Golf Resorts, Palm Springs
Concierge.com's insider take:
With streets named for Gerald Ford, Dinah Shore, and Bob Hope, you know the Coachella Valley is obsessed with golf. The city of Palm Desert is golf central: Classic Club hosts the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic each January, but novice players are equally at home. Instead of standard-issue palms, look for pine, olive, and pepperwood trees and flower beds lining the fairways. A 65,000-square-foot Tuscan-style clubhouse is due for completion in summer 2007 (75-200 Northstar Resort Pkwy.; 760-601-3600; www.classicclubgolf.com). Marriott's Shadow Ridge, designed by Nick Faldo (there's a Faldo Golf Institute on site), is playable for all levels, even if some of the bunkers are challenging (9200 Shadow Ridge Rd.; 760-674-2700; www.golfshadowridge.com). Nearby, Desert Willow receives raves for its two photogenic, environmentally friendly courses: The Mountain View course has wide fairways, while the tougher 7,056-yard Firecliff Course has more than 100 bunkers with dramatic desert landscaping (38-995 Desert Willow Dr.; 760-346-7060; www.desertwillow.com). Down valley, there's the Golf Resort at Indian Wells. The Celebrity Course opened November 2006, designed by Ryder Cup member Clive Clark. Rolling waters and wildflowers lend a botanical-garden look (44-500 Indian Wells La.; 800-874-8190; www.golfresortatindianwells.com). In La Quinta, the Arnold Palmer–designed SilverRock Resort has tees suitable for all levels of play. It's at the base of the majestic Santa Rosa Mountains, surrounded by 100 acres of natural desert landscape (79-179 Ahmanson La.; 888-600-7272; www.silverrock.org).