompassed by four options of lodging stands a pair of excellent rounds. Mid-handicappers should set a tee time at Clive Clark's Celebrity Course, while refined games will graduate to the stout, John Fought-designed Players Course.

Coachella Valley golf: Indio

Eagle Falls Golf Course at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino is the area's newest course, and the Clive Clark design pairs pronounced elevation changes with a welcome sense of isolation from the bustle of the gaming floor.

Just down the road, The Golf Club at Terra Lago played host to the former Skins Game from 1999-2002. Dual designs dot one the desert's most unique examples of resort-style holes meeting superb seclusion. Should one waffle over course selection: Opt for Terra Lago's North Course, which is among the most underrated plays in the region.

For a fine, east-end value round, check out either Heritage Palms Golf Club or Indian Springs Golf Club.

Coachella Valley golf: La Quinta

The five publics across La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA West contribute to the stay-and-play epicenter of the Coachella Valley. Offering a seemingly endless menu of dining, pampering and golf options, this east-end oasis proves idyllic for all level of player and any designation of getaway.

Host to the former Bob Hope (now the Humana Challenge) from 2008-11, the lengthy Arnold Palmer-designed SilverRock Resort is burly -- and beautiful.

Coachella Valley golf: Palm Desert

Desert Willow Golf Resort is the essence of a public experience offering private-club pleasures. Both the desert-cut Mountain View Course and Firecliff Course are can't-miss, though two-day guests are advised to begin with the former before evolving to the meaty bunkering, tough greens and forced-carries of the Firecliff.

The Arnold Palmer-drawn Classic Club is another one-time Bob Hope home (2006-08) and presents a grandiose swath of grandeur from clubhouse to course.

Marriott's Shadow Ridge is Nick Faldo's debut domestic design and matches wide landing areas with an inspired array of Australian-inspired bunkering and studied green structures.

For an underrated play, take in a day amid the undulating fairways of Desert Falls Country Club.

Coachella Valley golf: Palm Springs

A mix of classic and contemporary rounds fashion Indian Canyons Golf Resort. The William F. Bell-crafted North Course is a tall-palmed, old-school SoCal play. The neighboring South Course enjoyed a total redesign from Casey O'Callaghan and Amy Alcott in 2004, and it stands among the desert's most engaging and enjoyable layouts.

Itching to tee it up immediately upon arrival? Go from the airport directly to Escena Golf Club, where the course architecture from Nicklaus Design is enhanced by the stunning craftsmanship of the mid-century modern clubhouse.

Coachella Valley golf: Rancho Mirage

The centrally-located Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa is among the area's most popular accommodations for couples or families. On course, be ready for the necessary accuracy of the Pete Dye Resort Course or the underestimated degree of length and diverse water features at the excellent Gary Player Signature Course.

Deservedly counted among the valley's most popular, veteran resorts, the 27 holes at Omni Rancho Las Palmas -- the North, South and West Courses -- prove fun for those looking to get their games back in shape amid a welcome milieu of resort pleasures.

Feb 18, 2014



Join the conversation

Post a comment 


Judd Spicer

Contributor

Judd Spicer is an award-winning, veteran freelance writer hailing from St. Paul, Minn. After 12 years of covering MLB, NBA, NCAA and the active golf landscape of the Twin Cities, he relocated to the Palm Spring, Calif. region to further pursue his golf work and Champions Tour dream. Sporting measured distance off the tee, Spicer refers to his pitching wedge as his "magic wand." Follow Judd on Twitter at @juddspicer.