Any practice is beneficial for your game. But it’s quality practice that really sharpens your skills. As temperatures rise in the Coachella Valley, and with an eye on your golfing budget, here are five suggestions for maximizing summer practice time.
Roger Dunn Golf Shop
80555 Highway 111, Indio
“The last full-service golf shop east of Cook Street until you get to Phoenix.” Laughing as he offers that catchy bit of branding, the multitalented Channing Benjamin knows there’s a lot more that distinguishes the Roger Dunn Golf Shop he’s been managing since it opened 11 years ago on the eastern edge of the valley. Benjamin, whose gorgeous golf photography graces the shop’s walls, offers air-conditioned hitting bays where, with the guidance of expert staff, you can test — for free, for as long as you like, with Foresight G2 launch-monitor feedback — new equipment from all major brands. Happy with your sticks and just want to groove the swing? The shop hosts the valley’s only GolfTec facility. Overseen by Brian Cupit, the GolfTec bays make available to the ordinary hacker the analytical tools on which the pros rely, including dual-view video — and every student gets an online archive of all practice-session videos and data. A range of GolfTec packages are available, featuring swing evaluation, lessons, and practice on simulator courses. (Mention this article and receive a 10 percent discount on whatever package you choose.)
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY WESTIN MISSION HILLS GOLF RESORT & SPA
Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa operates daily clinics at its Golf Academy.
Barry Clayton Golf Academy
Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa (Pete Dye course)
71333 Dinah Shore Drive, Rancho Mirage
Barry Clayton, who runs the Golf Academy at Westin Mission Hills, calls the daily clinics at the Pete Dye course the valley’s best practice value. For $25, you get a 45-minute lesson (no advance sign-up required), which, when the Westin crowds have thinned for the summer, often ends up a one-on-one session. Then, after that personalized attention, the range is yours for as long as you like that day, at no extra cost. Barry and his team also offer golf schools and private lessons.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY CIMARRON GOLF RESORT
Cimmaron Golf Resort offers some enticing summer play rates.
Cimarron Golf Resort
67603 30th Ave., Cathedral City
Home of the excellent Boulder course and Pebble short-course, Cimarron offers a tempting seasonal value: Through Sept. 23, a Summer Range Pass is available for $99, entitling you to unlimited buckets of practice balls to hit every session. The Cimarron range is all grass and very roomy, with five target greens backdropped by the San Jacinto Mountains. There’s also a vast, dramatically shaped putting green with designated chipping areas. Stiles Peterson, Rigo Olvera, and their colleagues are on hand if you need instruction.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY INDIO GOLF CLUB
Lessons and regular play are available under the lights at Indio Golf Club.
The Lights at Indio Golf Club
83040 Avenue 42, Indio
If the heat, or just the daily grind, means daytime golf is not for you, check out the only lighted course-and-range in the valley. Walk 18 with a pull-cart in the cool (only $21 from July to October), or practice till 10 p.m. on the range. Choose the latter, and you’ll find two-dozen grass hitting stations (150-ball bucket for $10), plus a putting green and dedicated pitching and chipping greens. Range passes, play-and-practice packages, and do-it-yourself clinics and leagues are available. You can even take lessons under the lights: Pro Tony Bosken discounts his already affordable rates.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY PALM SPRINGS LIFE ARCHIVES
The College of the Desert Golf Center is open six days a week; closed on Sundays.
College Golf Center at College of the Desert
73450 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert
Simply want a mat or patch of turf, bucket of balls, and flags in a field to whack those balls at? Then the no-frills COD Golf Center is your old-school choice. Five bucks gets you 51 balls (sign up for a membership card, and it’s even cheaper). Also on-site at this grinder’s haven: putting and chipping areas, down-to-earth instructors, and the Nakashima Golf Studio for club-fitting.