Par for the Course – The Best Golf Courses in Palm Springs
Par for the Course – The Best Golf Courses in Palm Springs
Par for the Course – The Best Golf Courses in Palm Springs

Par for the Course – The Best Golf Courses in Palm Springs

Get into the swing of things in the desert

Some call it the best golf destination in the world. And with over 100 courses to choose from, it’s no surprise that golf enthusiasts flock to the California desert city of Palm Springs to test out the fairways first hand. Here’s three great options to try the next time you throw on your favourite collared shirt.

For the challenge — PGA West, TPC Stadium Course 

The PGA West is something of a golf city in its own right. Six courses, surrounded by the Santa Rosa Mountains, allow you to switch up your game almost every day of the week. Designed by golf legends Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf, you’ll find a new challenge at every hole, no matter what course you choose. But the TPC Stadium Course holds reign as the most relentless of them all. This 7,300 yard course has a stroke rating of 76.1, and also plays host to one of the infamous PGA “Q School” tournaments, where tour hopefuls must conquer the dreaded “Alcatraz” 17th, and water-lined 18th holes, before calling it a game.

For the beauty — Escena Golf Club 

The Escena Golf Club cares as much about its surroundings and culture of the area as it does the game. In support of Palm Springs’ booming art scene, Escena began collaborating with the City of Palm Springs’ Art in Public Places Program in 2010, decorating the greens with sculptures from local artists. The stunning club restaurant, Escena Grill, boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing a clear view of the pink desert sunset (just in time for a post-game beer). And the course itself doesn’t disappoint: over 18 holes you’ll cross through gorgeous waterscapes, rolling hills and the majestic landscape of the San Jacinto Mountains, punctuated by classic Californian palm trees.

For the amenities — Indian Ridge Country Club 

If you’re on the market for a golf game with a side of pampering, or if you’re looking for a change of pace with a spot of tennis, the Indian Ridge Country Club has everything you might need. Members can enjoy spa services, including a special sports massage designed for men, to be paired with a hot steam and a plunge in the cold pool. There are five different eateries too–dine al fresco at the Palmer Patio, enjoy a formal dinner complete with top-tier wines at the Ridge Room, or kick back for a casual extended lunch at the Arroyo Grille. If you want a quick grab-and-go snack before a 9-hole round, Arnie’s at the Turn has delicious fresh wraps and yogurt parfaits–the perfect light, portable meal before any activity. Golf lovers, don’t fret, all of these frills aren’t at the expense of a world-class course. Designed by Arnold Palmer, there are two 18-hole championship courses, and both the Grove Course and Arroyo Course combine perfectly manicured greens with relaxing water features and a dose of challenge too. If your game is feeling rusty, you can always loosen up at the driving range before taking to the greens.

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Photographs: Escena Golf Club 
Colleen McNamara