Arnold Palmer's go-for-broke style on full display at Classic Club's 18th hole
Leave it to a guy who had one of the most aggressive risk-reward approaches to golf ever to design one of the greatest risk-reward holes in the Coachella Valley.
We’re talking, of course, about the par-5 finishing hole at Palm Desert’s Classic Club, an Arnold Palmer-designed track so sturdy that it once was home to the PGA Tour’s Bob Hope Classic.
And while Palmer bares his soul throughout the layout, it’s the 18th that provides the true show-me-what-you-got moment.
“The 18th hole is picturesque and unique in several ways,” said Classic Club Superintendent Tony Spannaus. “You begin with a choice of five different tee pads, all elevated to feature a panoramic view of several holes, the clubhouse and a lake containing different species of waterfowl. You immediately appreciate how important your tee shot is when you notice four fairway bunkers to your left, and two to the right with a slightly larger than four-acre lake lining the entire length of the fairway and green to the right as well."
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The scintillating par 5 plays 564 yards from the tips, 526 from the blues and 483 from the whites. If you’re playing from the proper tees for your game, this hole has temptation written all over it. And decision making is paramount.
We’ll let Spannaus set the stage: “After successfully navigating all the hazards off the tee, you are then faced with your second challenge: Do you go for the dogleg-right green, which can require a long shot over the lake, or do you play it safe and lay it up in front of two more bunkers designed to give each player specific risk-reward scenarios? All of these factors come into play and present golfers a unique opportunity to test their limits of skill and comfortability all in one beautiful hole.”
Perhaps the most captivating thing about the 18th is that there are so many different ways to approach it.
“You could play this hole 18 different times and strategize it a different way each time," Spannaus says. "It is truly one of the great finishing holes in golf.”
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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