Escena Golf Club in Palm Springs
The starter only had one thing to say to us and it was "Watch out for squirrels. They will steal your food and run away with the ball." I have played courses all over and have never met a squirrel that would take off with a golf ball. I've seen crows and hawks that mistaken a golf ball for an egg but never a squirrel.
At Escena Golf Club, golf is at its best. An Arnold Palmer design. The only thing bad about it is no driving range. They have a net in the back for you to warm up on but the property lacks a driving range which is not good. The only thing to do when you get there is to practice putting, shop or get a bite at the restaurant. Perhaps that's why they don't have a range there. Might as well channel their revenue towards the entertainment and social aspects of the game, rather than game improvement.
The course is immaculate and is really fun to play. The fairways are pretty wide and there aren't any houses in view to hit. Players that are worried about hitting into houses can rest assure because this course is built with houses in the neighbourhood but none of them are really easy to hit, unless you spray your tee shot.
For a hole-by-hole review, be sure to visit our Where to Play page.
Marriott Desert Springs
There are a number of Stay and Play courses in the Palm Springs area to choose from. At the JW Marriott resort, there are two courses to choose from and both courses are wide and open. The Marriott Desert Spring courses are right off the hotel facilities and offer club storage to their hotel guests. Simply give up your bag when you check in and have them ready for you when you are ready to play.
Westin Mission Hills
Another 'Stay and Play' favourite is the Westin Mission Hills where there are two championship courses to choose from. Also you will find a fully stocked pro shop, driving range, putting green, bunkers and chipping area. This is one full service facility and it's worth showing up at least an hour before your tee time.
Once you are checked in, they run a tight ship. They will want you to warm up and when your time is up, relax because they will actually call you up. Most of the time the starter runs the facility like a resort, letting couples play alone and not teaming them up with strangers.
In the busy winter months, the starter tries to combine groups to maximize the tee sheets. You can always ask to play alone and sometimes they will let you. It's worth asking.
Back when Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope played golf in Palm Springs, it was the latest fad to install water fountains and waterfalls at golf courses. The Mesquite Golf Course in Palm Springs is one of the oldest courses around but renovations have since made it better.
The fairways are wide and fair. There are a lot of water hazards but play safe and you'll be alright.
Planning a Golf Vacation in Palm Springs
Flying to Palm Springs is easy. Simply get on CheapoAir.ca, enter your origin airport code then enter PSP as the destination. From the Palm Springs airport, you can rent a car and get around easily.
Most first time visitors prefer to stay in central Palm Springs. There are a variety of older golf courses in Palm Springs that you can get to, in less than 20 minutes by car. These courses include Mesquite Golf Course, Tahquitz Creek, Cimmarron, Indian Canyon, Escena Golf Club, Desert Dunes and Rancho Las Palmas.
If you drive just 10 minutes east of the city, you will get to Mission Hills where the Westin hotel is. There you can play Westin Mission Hills, Desert Willow and the Marriott Desert Spring courses.
Head east for another 10 minutes and you will get to Rancho Mirage where you can play Rancho Las Palmas, a 27-hole facility. Or you can play the semi-private Rancho Mirage Golf Club.
The next desert city after Rancho Mirage is Palm Desert where you will find the Palm Desert Resort Course, Woodhaven Golf Club and the nearby Indian Wells Celebrity and Players courses.
Close by is the city of La Quinta where the famed PGA West courses are. There you will find a number of championship courses including SilverRock, Jack Nicklaus private course, Arnold Palmer private course, La Quinta Resort Dunes and Mountain course, Sun City Shadow Hills, Sun City Mountain Vista and more.
Heading more east, you will find the town of Indio with courses such as Terra Lago, The Golf Club at La Quinta and Eagle Falls.