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Where are the best Palm Springs public golf courses?

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Nestled in the mountains in and around Palm Springs are some of the best golf courses in the country. With over 100 first-class skills-testing courses, a golfer can legitimately play a different Palm Springs golf course every day for months without hitting them all.

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The area’s love affair with golf began in 1961 with the construction of the first course within the city limits, Indian Canyons Golf Resort. In the years since, the courses have only grown—in number, size, style, and complexity. Add in the area Great restaurantsAnd the First class hotelsAnd the stellar activities And mountain views, and it’s easy to see how this golfer’s paradise has become.

If you’re planning a trip to the desert and looking to hit the links, we’re highlighting four of the best public golf courses in Palm Springs where you’ll find unparalleled play along with unforgettable putts.

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General view of the 17th hole at PGA West Palmer Golf Course in Palm Springs, California. The dramatic scenery on the PGA West is some of the best you will find on any golf course in America.

David Cannon/Getty Images

PGA West: Disney World for Golfers

Carved into the majestic mountains and just minutes from Palm Springs, West PGA It is Walt Disney World for golfers. It is home to 162 holes of championship golf across five of the best public golf courses near Palm Springs and four private courses, with five clubhouses and several restaurants as well.

The course architects who made it possible are golfing greats – Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Pete Day, Greg Norman and Tom Weiskopf – and that heritage shows through at Petty Day’s PGA West course, which has a reputation as one of the best and most challenging courses in the world. the scientist. This iconic venue is so tough, in fact, that after making its debut on the PGA Tour at the 1987 Bob Hope Classic, the pros refused to return in 1988 until changes were made, a ban that effectively lasted until 2015. Hey, they didn’t call dye the “Marquis de Sud” ” for nothing.

Si-Woo Kim of South Korea celebrates by hitting a birdie on the 17th hole at the American Express Championships on the PGA West course on January 24, 2021 in La Quinta, California.  The Pete Dye-designed course is considered one of the toughest in America.

Si-Woo Kim of South Korea celebrates by hitting a birdie on the 17th hole at the American Express Championships on the PGA West course on January 24, 2021 in La Quinta, California. The Pete Dye-designed course is considered one of the toughest in America.

Harry Hoo/Getty Images

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Nowhere is the infamy of the stadium course more evident than on the 17th hole. The worst hole in the entire Coachella Valley, this par 3 is known as Alcatraz: a menacing green island, ringed by boulders and backed by a dugout bowl. For those who are over. Golf fans will learn about Alcatraz and other challenging PGA West holes from the PGA Tour’s annual American Express tournament, also known as the Desert Classic.

Beyond the arcade, three resort clubs welcome the public. The Tournament Clubhouse, anchored by Ernie’s Bar and Grill, features sports bar dining from suites and local beer Fillet and Ops One. The Greg Norman Clubhouse is a low-key farm-style slice of the Australian outback serving casual Wine Country fare in West Wallaby. Pete Dye Clubhouse is home to Pete’s Grill, which focuses on locally sourced fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and California seafood.

look for it: 55-955 PGA Blvd., La Quinta, CA 92253; 760-564-7111

The fairways of Escena Golf Club reveal the kind of natural beauty that's popular around Palm Springs, California, but still a little preposterous.  Escena's public course is rated very well by players.

The fairways of Escena Golf Club reveal the kind of natural beauty that’s popular around Palm Springs, California, but still a little preposterous. Escena’s public course is rated very well by players.

Smitcha B. via Yelp

Escena Golf Club: Choose your own adventure

tour in golf club scene Blends championship golf with a classic setting. This Nicklaus-designed course is annually ranked among the best public golf courses in Palm Springs and is known for its stunning views, pristine sightlines, classic teeing and space to experiment with styles.

Escena challenges golfers not with a gauntlet of handicap and blind shots, but by mixing an impressive variety of 3’s, 4’s and 5’s, with wide balance lengths. There are plenty of challenges, especially from championship courses that stretch along the course to more than 7,100 yards, but Escena lets you choose your own adventure, whether it’s facing off with every bunker and danger, or taking advantage of the wide landing zones for a more relaxed day of tees. . And if you travel to town without your clubs but can’t resist the urge to play, Escena offers premium sets of rental clubs that come with a couple of balls.

End your day with a meal or drink at the mid-century modern Escena Lounge and Grill, a popular dining destination in its own right. Escena offers eclectic California fusion fare—visitors say fried chicken may be the best in Palm Springs—with retro vibes and Fairway vistas. It’s part of the 16,000-square-foot Club Escena, a stunning steel-and-glass monument to the area’s architectural heritage. The dog-friendly patio is one of the most amazing places in the desert for al fresco dining: an expansive lakeside terrace filled with sculptures, dining tables, lounge seating, and panoramic views from every seat.

look for it: 1100 Clubhouse View Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92262; 760-778-2737

Desert Willow Golf Resort is known for using sustainable practices in designing and maintaining its golf courses.  The views are incredible and the playing conditions match it.

Desert Willow Golf Resort is known for using sustainable practices in designing and maintaining its golf courses. The views are incredible and the playing conditions match it.

Desert Willow Golf Resort via Yelp

Desert Willow Golf Resort: Embrace the valley

Desert Willow Golf Resort feels like a private club, with 36 holes on two magnificent courses. The stunning landscapes and conditions of this municipal course are screaming for members only, and if its location in Almony deters you, you will miss out on an exceptional Palm Springs golf course that is strikingly different from most others.

Where other golf courses in Palm Springs green are visibly green and obviously manufactured, desert willow The trails run smoothly in the hostile terrain of an arid desert. Course architects Michael Hordzan and Dana Fry mapped the grassy meadows to their meager 80 acres, drawing on plants native to the Desert Valley to fill in the gaps. The result was a design so distinctly desert and ecologically sound, with topography so varied and curves so organic, that it passes at first sight as a creation of nature.

The areas outside the Badlands look like desert botanical gardens and the water hazards take the form of streams and ponds bursting on their banks with verdant plant life. Balancing thirsty Bermuda grass, this dry run requires far less water than other courses of its size and earns Desert Willow accolades for its eco-conscious design and construction.

The club at Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert, California.  The venue has two award-winning courses that are open to the public and tend to the landscape of the area that is just minutes away from Palm Springs.

The club at Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert, California. The venue has two award-winning courses that are open to the public and tend to the landscape of the area that is just minutes away from Palm Springs.

Desert Willow Golf Resort via Yelp

Among this wild and natural beauty are two championship-quality courses: Firecliff and Mountain View. The Firecliff course, with 7,056 yards of black tees, is a frequent mention in national rankings of top public courses, and rightly so. It’s a true test of accuracy, as golfers must navigate a narrow course filled with wide landscaped areas and more than 100 bunkers. Water hazards come into play on seven holes, some of which require forced carrying. Players love how isolated Firecliff feels.

Mountain View was designed to be more user friendly, with more forgiving fairways, water features, and limited waste areas. But let your guard down at your own risk. Measuring 6,913 yards from the blacks, Mountain View scores slightly less difficult than Firecliff, According to USGA slope ratings. Both courses at Desert Willow demand the very best from golfers – and every club in your bag.

Just like the golf courses, the on-site Terrace Restaurant provides an atmosphere that rivals dining at the private facilities. Several outdoor terraces offer views of the fairway for al fresco dining – the perfect 19th hole from which to offload your Firecliff victory and roast a very natural golf course.

look for it: 38-995 Desert Willow Dr., Palm Desert, CA 92260; 0015-346-760

A bird's-eye view of Indian Wells Golf Resort shows the pristine conditions players are treated to almost year-round in Palm Springs, California.

A bird’s-eye view of Indian Wells Golf Resort shows the pristine conditions players are treated to almost year-round in Palm Springs, California.

Seth S. via Yelp

Indian Wells Golf Resort: Discipline is key

Palm Springs Golf Resort features 36 holes on two courses known by locals as “The Beauty” and “The Beast”.

Architect Clive Clarke is famous as the sculptor of the earth, crafting the earth in cycles that inspire rather than intimidate. With his Indian Wells celebrity course, aka “Beauty,” he sculpts from the desert a beauty with highs and water features rarely seen outside of private clubs. Waterfalls connect the two-level lakes, which are crossed by stretching fairways, with mountain views from every hole.

Meanwhile, the Jon Fout-designed two-player course is “The Beast” with a classic American design that belies the difficulty. Despite the scenic water views and friendly greens, danger lurks around every hole, and nowhere is it more so than the 6th green. The wide trail loops around Finger Lake, narrowing all the way to Elm. With every yard comes a great temptation to mow the lake for the shortest route from tee to flag, but wiggling even a little bit will send your ball into a deep dive or a desert cruise. Similar predicaments lie in wait across the track.

Part of the Celebrity Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort near Palm Springs, California. The course, which is one of two in the venue, is known as “The Beauty”, while its counterpart is called “The Beast”.

Lisa Dee via Yelp

While nearly all courses close at dusk, Indian wells It will then start on many weekends. in popularity shots at night Evening events Cosmic bowling meets mini golf as putting greens and batting booths transform into a festive neon spectacle. Think glow-in-the-dark golf balls, laser projections, fog machines, inflatable LED sculptures, food carts, and a rollercoaster. The young and the young at heart will appreciate this more relaxed approach to the game.

look for itNo: 44-500 Indian Wells Lane, Indian Wells, CA 92210; 760-346-4653

This story was edited by Kristina Moy, Hearst National Editor, you can contact her at [email protected]

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