Play amidst settings that inspire awe...
With massive mountain backdrops overlooking diverse desert terrain, golf in the Coachella Valley is played amidst settings that inspire awe – even if one's scorecard doesn't. No matter your handicap, here are five multi-course facilities where you’re sure to enjoy the scenery, regardless of how well you’re swinging.
In Palm Springs, the Indian Canyons Golf Resort presents the classic stylings of the North Course coupled with the remodeled routing of the South Course, which enjoyed a redesign from Casey O'Callaghan and LPGA Hall of Famer Amy Alcott in 2004. The South is among the desert's most player-friendly layouts (and aptly-recognized as one of the country's top courses for women). Matched with a wealth of engaging (and short) par 4s are the views of the surrounding San Jacinto Mountain, a pleasing paucity of homes and better than 800 palms, 500 of which are of the Washintonia filifera variety, revered by the native Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.
Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert is a must-visit for those seeking an ultimate mesh of beauty and braun. For what the Firecliff Course presents in forced carries and ample bunkering, the more benign Mountain View offers in generous landing areas and amicable approaches. Both tracks chart among the most impressive in all of Southern California, with exemplary conditions, astute desert carving and plentiful plant life consistently guiding play.
Think the Indian Wells Golf Resort looked good on the Golf Channel's "Big Break Indian Wells"? Check out the grounds in person. Like Desert Willow, there's some meat and measure here, with the Players Course sporting a serious spread of distance along with big and bold bunkers. The mid-handicap pleasure-seeker will be better-served with a round at the Clive Clark-designed Celebrity Course, where attractive water features pair with bursts of blooming botany that run a palate of fetching colors.
Of the five public courses across the umbrella-ownership of PGA West and the La Quinta Resort & Club, pencil in a round at the latter's Mountain Course. The Pete Dye design poses a slow weave toward an eventual, mountain ascent and a magical back nine that culminates in a near-metaphysical experience on Nos. 12-16.
On the east end of the Valley, the North Course and South Course at The Golf Club at Terra Lago in Indio mix resort-style play with divergent desert topography. Tough approaches and oft-tiered greens define much of the testy South, so those seeking a single day of play will want to opt for a North round that poses some of the region's most potent solitude while winding the player across elevation changes and bucolic terrain.
Ready to play another round? Find more Greater Palm Springs golf courses.