The Best 19th Holes

These five golf courses offer a gourmet transition off the green.

Judd Spicer Golf

Escena Golf Club offers great views and a full menu of selections.

Even the best day of golf day doesn’t need to end after you sink the last one at the 18th hole.

Post-round pleasures really do abound across the desert. Here are five favorite on-site spots to enjoy a meal or cocktail while you review the pleasure and the pain written on your scorecard.

Escena Lounge & Grill at Escena Golf Club

Escena sports some terrific San Jacinto views and offers a host of reachable landing areas from the tees, matched with a collective of very legit par 3s.

The lounge is comfortable and inviting, and the patio is unrivaled
Offering breakfast, lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch, happy hour, and a bar menu, the presentation is upscale without the intimidating prices. For lunch, both the salmon nicoise and blackened chicken salad pair perfect with a hot day. For a peak-season, post-round dinner, try the bacon-blue cheeseburger or southern fried chicken.

Pro tip: The ultimate must-try? Prosciutto-wrapped meatloaf.

Escena Golf Club
1100 Clubhouse View Drive
Palm Springs

You can watch golfers challenge the 9th and 18th holes from The Terrace.

The Terrace at Desert Willow Golf Resort

Open for breakfast and lunch, The Terrace at Desert Willow proves a prime perch to watch players tackle the taut 9th and 18th holes on the demanding Firecliff Course. Be sure to also check out the resort’s events calendar, which lists nighttime gatherings during the peak-season including the “Music and Dining Under the Stars” series.

Readers of our September 2016 entry on the Desert Willow bunker renovation know that the tough Firecliff Course has enjoyed some recent mitigating, though it can still be a beast with its series of forced carries from the tee. For mid-to-high handicappers, the grounds’ Mountain View Course presents the same lofty degree of manicured beauty across a more benign card.
If you want to skip golfing, come in for their breakfast fare.

Pro tip: Don’t miss the huevos rancheros.

Desert Willow Golf Resort
38-0995 Desert Willow Drive
Palm Desert

VUE Grille & Bar at Indian Wells Golf Resort

Wind down with good eats for any palate; the VUE offers lunch, dinner, bar, and sushi menu options. Some top-shelf imbibing is also in play with a signature cocktail list, selection of craft beers, and choice sake.

The VUE Grille & Bar helps you unwind from the course.

Outside the gorgeous clubhouse, single-digit players will enjoy the beatific bunkering of the Players Course. All-comers should make time to take in the flora, splashes of natural color, and water features at the highly regarded Celebrity Course.

Pro tip: Swing by on Sundays for a terrific brunch.

Indian Wells Golf Resort
44-500 Indian Wells Lane
Indian Wells

Bellatrix at Classic Club

A sterling setting with smart decor and stellar views, the appeal of Bellatrix extends beyond Classic’s palatial clubhouse. Along with strong lunch and dinner menus, the restaurant offers one of the most diverse wine lists in Greater Palm Springs, with nearly 30 pages of Euro imports and California varietals.

The happy hour (served Tuesdays through Saturdays, 3-6 p.m.) is a great value for post-round late lunch or early dinner.
Golfers will find the play here big, bold, and beautiful, perfectly in keeping with its Tuscan-style clubhouse. The Arnold Palmer design has more than 5,000 plantings across 7,300 yards of play, with water on 13 holes.


Pro tip: Order the French dip, barbecue pork sliders, or cheeseburger on happy hour for $8.

Bellatrix at Classic Club
75200 Classic Club Blvd.
Palm Desert

JOY can accommodate just about any post-golf outing with hours of 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

JOY Asian Cuisine at Fantasy Springs Resort
Eagle Falls Golf Course

The Clive Clark-designed Eagle Falls tracks among the top plays on the east end of the valley, with its use of natural undulations mixed with some elevation changes.

After a match at Eagle Falls — and a few hands of blackjack — stay for lunch or dinner at Fantasy’s JOY Asian Cuisine, open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sporting a host of affordable selections, you’ll find traditional dishes and an array of modern Chinese favorites.

Pro tip: Try the Mongolian beef or mild yellow curry.

Fantasy Springs Resort Eagle Falls Golf Course
84245 Indio Springs Drive

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.

Follow Judd on Twitter: @JuddSpicer