Making History Again

Tamarisk Country Club has star-studded roots from Hogan to Sinatra, and some much-needed renovations are putting a new shine on the Rancho Mirage location.

Judd Spicer Golf

A more modern look will greet visitors to the clubhouse at Tamarisk Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

One of Greater Palm Springs’ most venerable country clubs isn’t resting on old accolades.

Rather, Tamarisk Country Club in Rancho Mirage is making history.
Opened in 1952 as the desert’s second, 18-hole private course, Tamarisk began a major clubhouse renovation project in the spring with the new digs set to debut on New Year’s Eve.

Host to four U.S. Presidents and home to the great Ben Hogan as its first head golf professional, Tamarisk is well known for a slew of famous, founding members, including George Burns, Jack Benny, and four of the five Marx Brothers. Along the 17th fairway at Tamarisk is the compound where Frank Sinatra would take desert refuge for the last four decades of his life.

Along with the addition of a new, 7,000-square-foot fitness and wellness center, Tamarisk has been undergoing a total overhaul of the east end of its clubhouse, which faces the golf course. Refreshed and modernized décor are sure to add an elegant and refined vibe to the club, and members and their guests will no doubt revel in the new outdoor patio space (with electronically-controlled roofing) where views of both the first tee and 18th green sit adjacent.

A conceptual view of the clubhouse lobby lounge.

A conceptual view of the clubhouse exterior lounge and dining that loosk out onto the first tee and 18th green.

From a golf vantage, slight tweaks have been made to a course that originally hosted what would become the Bob Hope Classic, and served 18 times as a PGA Tour venue.
On the first tee box, the location of the back tees were shifted, making the opening route of the celebrated Billy Bell design almost feel like a slight dogleg right from the tips. The club also renovated its practice putting green and augmented its driving range to allow for more hitting bays.

VIDEO: View the ongoing work at Tamarisk Country Club with the club’s head golf professional, Kyle Kelly.

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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