West Coast Swing tees off as The American Express returns to La Quinta
The party once known as the Bob Hope Classic will be considerably tamer this year, as the PGA Tour’s annual visit to the Coachella Valley will be held without fans in attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions. But that doesn’t mean The American Express – the event is in its second year being sponsored by the credit card company – will be any less exciting.
Fans can tune in on Golf Channel from January 21-24, and with homes lining all three courses in the rotation, plenty of homeowners will likely set up in their backyards for a closer look. When they do, they’ll watch a field of 156 of the world’s top players plying their trade with a $6.7 million purse on the line, a group that already includes nine of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Host course of The American Express has been challenging golfers for 35 years
Playing the PGA WEST Pete Dye Stadium Course in La Quinta is sort of like skiing a double black diamond, the most difficult of alpine slopes. For low handicappers, it represents a stiff challenge and truly forces you to bring your “A” game. For the rest of us, well, simply surviving is a feat in itself, and the stories you’ll be able to tell will last a lifetime.
“The Stadium Course is on everyone’s bucket list,” said Ben Dobbs, PGA WEST’s Executive Director. “Even though it’s one of the most difficult courses in the country, everyone still wants to play it. Low handicappers may go out and shoot 79 and say it’s one of the best rounds they have ever played. Then there are amateurs who stop keeping score after a few holes and just try to enjoy the experience.”
Indeed, the experience of playing the Stadium Course is unlike any other. The Pete Dye-designed track maxes out at 7,300 yards, has been named by Golf Digest as the fourth toughest course in America, and in case you weren’t already intimidated, the scorecard reveals that there are holes nicknamed Eternity, San Andreas Fault and Alcatraz.
The Celebrity Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort.
Indian Wells Golf Resort honored for finest playing conditions in SoCal
For the second time in three years, Indian Wells Golf Resort has been honored with having the best playing conditions in Southern California.
Greenskeeper.org, a well-respected online platform and social network with 75,000 members that features golf course reviews and maintenance alerts, awarded Indian Wells Golf Resort its 2020 Best Playing Conditions honor on January 4, and also in 2018.
Indian Wells Golf Resort features two championship courses, the Celebrity and the Players. Designed by Clive Clark, the Celebrity Course is a 7,038-yard, par 72 with spectacular mountain views, undulating fairways, lakes, waterfalls, flowing streams and brooks, and vibrant floral landscaping. The John Fought-designed par-72 Players Course stretches to 7,376 yards from the tips and features a classic American design complete with sculpted bunkers in a style reminiscent of Riviera and Winged Foot. Both tracks have received numerous accolades over the years.
There are plenty of ways to get your game back on track after a bad round
Let’s face it, golf can be a challenging game, where birdie holes can easily transform into double bogeys if things happen to go south with your game.
While golfers of all abilities can experience great rounds, every once in a while you’re sure to have one of those days when the bounces don’t to go your way and you’d rather not hold onto your scorecard.
We surveyed a few SoCal teaching pros for some helpful hints on how to bounce back from a bad round…
The best push, pull and electric carts to get you around the golf course
Golf, it turns out, has been the perfect sport to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Because the game offers recreation and socialization in an outdoor setting with physical distancing built into its fabric, participation numbers have dramatically increased at public and private courses across the country.
Golfers new and old have also discovered the joys of walking the course, thanks to restrictions that limit traditional golf carts to one rider in many places or don’t allow cart rentals at all. The result has been a soaring demand for push/pull carts and electric carts, as golfers look for alternatives to carrying their bags.
Improve your fitness and your golf game with these drills you can do at home
With a lot of gyms still closed or with limited access available, one piece of at-home equipment has become vitally important for golfers who want to keep working on their fitness:
“A lot of the questions I getting a lot now are, ‘What can I do for my golf game just using bands,’” said Mike Hansen, owner of Hansen Fitness for Golf in Irvine.
Golfers tell us what they hope to accomplish in the game in 2021
We asked SoCalGolfInsider.com readers in December to tell us their New Year’s golf resolutions. In addition to expressing their hopes and dreams for the game in 2021, they also were entered into a random drawing for a chance to win a dozen Titleist Pro V1s. Congratulations to Chris Loo for winning the random drawing and golf balls.
Now, here are some of the resolutions submitted by readers:
Tell us for a chance to win a dozen Titleist Pro V1 golf balls
With the clock ticking down on 2020, there’s still time to start making your New Year’s golf resolutions.
What do you hope to accomplish in 2021? Do you want to make a commitment to play more? How about getting a package of golf lessons or plunking down $500 for a shiny, hi-tech new driver?
9 resolutions to help take your golf game to the next level in the coming year
Set aside for a moment the New Year’s resolutions about eating better and exercising more – if you’re a golfer, the top resolution on your list is likely to get your game in shape for 2021.
No matter your handicap or playing ability, there are a number of simple things you can do to lower your scores and increase your enjoyment on the golf course in the year ahead.
As with life, our golf game will only get better if we take the time and put in the effort. To get your 2021 off to a good start on the course, here are a few ideas to add to your list of resolutions…
San Diego County track gets a new name, along with major improvements
The start of a new year often brings new beginnings, and that couldn’t be more true for one golf course in northeast San Diego County.
On January 1, Woods Valley Golf Club will be re-named Native Oaks Golf Club, and that’s not the only notable change for the daily-fee track in Valley Center that has been popular among San Diego golfers since it first opened in 2004.
OB Sports was selected to manage Native Oaks in November 2019 on behalf of its owners, the San Pasqual Economic Development Commission, and the experienced company has already started to make noticeable improvements.
Greetings, fellow golfers, and welcome to SoCal Golf Insider! We are Rob Lyon and Eric Marson and we've been reporting and writing about the game throughout the region since 1995. Here, we will provide you with the latest news, features, reviews and more on all things golf in Southern California. Let’s tee it up!
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