January 09th, 2024

Tee Time Escapade: The Ultimate Golf Experience at La Quinta Resort & Club

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With over 130 golf courses, Palm Springs has great weather and natural beauty, making the area popular for golf vacations. La Quinta Resort & Club is one of the most famous golf resorts in the area, with five spectacular golf courses. Built in 1926, the resort has a rich history, and it is the leading golf destination in the country. Two of the courses at La Quinta Resort & Club were built by acclaimed golf architects Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus. While the former is a challenging yet fair design featuring sand, pockets of wildflowers, lakes, and panoramic vistas, the latter has a design that is tempered by dramatic beauty.

The Greg Norman Course, Capturing the Essence of Desert Golf

The Greg Norman course is a desert layout. This makes it a rarity among the golf courses in the Coachella Valley, which, despite being a desert destination, is surprisingly lush. Although the desert and a whopping 120 sand bunkers await to ensnare your ball, the course is one of PGA WEST's more playable golf tests. The Greg Norman Golf course features a mix of short par 3s and long par 5s. It is a fun test providing stunning arid scenery and a target-style strategy contrasting with the other public courses at this classic Coachella Valley destination. Let us take a look at this amazing golf course hole by hole:

  • Hole 1 (par 4): The fairway narrows the longer you hit your drive, and you should avoid deep bunkers on the left and right.
  • Hole 2 (par 5): Most will lay up short of the desert fronting the green and favoring the right center off the tee will give you the best chance for par.
  • Hole 3 (par 4): It demands two good shots to hit the green, and the best drive is off-center, leaving the best angle to approach the green while avoiding the bunkers.
  • Hole 4 (par 3): You should note where the hole is cut on this par 3, and you should keep in mind that the green is shallow and angles back to the right.
  • Hole 5 (par 4): This hole requires a drive in the fairway, leaving golfers a short iron to a green with a deep bunker on the left.
  • Hole 6 (par 4): It is the first handicap hole for good reason, and you have to hit two shots to reach the green in regulation.
  • Hole 7 (par 3): Depending on the wind and hole location, the ball will find the water if extra club is not taken into account to this green.
  • Hole 8 (par 5): Longer hitters will have to favor the left center to avoid the water and bunkers on the right, and you should continue favoring the left side for your layup.
  • Hole 9 (par 4): The green is wide but extremely shallow, and you should favor the second shot to the back of the green to avoid this desert short.
  • Hole 10 (par 4): This is a hole with a bend to the right and avoiding fairway bunkers with drive leaves a short iron to the green.
  • Hole 11 (par 4): A drive in the fairway leaves a short iron to a deep green, and you should remember to check the hole location.
  • Hole 12 (par 5): The hole is a lengthy downhill par 5, and laying up to the right avoids the line of bunkers on the left.
  • Hole 13 (par 3): This green is much larger than what appears from the tee, and the bunkers fronting the green are short of the putting surface.
  • Hole 14 (par 4): The hole is a straight par 4, and you should favor the left side on your drive, as deep bunkers protect the green.
  • Hole 15 (par 4): The left side leaves a longer second shot but a wider landing area, and you should avoid the deep bunker in front middle of the green.
  • Hole 16 (par 5): You should favor the left side off the tee because water comes into play on the right for longer hitters, and water comes more into play the closer you get to the green.
  • Hole 17 (par 3): You should take enough club when the flag is center to the left and know that balls short of the green will roll back into the water.
  • Hole 18 (par 4): The fairway gets narrower the longer you hit it off the tee, and shallow, wide green makes club selection important on the second shot.

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The Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, One of Palm Springs' Best Designs

The intensity of this design is tempered by dramatic beauty and the excitement of playing one of the most highly regarded courses in the Palm Springs area. Even though mounding mimicking the surrounding mountains serves both a strategic and aesthetic purpose, the main design feature of the Jack Nicklaus Tournament course is its elevated fairways. These swathes of emerald turf sit above patches of rough waste bunkers, and desert scrub looming wide of the tabletop landing areas. However, the landing areas are ample, and golfers can unleash their drivers on most holes.

While the greens are a good size, they may appear to be small targets due to all the surrounding trouble. The Jack Nicklaus Tournament course will test your short game, as up-and-downs are not easy on the slick putting surfaces. Perhaps the most memorable hole and one of the greatest holes in the Coachella Valley is the par-5 15th, featuring one of the layout's two island greens. The Jack Nicklaus Tournament course boasts a rich tournament history. Today, it is one of the three golf courses used during the first three days of the PGA Tour's American Express Championship.

The Takeaway

In addition to playing these two challenging golf courses at La Quinta Resort & Club, you will also have the chance to enjoy the three Pete Dye golf courses at the resort, which will undoubtedly make for a memorable experience. Boasting such exquisite golf courses, it should come as no surprise that the resort is on the bucket list of nearly all golfers across the country and worldwide!