Coachella Valley Golf Courses Challenge All Levels of Players

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert, there is a course for you

JUDD SPICER Golf 0 Comments

 

Beginner

Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
Three nines wending through the resort property offer a host of manageable play for all levels. Newcomers will find all they can handle on the opening three holes of the West Course, while players of all levels will enjoy a thorough and fun test of mid-to-low irons across the inviting grounds. 41000 Bob Hope Dr., Rancho Mirage. 760-862-4551; www.rancholaspalmas.com

Palm Royale Country Club
The 18-hole, par-3 course may be short on distance (1,992 yards), but the Ted Robinson design keeps all comers honest with every green bunkered and water in play on nine holes. Perfect for kids eager to learn or those who may not rap the ball as far as they used to. 78259 Indigo Dr., La Quinta. 760-345-9701; www.palmroyalecc.com

Shadow Mountain Golf Club
Palm Desert’s first course, this Gene Sarazen design debuted in 1958 and lives on as an excellent day of iron and wedge control. Playing at a mere 5,400 yards from the tips, ball placement through the 700 mature palms will keep all engaged, and convenient hole-to-hole segues serve as further evidence of pure, old-school SoCal golf at its finest. 73800 Ironwood St., Palm Desert. 760-346-8242; www.shadowmtgc.com

Woodhaven Country Club  
Akin to Shadow Mountain, managing distance and finding smart landing areas at Woodhaven prove key to navigating the par-70 design. This is an excellent stop to prep for a tougher round ahead. 41555 Woodhaven Dr. E., Palm Desert.
760-345-7636; www.woodhavencc.com

Intermediate

Desert Dunes Golf Club
Though the valley’s only public Robert Trent Jones Jr. design charts at less than 6,900 yards and presents a dearth of water, the rustic routing, undulating greens, and testy collection areas make Desert Dunes a unique play that can embrace mid-handicappers while concurrently challenging scratch players. 19300 Palm Dr., Desert Hot Springs. 760-251-5370; www.desertdunesgolf.com

Celebrity Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort
Less punishing than its sister course (the Players), a wash of color and water features make this splendid warm-up play at the ever-inviting IWGR. 44500 Indian Wells Ln., Indian Wells. 760-346-4653; www.indianwellsgolfresort.com

Gary Player Signature Course at Westin Mission Hills
One of the desert’s most underrated courses, this rare example of West Coast design from “The Black Knight” presents wide landing areas with flexible greenside surrounds, giving mid-handicappers a host of options to get up and down. 70705 Ramon Rd., Rancho Mirage. 760-770-2908; www.playmissionhills.com

Indian Canyons South Course
Recognized among the country’s top courses for women, the South hosts an exceptional array of shorter par 4s that ask for studied club selection. Palm-lined fairways and expert bunker placement will keep all ball-strikers honest, from whatever tee you choose. 1097 E. Murray Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. 760-833-8700; www.indiancanyonsgolf.com

Expert

Desert Willow Firecliff Course
Big brother to Desert Willow’s excellent Mountain View Course, the Firecliff (pictured at right) proves a prime test for the refined player. Continual forced carries from the box precede ongoing water challenges and heavily bunkered greens. Good sand players will find all they can handle. 38995 Desert Willow Dr., Palm Desert. 760-346-0015; www.desertwillow.com

Marriott’s Shadow Ridge Golf Club
A summer bunker renovation to improve playability only enhances the allure of Nick Faldo’s first domestic design. While generous landing areas welcome guests of all levels, navigating approaches to massive, undulating putting surfaces (and testy greenside surrounds) will prove a challenge of irons for the best of players. 9002 Shadow Ridge Rd., Palm Desert. 760-674-2700; www.golfshadowridge.com

SilverRock Resort
Among the longest courses in Southern California at nearly 7,600 yards, the Rock pairs demanding distance from the back tees with studied shot placement on shorter par 4s to pose a beauty of a tough play amid the Santa Rosa Mountain surrounds. 79179 Ahmanson Ln., La Quinta. 760-777-8884; www.silverrock.org

TPC Stadium Course
Yeah, you know the reputation: Cart your A-game to the Stadium. Aptly reputed among the toughest golf courses in all of California, the demanding course design from Pete Dye brings all of the master architect’s cunning (and cruelty) into play: nine water holes, railroad ties, bold and nuanced mounding, and some mean greenside surrounds. Bring that extra sleeve of balls … along with some managed expectations. 56150 PGA Blvd., La Quinta. 760-564-7101; www.pgawest.com

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