Review & Rating of Classic Club in Palm Desert, California
Classic Club creates a new spin on desert golf with rolling terrain, wide landing areas, 30 acres of lakes and streams with cascading waterfalls, 67 white sand bunkers, lush fairways, velvet smooth greens, 14 bridges, an abundance of pine trees, rolling terrain with several elevated tee boxes, colorful landscaping, and pine straw ground cover. Classic Club is the perfect example of why I keep playing golf:
- the layout is a blast to play and each hole is a little different from the other holes
- it's very scenic with ponds and creeks and waterfalls, lots of trees and colorful fauna, and three mountain ranges creating a beautiful backdrop
- the course is challenging but fair for all skill levels
- the conditions are near perfect from the tee box to the cup and the course is well-manicured and maintained
- it's a first-class operation from the stunning clubhouse, to the pro shop, to the gourmet restaurant, and to the carts with soft leather seats plus the staff is friendly and outgoing
Classic Club was designed by Arnold Palmer, is managed by Troon Golf (one of the best in the golf industry!), and was a host site of the 2006, 2007, and 2008 Bob Hope Classic. It's not surprising that since opening in 2006, Classic Club has received several awards and prestigious accolades, some of which include:
- Best of Desert Golf by California Golf & Travel Magazine
- America's Top Golf Courses by Zagat Survey
- Best Places To Play from Golf Travel
- Best State-by-State Courses You Can Play according to Golfweek Magazine
- Top 5 New Public Golf Courses in America by Golf Digest
- #1 is a beautiful 408-yard par 4 with a clear blue pond and cascading waterfalls along the left side, two big bunkers, and snow-capped mountains framing the back of the green
- #4 is a fun 568-yard par 5 with a carry over a pond from the tips, a dogleg left along a contoured fairway with 6 bunkers, and a slight uphill shot to the green with big left and right side bunkers
- #11 is a 450-yard dogleg right that requires some shot-making to avoid the water along the entire right side and the two big fairway bunkers which pinch the fairway and your second shot needs to carry the water in front of the green and miss the left and right bunkers
- #13 must be the signature hole – 162-yard carry over a pond to a big green with a huge back left bunker and a cascading waterfall along the right side – colorful flowers front the green
- #18 is a fantastic finishing hole and the #2 handicap thanks to an elevated tee box, a dog right fairway around a lake that goes from the tee box to the green and 8 fairway bunkers to avoid
The Classic Club fairways were in near perfect condition when we played. Most of the fairways are generous off the tee box but can get a little tight after that. All the fairways have a wide and playable rough that was cut thin when we played – miss the rough and you're wet or in the natural area. There are several elevated tee boxes, lots of water and bunkers to avoid, and some doglegs left and right.
The greens at Classic Club were also excellent – velvet smooth, fast, and true, but challenging to read the subtle breaks. Bunkers, water, steep drop-offs, and natural areas around the green put a premium on the approach shots. The greens are a variety of shapes and range in size from 25 to 43 yards deep.
Speaking of bunkers, there are 67 of them that you need to avoid. Some are huge, others are small, and all have excellent soft deep sand. The faces range some a few inches to some steep and deep monsters!
Bottom line – a must play if you're in the Palm Springs area
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Service is first class, the clubhouse is spectacular, the restaurant is top-notch, the pro shop is well stocked, and the practice facilities are good.