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.
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.
El Segundo hoping golf entertainment company can break ground in 2021
Nearly eight years since it was initially proposed, city officials in El Segundo remain hopeful that the first Topgolf facility planned in Southern California will become a reality.
Topgolf, which many Southern Californians may be familiar with because of its popular entertainment complex in Las Vegas, offers games and activities for golfers and non-golfers of all ages as well as upscale food and beverage service at more than 60 locations around the world.
The project in El Segundo has been planned as part of an agreement that would bring a major upgrade to The Lakes at El Segundo, a 9-hole executive course and driving range owned by the city and located along Pacific Coast Highway, near Los Angeles International Airport and the beach towns of Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo.
Inland Empire’s Goose Creek Golf Club has earned its stellar reputation
While Goose Creek Golf Club in Jurupa Valley is challenging enough to be a perennial favorite to host some of the biggest professional events in the region, it’s also welcoming enough to ensure that average golfers can enjoy themselves too.
Nestled in the Hidden Valley Wildlife Area and meandering along the Santa Ana River, the Inland Empire gem is easily accessible from Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Riverside counties and has hosted qualifying events for the PGA Tour, USGA and others. The par-71 Schmidt-Curley Design routing that plays 6,560 yards from the tips should be a destination no matter where you live in Southern California.
“If you are looking for a pure golf experience based on a creative and effective course design that’s well maintained and a course that’s fun and challenging to play for all levels, this is it,” said Ross Fisher, the PGA Director of Golf at Goose Creek.
NCAA picks La Costa Resort to host trio of future national championships
The NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Committees have selected Omni La Costa Resort & Spa as the host site for the 2024, 2025 and 2026 Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships. Play will be conducted on the resort’s storied Champions Course following a planned 2022 renovation by golf course architect Gil Hanse.
The event’s debut at La Costa will mark the Division I Women’s Golf Championship’s return to SoCal after a 28-year absence. The Division I Men’s Golf Championship was last played in the region at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades in 2012.
The Men’s and Women’s Championships will be contested over consecutive weeks starting in 2024, the first year each culminating national championship will be played in combination at a neutral site.
Our favorite hole contest is over, but here's a bunch more reader submissions
We asked our readers to tell us their favorite holes in Southern California and received a variety of responses.
And while not all of our entries could be winners (we picked four in October), here are the rest of the submissions. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the four winning entries.
Thank you to all who participated!
Camps & classes at Indian Wells Golf Resort offer juniors a chance to advance
The teaching professionals at Indian Wells Golf Resort are gearing up for a holiday season filled with festive activities for junior golfers of all abilities.
Led by PGA Lead Teaching Professional Eric Solander, the upcoming camps and classes will focus on the fundamentals and how to take what is learned on the practice tee out to the golf course.
Here's a look at what's upcoming…
Aviara's par-5 8th presents a slew of challenges framed by water hazards and greenery.
Carlsbad’s Aviara Golf Club is among Arnold Palmer’s best design work
Aviara Golf Club is known for its many on-course amenities. Lush fairways, native wildflowers, rolling hillsides, picturesque views of the Batiquitos Lagoon nature preserve and its seaside ambiance along the Pacific Coast come to mind.
But what most golfers don’t know is the backstory behind one of the course’s most distinctive features: its extra-large, undulating greens.
Back when the 7,007-yard, par-72 Arnold Palmer design was being developed in the early 1990s, somebody involved in the construction made a fairly significant math error, and it wasn’t until nine of the greens had been built that anyone noticed they were each twice the size they were intended to be. After some debate, it was decided to continue forward by increasing the size of the remaining nine greens.
And that’s how the Carlsbad gem came to have some of the largest putting surfaces of any course in Southern California.
Pick the winner for your chance to win a free foursome and a $100 gift card
You may not be able to win a green jacket at the Masters in mid-November, but you can be victorious at SoCalGolfInsider.com.
We’re putting on a Masters contest and the winner will take home a golf package that includes a foursome to the newest golf course in Southern California – Rancho Del Sol Golf Club in Moreno Valley – as well as a $100 gift card that can be used at Roger Dunn Golf Shops or The Golf Mart.
Here’s what you need to do to enter the contest:
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!
Got some news to share about what's going on in the SoCal Golf community? SHARE IT HERE.