Many golfers arrive for the Coachella Valley’s peak golf season overly-revved to take on the desert’s most stringent challenges. It’s not their enthusiasm that’s the problem – it’s quite often their level of play.
For those who haven’t swung the clubs in a spell, preface your more ambitious choices with a round at, say, PGA WEST or Desert Willow. A few tune-up rounds at area courses will prove equally compelling.
Here are five locales to get your golf season underway:
Cimarron Golf Resort
This pair of John Fought designs near Palm Springs International Airport may not evoke the palm-lined fantasy fairways of a Palm Springs postcard, but there’s some serious room to navigate here on the championship Boulder Course. It makes for a great way to start re-training that wayward driver.
On the 6,782-yard Boulder, room to move the ball is generally abundant. And Cimarron’s shorter, par-55 Pebble Course (with 17 par 3s and a lone par 4) also proves a fine way to shape-up your mid-iron game.
67603 30th Avenue, Cathedral City, 800-701-1656, www.cimarrongolf.com
Woodhaven Country Club
Woodhaven is among my favorite “underdog” courses in the desert. Playing at 5,827 yards, the par-70 card sports a host of fun and well-designed holes that forces the player to think your way through the round, and employ a host of different clubs in the bag. With its tighter fairways, the landing areas at the valley’s more muscular courses will suddenly seem like endless expanses.
41-555 Woodhaven Drive East, Palm Desert, 760-345-7636, www.woodhavencc.com
PHOTO COURTESY OF WOODHAVEN COUNTRY CLUB
Woodhaven Country Club offers online specials on its website.
PHOTO COURTESY OF HAWK’S LANDING GOLF CLUB
Hawk’s Landing Golf Club
Get back into golf shape without playing 18 holes. At Hawk’s Landing up in the high desert, you can enjoy six holes, a dozen or a full round across the creative, 12-hole loop design.
55100 Martinez Trail, Yucca Valley, 760-365-0033, www.hawkslandinggolf.com
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHADOW HILLS GOLF CLUB
The par-3 North Course will help you sharpen your iron game.
Shadow Hills North Course
Precision in golf is paramount and a solid iron game can save a number of strokes along the way. At Shadow Hills’ 3,000-yard, par-3 North Course, there are plenty of challenges for all level of player. Eight holes chart at 180 yards or more from the tips, and a host of hazards are in play across the round.
81-240 Sun City Blvd., Indio, 760-625-1534, www.shadowhillsgolfclub.com
Heritage Palm Golf Club
Try Heritage Palms for a softer introduction to 18-hole, championship play. This Arthur Hills design offers very generous landing areas and massive green structures, and some of the softest and most manicured sand.
44291 S. Heritage Palms Dr., Indio, 760-772-5755, www.heritagepalmsindio.com
PHOTO COURTESY OF HERITAGE PALM GOLF CLUB
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 and co-host Matt McKay on “The Press Box,” Sunday mornings from 8 -10 a.m. on ESPN 103.9 FM – Palm Springs.
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