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A Weekender’s Guide to Golfing in Palm Desert

Snow birds aren’t the only ones who can enjoy the 150+ golf courses that cover the Palm Springs and Palm Desert area.  With a short drive you too can get away for a mini vacation and take advantage of a killer golfing weekend.  …and don’t worry, now that we are in “fall” you can expect the daily temperatures to range from low 90’s to low 100’s during the day and mid to high 70’s in the evenings.  Absolutely still golfable!

Here’s our quick weekender’s guide to golfing in Palm Desert:

A Weekender's Guide to Golfing in Palm Desert



To help you narrow down your search here are six public courses that we think are at the top of the list, reasonably priced, and worth the experience:

  • Desert Willow Golf Resort
    With exceptional desert routing, both the Mountain View and Firecliff courses count among the most beatified tracks in the entire state. Start with the more forgiving Mountain View before graduating to the ample demands of forced carry and cagey greens of the Firecliff. 38995 Desert Willow Dr., Palm Desert. 760-346-7060;
  • Indian Wells Golf Resort
    Both the John Fought–designed Players Course and Clive Clark–crafted Celebrity Course prove can’t-miss plays. With bountiful stimuli extending from clubhouse to course, ensure a steady lid when taking on the taut bunkering and required distance presented by the more demanding Players. 44500 Indian Wells Ln., Indian Wells. 760-346-4653;
  • La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA West
    Home to five superb public plays, the “Western Home of Golf in America” presents options for all levels of players and pleasure-seekers. The Pete Dye–drawn Mountain Course is ideal for guests pursuing desert awe, while the Greg Norman Course provides some of the area’s sweetest solitude. Low-handicappers aiming to test their games should tee sheet either the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course or Dye’s nuanced TPC Stadium Course, revered among the toughest tracks in the country. La Quinta Resort, 49999 Eisenhower Dr., La Quinta. 760-564-4111; PGA West, 56150 PGA Blvd., La Quinta. 760-564-7101;
  • Classic Club
    Among the desert’s most impressive expanses of golf, the Arnold Palmer design and former Hope host is a true championship course. The grandeur of the Audubon-certified grounds present ample distance for the scratch player, while mid-to-high handicappers will be assuaged by taking in the wealth of plantings and water features. 75200 Classic Club Blvd., Palm Desert. 760-601-3600;
  • Desert Falls Country Club
    Considered by many to be one of the best courses in the desert this 7,000 yard links style course features superb Tifdwarf greens and a challenging yet rewarding layout.  Beautiful scenery and spectacular views make this course irresistible.  1111 Desert Falls Parkway, Palm Desert. 760-340-5646;
  • Escena Golf Club
    The area’s most alluring clubhouse extends to a track from Jack Nicklaus Design that sports a host of burly par-3s and manageable par-5s to match with wide landing areas and sizable though well-guarded greens. 1100 Clubhouse View, Palm Springs. 760-778-2737;

A Weekender's Guide to Golfing in Palm Desert


Kick your feet up in traditional hotel style or relax in the comforts of a private residence.  The area has every type of overnight accommodations and here’s a quick list.

  • Desert Springs JW Marriott & Spa
    From the moment you approach the palm-lined path leading to JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, the experience of renewal begins. The Palm Desert hotel offers the utmost in luxury and relaxation, including a stately lobby complete with cascading waterfalls and meandering waterways, six restaurants serving everything from fresh sushi to hand-stretched pizza, two championship golf courses, and spacious guest rooms appointed with high-tech amenities and elegant decor. 74-855 Country Club Dr, Palm Desert, CA 92260. 760-341-2211;
  • Ace Hotel & Swim Club
    The fully renovated hipster hot spot has an organic and bohemian style with two big pools, a vintage photobooth, award-winning room service, free WiFi and a gym round out the basics. Bring your kids, bring your dog – all are welcome.  Simple and funky. 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264. 760-778-2737;
  • Riviera Palm Springs
    Relax in one of Palm Springs most legendary resorts. The Riviera Palm Springs is a blend of retro contemporary and hot sophistication. Our Palm Springs hotel exudes iconic intimacy. Privacy is plentiful – share a picnic tucked behind a tree on the garden lawn, or a rendez-vous with a bottle of champagne on the expansive grounds.  1600 North Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262. 866-588-8311;
  • Marriott’s Desert Springs Villas II
    Sophisticated, comfortable, and set amidst the beauty of Palm Desert, CA, Marriott’s Desert Springs Villas II is the ultimate destination for guests in search of both activity and relaxation. The resort offers spacious one- and two-bedroom villa rentals with fully equipped kitchens and washer/dryers.  1091 Pinehurst Lane, Palm Desert, CA 92260. 760-779-1200;
  • The Saguaro Palm Springs, a Joie de Vivre Hotel
    Gorgeous pool, cutting-edge design and desert views? Check, check and check. What’s more, our architects, Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat, challenged the status quo of muted neutrals with a bold color palette inspired by indigenous desert flowers. Think of it as a Coachella Valley oasis. 1800 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264. 760-323-1711;
  • Westin Desert Willow Villas
    This all-villa, desert retreat is surrounded by lush golf courses and offers an array of amenities, including swimming pools, an outdoor whirlpool spa, lighted tennis courts, basketball and volleyball courts, an activities program and much more. 75 Willow Ridge, Palm Desert, CA 92260. 760-636-7000;
    Enter your destination and search criteria find a private residence that suits your needs.  It’s that simple!

A Weekender's Guide to Golfing in Palm Desert


You don’t need to spend a small fortune on food… or you can!  The desert offers a wide range of restaurants but here’s a list of our favorites!

  • Sherman’s Deli
    Easily my favorite restaurant in all of the desert this is a not-to-miss deli!  Everything from sandwhiches to soups and other hot plates Sherman’s offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  73161 Country Club Dr, Palm Desert, CA 92260-2350.  760-568-1350;
  • Arnold Palmer’s Restaurant
    A golfer’s must!  At Arnold Palmer’s Restaurant we give you a taste of the good life, some of the simple pleasures in life that Arnold embraces. From the excellence in our presentation of cuisine in the approved Arnold Palmer fashion, to the hospitality shown to each and every guest. More importantly, we want you to feel terrific about joining us for dinner and leaving a little more enriched from your visit.  78164 Avenue 52, La Quinta, CA 92253.  760-771-4653;
  • Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant
    Not just great clothes… Conveniently located on the famed shopping destination of El Paseo, Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar is ideal for lunch, dinner, or Happy Hour. Spacious patios with sweeping mountain views create a backdrop unlike anything else in the desert.  73-595 El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA 92260.  760-836-0188;
  • Pacifica Seafood Restaurant
    Pacifica Seafood Restaurant features the freshest seafood in the desert. Our innovative menu showcases a variety of fresh fare and flavorful steak dishes, complemented by our International Vodka Menu and award-winning wine list. Pacifica Seafood Restaurant is just minutes from Palm Springs, near shopping and resorts, in the heart of Palm Desert, California.  73505 El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA 92260-4343 (San Pablo).  760-674-8666;
  • Grill-A-Burger
    Known as the best burger in town you won’t be disappointed with the variety and deliciousness of everything on their menu.  Our hand crafted, grilled-to-order, moist and juicy patties are made daily from fresh (never frozen) 100% all-natural USDA Inspected Choice Beef, free of artificial hormones, antibiotics, and other things that don’t belong in hamburgers. And they have nice buns, too! 73091 Country Club Drive, Suite A2, Palm Desert, CA 92260.  760-346-8170;
  • La Spiga Restaurante
    La Spiga is a magnificent Tuscan-style villa surrounded by rose gardens, herb beds, and fruit trees.  Three gazeebos provide additional dining and the patio wraps around the entire building offering a spectacular view of the mountains. 72557 Highway 111, Palm Desert, CA 92260.  760-340-9318;
  • The River at Rancho Mirage
    Can’t decide and want to simply walk and browse a handful of restaurants?  Head over to the River at Rancho Mirage and choose one of their 10 restaurant options.  There’s something for everyone!  71-800 CA-111, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270;


…break away for the weekend.  It’s not a far drive!

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