During my last vacation in Palm Springs, my brother, who was in from Las Vegas, and I were looking for a memorable place to play golf in what some consider the “Golf Capital” of the world. After searching various websites and golf magazines we found the Classic Club in Palm Desert. Formerly the host location for the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, this nationally recognized course was designed by Arnold Palmer. Needless to say, with Arnold Palmer and his company behind the design the course is very, very challenging.
According to the promotional literature that they have on-line and at the course, the Classic Club has over 30 acres of lakes and streams, 14 bridges and an abundance of pine trees and desert foliage. The elevated undulating greens are surrounded by bunkers large and small protecting the greens and in key spots of the fairway ready to catch and errant drive or approach shot. So that it is not so daunting for the amateur, like my brother and I, there are five (5) sets of tees which substantially shorten the 7,305-yard course.
One of my favorite holes is the par 5 ninth hole. A dog leg right with water that comes into play on both the second and third shot, the green is an island which can be reached by a well placed approach. There are sand traps and pines lining the right side of the hole so you can’t take a short cut by cutting out the dog leg.
Another hole that is both fun and challenging is the par 3 twelfth hole. Surrounded by water on three sides, it requires a very accurate tee shot over water. There is a sand trap in the back, so simply playing safe and long is not the answer to this hole. According to the research we did before deciding on the Classic Club, the course was voted by Golf Digest as one of the “Top five new public courses in the Americas” in 2006 and was recently ranked #8 in California on Golfweek’s list of “America’s Best Courses.”
The amenities include a GPS tracker in all the carts, so you don’t have to guess how far you are from the hazards and green. You can order food and drink out on the course, which is one way to deal with the pain my brother and I were feeling as a result of having to deal with this beautiful beast of a course.
When we finished our round, we headed for the Tuscan inspired clubhouse and its restaurant, which overlooks the course and the desert. We lingered in the clubhouse till my cell phone rang. It was my wife, wondering when we were coming home. We dutifully left, but not until I hit the pro shop for some appropriate souvenirs of a day well spent.