Golfing opportunists flock to the desert during the summer in search of sizzling seasonal rates.
“You can play a lot of golf courses for around half the cost of prices during peak season,” says Colin Gooch, head golf professional at Marriott’s Shadow Ridge (www.marriott.com) in Palm Desert.
Shadow Ridge is one of several courses that offer reduced cost without compromising playing conditions or limiting amenities during the summer months. For the best prices, inquire about seasonal playing passes offered by several area courses.
“Our most popular program is our ‘Summer Access Pass,’” Gooch says. “Golfers can purchase a pass for $99, and every round they play from the beginning of June until overseed in October is only $30. That includes cart and range balls.” Shadow Ridge also provides a free round of golf with the purchase of a lesson at Marriott’s Faldo Golf Institute.
Palm Desert’s Classic Club (www.classicclubgolf.com) has a reputation for added summertime value. Maintaining pro shop hours and the $15 food voucher that comes with green fees, the club recognizes that summer players require additional hydration.
“We offer unlimited bottled water on the golf course for our players,” says Brady Wilson, director of golf at Classic Club. “We try to make sure that you’ll see a beverage cart every three holes and that you’ll see a player assistant twice per side, in case somebody is having trouble with the heat.” Classic Club also offers summer golf programs specific to area residents. In fact, some of the desert’s finest deals come via municipalities.
Desert Willow Golf Resort (www.desertwillow.com) offers a summer V.I.P. card with special consideration for Palm Desert residents. A card-carrying local can enjoy discounted green fees of $49, along with abatements in golf lessons, dining, and purchases in the pro shop. Nonresidents can obtain the same pass for $69.
Indian Wells Golf Resort (www.indianwellsgolfresort.com) has multiple programs available for purchase, including their year-round IW platinum card at a cost of $200 for “twosomes” (one card holder and one guest) and $300 for “foursomes” (one card holder and three guests). Along with a host of savings across the property, the platinum card offers a 40 percent reduction in playing costs throughout the year. During the summer, that translates to green fees of around $45.
In Palm Springs, check out the dual courses at Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort (www.tahquitzgolfresort.com). For an annual purchase of $30, Palm Springs residents can play the Legend Course for as little as $10 and the Resort Course for a mere $22 Monday through Thursday. And Indian Canyons Golf Resort (www.indiancanyonsgolf.com) tees up summer savings at the North and South courses, where June through October rates are cut by 50 percent from those in high season.
La Quinta residents can dip well below the cost of par with a card at SilverRock Resort (www.silverrock.org), where summer rates drop by 50 percent or more. Card holders add to those savings with a rate of $30 from July through October, while their playing guests also reap the benefit of a 30 percent reduction from posted rates.
“You’re playing championship venues and top-of-the-line facilities for usually less than their market value,” Wilson says. “In high season, people enjoy coming out of the cold weather and just want to be in the sun and take their time. But in the summer, some of those distractions go away and it’s all about the golf.”
From June until the autumn course overseedings, the summer golfer enjoys a swifter pace of play and easier access to prime tee times.