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Palm Springs Golf Getaway: Year-Round Play & Relaxation Awaits

Stay and Play at Four of the Best Golf Resorts in the Greater Palm Springs Oasis Among Endless Sunshine, Mountain Views, and Star-Studded History.

ATTACHMENT DETAILS La-Quinta
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In an area of Southern California called the Coachella Valley (better known as the Greater Palm Springs Oasis) there are an astonishing 125 public and private golf courses.

Just 15 miles wide along most of its length and lying between the Little San Bernardino Mountains (east) and the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountains (west) and the Salton Sea (a shallow saline lake), about a two-hour drive east of Los Angeles, it is said to be the greatest concentration of golf courses in the world.

Whether you’re escaping the snow to enjoy winter’s high-season or you’re seeking for value, looking for deals in the summer heat, surrounded by golden mountains, bathed in constant sunshine, and lined with magnificent palm trees, a favorite retreat of Hollywood celebrities since the 1950s and 1960s (including Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor and Elvis Presley), for decades it has been one of the most popular golf destinations in the United States.

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La Quinta Resort and PGA West

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And the absolute pinnacle is a stay and play at:

La Quinta Resort/PGA West

Truly a desert oasis for relaxation and renewal, the La Quinta Resort is just one of those places where many who have stayed there never left the premises during their entire visit (except to make their tee time of course).

Welcoming guests since the mid-1920s, ever since word of this luxury retreat spread to Hollywood, it wasn’t long before the likes of Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, and Shirley Temple were escaping to La Quinta in Palm Springs.

After a day of working up an appetite participating in tennis, pickleball, golf, the fitness center or simply lounging by the pool soaking up the rays and perhaps taking a few laps of the pool, this property has some amazing dining experiences including Morgan’s in The Desert which is the resort’s signature dining venue (try the Chilean sea bass with amazing roasted cauliflower), complimented by an extensive wine list.

Among other options one can partake is the Adobe Grill, an authentic Mexican dining experience with its traditional Oaxacan motif and double-sided fireplace. Sitting outside brings in the waterfalls and stars into play, and make sure when the sun goes down to relax with a beverage list that includes more than 100 tequilas.

Of course, a special treat is to experience The Spa La Quinta which mirrors the sense of timelessness and the quietness of the surrounding nature. Incorporating the proven facial and massage techniques, you’ll come away rejuvenated and recharged.

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When its’ time to rest, set among lush grounds accentuated by fragrant citrus trees, colorful gardens and picturesque courtyards, the accommodations including casitas, villas and suites are varied and peaceful. Some offer fireplaces and many are enhanced with poolside locations and jacuzzis. There are also guest rooms that come with a private yard and hot tub.

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Ready to tee off? Recognized for more than three decades as the “Western Home of Golf in America”, PGA WEST offers some of the most challenging and picturesque golf in Greater Palm Springs and in the nation.

Featuring 5 resort courses and 4 private courses, each offers a unique desert golf experience while providing multiple tee boxes for varying skill levels and spacious practice facilities. Its 163 holes of championship golf were designed by five golf legends: Arnold Palmer, Tom Weiskopf, Pete Dye, Greg Norman, and Jack Nicklaus and has hosted more than 45 PGA tour events, including epic and unforgettable moments in golf history.

PGA West

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So, playing in the footsteps of golf legends will be an amazing experience… and test!

For example, there is the Stadium Course. Unveiled in 1986, Pete Dye’s gift was to sculpt spectator seating into the natural terrain. You’ve never experienced anything quite like this. Dye also built the Mountain and Dunes courses which under the watchful eye of Tim Liddy led the recent greens renovation projects for both these challenging tracks, ‘building and contouring the trademark Pete Dye mounds, hillocks, rolls and depressions.”

Liddy, who collaborated closely with Pete Dye for nearly three decades, heads a firm providing quality golf course design services, completing several of the legendary architect’s golf course projects on his own after Dye passed away in 2020.

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Another “must-play” layout at PGA West is the one designed by Jack Nicklaus.

Beauty and drama permeate every hole on the Tournament Course as two island greens, monstruous bunkers, tiered fairways and more than a few sloping greens will test every club in your bag.

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa

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Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa

After a round of golf, is there anything more soothing on a hot summer day (or any time of year for that matter) than sloshing down the slide at this resort’s  distinct HyTides Plunge?  Situated at the center of the resort and boasting two dueling 30-foot slides, a 450-foot lazy river, and a splash pad, HyTides is where thrill seekers and chill chasers of all ages can enjoy year-round fun.

Fun, that is a theme here ever since the resort was established by Hollywood legends Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in 1957. Indian Wells Resort is filled with history and has a touch of old-school glamour.

And the fun starts with the two championship golf courses. Both the John Fought–designed Players Course and Clive Clark–crafted Celebrity Course tracks are immaculately landscaped and impeccably conditioned, with some of the most spectacular vistas in the area. The combination of mountain views framed around palm trees, enticing water features, and flowering plants make the experience at the resort one of the most aesthetically pleasing in Southern California.

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And pleasing to your sore and tired muscles after 36 holes of challenging golf (or even 18), will be your appointment at the Agua Serena (cleverly, even the name puts one in a soothing state-of-mind) Spa. Breathe in the Palm Springs desert air, listen to the gentle flow of water, and find your own bliss and after your tranquil treatment including a therapeutic massage which is completely personalized to your desired results, discover peace of body and mind in a private garden patio surrounded by dramatic mountains and towering palms.

JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa

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JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa

Surrounded not only by mountains, but guests at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa will be embraced by just about any amenity that a resort can offer.

Fresh from a recent multi-million-dollar renovation and featuring 884 guest rooms, JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa is Palm Desert’s largest resort and can deliver just about any whim a visitor may have.

For example, unique and filled with energy, the 12,000-square-foot JW Entertainment Zone is a gaming emporium featuring new and retro arcade games offering prizes and something for the whole family.

Offering something for the golfer, this property features two 18-hole championship courses set against the towering backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Both the Palm and Valley courses were designed by acclaimed architect Ted Robinson, “King of Waterscapes.” Each golf course is a par-72 and offers multiple tee locations from 5,200 to 6,700 yards to challenge various levels of skill.

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Another distinct aspect of this resort is something that presents a different way to treat your aching body after golf.

The JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa is debuting an Interactive Wellness Lounge. It offers 15 state-of-the-art lounge chairs, reflecting award-winning innovation built with sustainable practices and materials. Three types of lounges include Mind-Sync Lounges with vibro-acoustic sound wave therapy; NuWave Zero Gravity Wave Lounges providing optimal therapy for a multitude of head, hand and foot treatments, improving the circulatory system and easing back strain; and the Ceragem M2 Massaging Chair perfect for the care of neck, back, hips, thighs and even abdominal circulation.

Now one way to continue that serenity is to make the short walk from the spa to a few wooden chairs that overlook the lake and the 18th green and relax in a wonderful garden. Part of a program inspired by hotel founder’s wife Alice Marriott’s love of gardening, the JW Garden is a serene sanctuary presented by renowned landscape designer, Lily Kwong. This biodiverse garden features California-native plants and edible herbs like the signature sage plant. With hidden seating, peaceful walking paths, and an olive grove, guests are invited to pause, rest, and reflect.

After all this, you will reflect on so many more things there are to do on your next visit here.

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Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort and Spa

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Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa

It’s the brand’s first-ever resort (opened just last fall), and the instantly recognizable Tommy Bahama aesthetic is infused throughout the 11-acre Miramonte property. Set amid an olive tree grove, fragrant citrus and flower gardens are 215 guestrooms with five luxury villa suites.

Comparatively smaller than the aforementioned resorts, nevertheless that boutique style lends the Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa to a seemingly more cozy, relaxed and calming world of luxury reflective of the same casual elegance of the brand.

From the lobby’s hand-painted murals, the lush green palms of the guest rooms’ wallpaper as well as the signature print, “Calypso Palms,” on display in the new Rosa Boutique, you’re immersion continues as you mosey through the resort’s olive grove or relax alongside one of the patio’s fire pits and watch other guests enjoy the bocce courts.

Blending the natural beauty of the desert with warm tropical vibes one gets from the Tommy Bahama design influence, the overall effect results in finding yourself escaping to a luxurious and calming sanctuary.

And nowhere is that calm feeling better felt than at Spa Rosa.

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Located in the heart of the resort, they offer invigorating treatments using methods and rituals inspired by the healing powers of the surrounding desert and beautiful views of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Rejuvenating treatments include a massage tailored to your needs to an island state of mind-body treatment (using such names as the guided Daydream to Life Ritual, Precious Rose Quartz Facial, Island State of Mind Massage, and of course the Santa Rosa Mountain Mud Body Mask,) you can also access their inviting outdoor soaking pools.

Also for relaxation, and swimming, there are three pools including the signature Tommy Bahama Pool with private cabanas and bar. The Indian Wells golf resort is close by.

Both guests and locals satisfy their thirst and hunger at the popular signature restaurant and bar. Grapefruit Basil (named for that famed Tommy Bahama cocktail, is also a tribute to the citrus trees found throughout the property), features island-inspired menus with al fresco dining on the patio.

What you’ll find moments after dropping off your luggage and walking about, is that the resort, a $20-million renovation of what had been the Miramonte Resort & Spa since 1988, embodies the spirit of the upscale lifestyle brand with a unique blend of island living and desert luxury in the greater Palm Springs area. A distinct place to escape in style and relax in luxury.

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“With this resort, we’re crafting an entirely new concept of leisure, fusing the essence of our brand with the unparalleled beauty of this desert oasis and creating a destination where every moment feels like a timeless escape,” said Doug Wood, CEO of Tommy Bahama.

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Golf Aplenty

In addition to the aforementioned opportunities at the resorts, while there are lots of terrific options, here’s several courses worthy of your time and talents to test your game in both pristine conditions as well as the heat, wind and even under the lights.

Invited Clubs' Mission Hills Palm Springs

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Mission Hills

Invited Clubs’ Mission Hills features three outstanding golf courses designed by acclaimed architects Pete Dye, Arnold Palmer, and Desmond Muirhead.

Classic Club Palm Springs

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The Classic Club

The tour-quality greens, 30 acres of water features, elevation changes, and the Arnold Palmer design make The Classic Club, a former Bob Hope host, a true championship course.

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Lights at Indio

When asked why a visitor should make time to play his 18-hole course which measures just over 3,000 yards, David Ruvolo, PGA Manager at The Lights at Indio Golf Course, beams when he says “It’s simple, at night The Lights at Indio is the only game in town! The Lights at Indio provides a fun, casual atmosphere for all levels of golf, plus the novelty of playing golf at night, which many people have never experienced.”

Among those who have wanted to experience the dark side of the game here at Indio, a layout that features six holes over 180 yards from the back tees, including the 241-yard fourth hole, are some notable pubic figures.

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“We have had Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler (see photo) come out to play. I’m pretty sure Bubba played the course with just a pitching wedge. It is great having those Tour caliber players out here and see them have a challenge on our awesome Par-3 golf course,” said Ruvolo. “In addition to PGA Tour golfers, we have had many celebrities play The Lights, including Bob Hope, NFL star Travis Kelce, former NHL star Scott Niedermayer and rapper Tyga just to name a few.”

And to name just a few, there are several core attractions here highly worthy of one’s time.

Palm Springs Air Museum

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The Big Three

Yes, golf is the featured activity, however no trip to Palm Springs would be complete without making time for these distinct places that have long held a special allure.

Palm Springs Air Museum

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Palm Springs Air Museum

You don’t have to be a pilot to appreciate this gem. By preserving, exhibiting, and flying aircraft from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Global War on Terror, the Palm Springs Air Museum is a living history museum dedicated to educating the public about the role Air Power played in preserving American liberties and our way of life.

Palm Springs Tramway

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Palm Springs Tramway

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is the world’s largest rotating tram car. Since 1963, over 20 million people have traveled the 10-minute, 2.5-mile ride, which begins at the Valley Station (elevation 2,643 feet) and ends at the Mountain Station (elevation 8,516 feet). And after taking on 50 miles of hiking trails (don’t forget to check weather forecasts first), there’s several fine restaurants to enjoy up there.

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

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The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

With its new beautiful and immersive habitats, exciting and impactful guest experiences, and unwavering commitment to saving wildlife, it is no surprise that the world-class Living Desert Zoo and Gardens has welcomed over 2.5 million visitors over the last five years.

And don’t forget to participate in the wildly popular giraffe feeding.

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Of course, feeding is a popular topic for travelers no matter the destination, especially when it comes to their own palates.

A Wellspring of Dining Options

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A Wellspring of Dining Options

After all the golf, sightseeing and assorted activities that build your appetite, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a wide variety of dining choices throughout the Greater Palm Springs Oasis.

Here are a few popular establishments that both locals and visitors have been filing in to enjoy for a long time.

Melvyn's-Restaurant-and-Bar-Palm-Springs

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Melvyn’s

The famed Melvyn’s Restaurant and Bar is a step back in time to an era of old Hollywood glamour and timeless luxury. As you sit down and are served your cocktail and steak, imagine across the way, to the right of the bar, Frank Sinatra and his party enjoying the same spirits and menu you are… then inviting you over for a sing-along.

849-Restaurant-Palm-Springs

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Eight 4 Nine

Whether dining indoors or out, the ambiance at Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge is compelling, the menu diverse, and the service thoughtful and detailed.

Sullivan’s Steakhouse

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Sullivan’s Steakhouse

Hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, signature cocktails, and lively music make Sullivan’s Steakhouse a classic destination where all you’ll need is an appetite.

Vicky’s of Santa Fe

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Vicky’s of Santa Fe

For over thirty years, Vicky’s of Santa Fe, the award-winning restaurant in Indian Wells, has kept its tables filled night after night with a superb combination of prime steaks, fresh seafood, rack of lamb, and pork chops accompanied by their classic twice-baked potato. Additionally, the restaurant boasts a walk-in wine cellar. Meanwhile, the adjoining Lounge Room buzzes with a live music program by desert legend John Stanley King.

Morton’s

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Morton’s

Their theme says it all: ‘Steak: What Morton’s Does Best!’ However, their entire menu, including seafood, is off the charts. Now, save room for their Legendary Morton’s Hot Chocolate Cake!

Welcome to Palm Springs

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Palm Springs: Where Golf Beckons Year-Round

With its plentiful mountain and desert vistas, beautiful backdrops while you play challenging layouts designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Pete Dye, the Greater Palm Springs Oasis is a hole-in-one experience. It offers many options, allowing you to follow in the footsteps of golf legends on courses that challenge players of all skill levels and host professional tournaments each year.

Add to that the fabulous resorts where you can relax with your favorite beverage by the pool, rejuvenate with a top-flight massage at the adjoining spa, and savor a sumptuous dinner while watching the sun set. When you return home, you’ll reflect on the wonderful experience and grin, knowing that Palm Springs is a place where golf calls your name any time of the year, again and again.

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