Sure, finding an affordable tee time in the Coachella Valley's peak-season can prove a bummer.
Yes, some great discount cards are available, just as some city-specific resident cards provide excellent values.
But for the rest of you players simply looking for a one-time, cost-efficient round, staring at triple-digit dollar costs can derail golf plans for the day. Yet with a little digging, there are indeed deals to be found at quality plays across the desert.
Whether I've found these discounts via print sources or by hunting online, it is important to note that, like the season, these prices are subject to change; yet, at the same time, please allow me to vouch for all five of these tracks, which I've played multiple times over.
Indian Springs Golf Club
New ownership at this Indio course has been met with solid reviews from players, just as guests continue to enjoy the Free Lunch that comes with one's greens fee. Through March, that same deal at this fun, highly-playable track remains in play for a $60 cost.
Indian Springs Golf Club, 79940 Westward Ho Drive, Indio, 760-200-8988, www.indianspringsgc.com
photo courtesy of desert dunes golf club
Twilight play is available at Desert Dunes Golf Club in Desert Hot Springs for $35.
Desert Dunes Golf Club
The desert's lone Robert Trent Jones, Jr. public design can get a bad rap from some who have shown-up on an especially windy day in Desert Hot Springs. But on most occasions, this track plays with modest breezes wafting over a course that I think can be now placed in the "Hidden Gem" category. Free of housing and routed through some native terrain that I really dig, I see deals for the course all the time. During a recent search, I found peak-season twilight for going for about $35.
Desert Dunes Golf Club, 19300 Palm Drive, Desert Hot Springs, 760-251-5370, www.desertdunesgc.com
photo courtesy of escena golf club
Between a round of golf and food afterward, Escena offers an outing for under $60.
Escena Golf Club
Another online, twilight search revealed $40 tee times on a course that has really grown on me over the years. And after the round, saddle up to one of the desert's top clubhouses with a post-round segue to drink, dinner or Happy Hour at the excellent Escena Lounge & Grill. Per that Happy Hour, those looking for further savings after the $40 play will find $8 burgers and salads, with $4 pints and $5 well drinks.
Escena Golf Club, 1199 Clubhouse View Drive, Palm Springs, 760-778-2737, www.escenagolf.com
photo courtesy of omni rancho las palmas
The nine-hole courses at Omni Rancho Las Palmas are perfect for refining your short game.
Omni Rancho Las Palmas
Some courses are just a perfect fit, which is why I always seem to play well at this trio of Ted Robinson 9s, counting the South/West rotation as my personal favorite. A great place to refine iron and wedge play, the Omni Rancho Las Palmas has its own dine and divot deal in play, with a special stating at $59 (through April), which includes round, cart, and a burger bundle with fries and a beer.
Omni Rancho Last Palmas Resort & Spa, 41000 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, 760-568-2727, www.omnihotels.com/hotels/palm-springs-rancho-las-palmas/golf/courses
photo courtesy of terra lago
The Golf Club at Terra Lago offers a North and South course.
The Golf Club at Terra Lago
How many former hosts to the Skins Game can be played for about $50? Well, that's the twilight tally I found for both courses at Terra Lago in Indio. While I prefer the more bucolic North course over the South, both tracks offer an engaging mesh of desert terrain matched with some stylistic water holes.
The Golf Club at Terra Lago, 84000 Terra Lago Pkwy, Indio, 760-775-2000, www.golfclub-terralago.com
Judd Spicer is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America. Have a golf tip or golf story idea to share? E-mail Judd: [email protected]. Listen to Judd on KXPS 1010 AM from 8-10 a.m. Sundays with Matt McKay for “The Press Box.”
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See Judd's previous posts under Life on the Links.