THE GARY PLAYER SIGNATURE COURSE, Mission Hills Country Club, Rancho Mirage

courtesy mission hills country club

There’s not much in the world of golf that Gary Player hasn’t achieved since his professional debut in 1953: nine major championships, nine senior major championships, 163 tournament victories, and more than $12 million in career earnings. So it’s no surprise that when Player turned to golf course design in the early 1980s, he quickly became one of the premier players in his new field.

The course at Mission Hills Country Club reflects clearly Player’s design philosophy that a course should be “flexible enough to provide enjoyment for the average 15 to 20 handicap golfer, whilst also being capable of being set up for a major tournament.”

Designed in 1991, the Player course is noted for its extensive water hazards (they come into significant play on 10 holes), prevailing breezes, and lush views. It rewards even casual (albeit gutsy) players who take chances — though with four tee boxes, this par 72 can be managed if you leave your ego in the golf cart. Used as a qualifying course for both the LPGA and Senior PGA, it is annually noted as one of the finest courses in the area.

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