Try a new course.
For the best golf deals of the year, there’s no better time to tee up than off-season. Try your hand where the pros play at PGA West in La Quinta, home to five public courses designed by Pete Dye, Greg Norman, and Jack Nicklaus. Nearby, SilverRock Resort’s Arnold Palmer Classic Course tests players of all levels. The King is also responsible for Classic Club in Palm Desert; with 30 acres of water and an abundance of trees, the course is an Audubon bird sanctuary. At Desert Willow in Palm Desert, the Mountain View and Firecliff courses regularly rank highly among “best of golf” lists — the latter course forces players to negotiate natural desert areas and more than 100 bunkers. On the west end of the valley, the San Jacinto Mountains make for a gorgeous backdrop to two premier courses at Tahquitz Creek.
Whether you need proper attire or fancy some new equipment, PGA Tour Superstore in Palm Desert has you covered. Club repair and custom fittings complement the indoor practice bays, where you can tool around with your new gear or just get in a few practice putts.
Smash an ace.
You watched California kid Taylor Fritz defeat Rafael Nadal this year during the tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, but did you know that you can play there, too? The state-of-the-art facility is open year-round to the public. Neighboring resorts with courts include Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa and Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa (the latter has pickleball, too). Midvalley, JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert and The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa also cater to both sports.
Take an off-road tour.
A naturalist guide will share stories about the flora, fauna, geology, and history of the California desert as you explore the landscape in an open-air vehicle with Desert Adventures Red Jeep Tours. Join a public tour or reserve the Jeep for up to seven guests.
Get behind the wheel.
Experience the power of the BMW M Series or the handling capabilities of a Mini at BMW Performance Center in Thermal, minutes from Coachella and La Quinta. The serpentine road course is engineered to push any vehicle to the brink with flat straightaways and mettle-testing hairpin turns. If off-roading is more your style, rent a four-wheeler from Steve’s ATV Rentals in Thermal.
Sharpen your game.
You’ll find premium practice balls at The Golf Center at Palm Desert, a large driving range in the heart of town that’s lit for night play. Renovated in 2019, the facility has chipping greens, a practice bunker and putting green, and a nine-hole par 3 course. College Golf Center, located at College of the Desert in Palm Desert, is the only local range that’s not connected to a course; it’s also illuminated after sundown. Both centers offer instruction.
In the summer, the average temps exceed 100 degrees. So, what’s the best way to stay safe and cool while still enjoying the outdoors?
“Start early! Morning temperatures are pleasant, so plan your outdoor activities from 7 a.m. until about 11 a.m., and drink plenty of water. Leave the afternoon hours for the pool or the many fascinating indoor activities available across the valley.”
—Bob Gross, guide, Desert Adventures Red Jeep Tours