Indian Wells Golf Resort is home to the LG Skins Game in 2007 and 2008, a Callaway Performance Center, a very impressive and upscale 53,000 square foot clubhouse (the IW Club), and two equally impressive 18 hole championship golf courses – the Players and Celebrity Courses.
Each course has it's own unique personality and characteristics and both are a real pleasure to play.
- Celebrity Course – at 300 yards shorter from the two back tee boxes and a little longer from the forward tees than the Players Course, Celebrity is considered a tad easier, more scenic, and much tighter than the Players Course – Celebrity requires target or placement golf to score well
- Players Course – this 18 is a more traditional and straightforward tournament and desert golf style course with some demanding holes with challenging green complexes and extensive bunkering
Common to both courses are upscale amenities, excellent conditions, and first class service from the bag boys to the pro shop to the starters, marshals, and cart ladies.
The Players Course starts you off by giving you a sample of what to expect during your round on this fantastic layout designed by John Fought – a 558 yard par 5 that will temp you to pull out the big dog and let it rip to what looks like a wide landing zone on a severely sloping and contoured fairway that will send your drive into a couple bunkers or the natural area lining the fairway and hopefully protecting stray balls from heading down a deep gully then you have a narrow fairway leading to a guarding and sloping green. And that was the #11 handicap hole!
On the rest of the holes you’ll need to manage ample but roller coaster contoured fairways, well manicured and landscaped natural areas, lots of barrancas (deep gorges or ravines) that can devour your golf balls, water hazards, plenty of treacherous bunkers, forced carries, tight approaches, dog legs, and challenging green complexes. All of that can cause you trouble on the Players Course but you’ll find that if you play smart and study the GPS this great layout will treat you fairly and you’ll have a very enjoyable round. Beware that the landing zones off the tee box are generous (after which it gets a little tighter) and you’ll be tempted to let-er-rip but if you miss, par is going to be tough. And make sure that you choose the right set of tee boxes – the tips at 7376 yards and several challenging forced carries will test the best player, while the other four sets of tee boxes play more like a typical resort round of golf – challenging but fair and forgiving.
The Players Course is home to some fun, scenic, unique, and memorable holes, for example:
- #5 a 469 yard par 4 that dog legs right around a barranca that looks like an oasis with boulders, colorful fauna, natural sand, trees, and swaying palms plus the majestic mountains as a backdrop to the green
- #9 is a monstrous 626 yard par 5 with a carry across the natural area from the tee box, a narrow fairway leading to a green offset to the left and sparkling crystal clear pond covering the left side of the fairway from 200 yards out
- All four par 3s are spectacular with a combination of long and demanding (230 yards) shots to a short (146) but demanding big downhill shot that needs to carry the lake and miss the two large bunkers around the small green
- #18 will make you want to play this nine again – a large landing zone which then requires an approach along a narrow fairway or a carry over a large barranca to a green with three huge bunkers waiting for the long ball
Part of what makes playing the Players Course is the stunning beauty of this beast – three jaw dropping majestic mountain ranges (San Jacinto, Santa Rosa, and San Bernardino) as backdrops, swaying stately palm trees, several varieties of colorful plants, oasis and threatening barrancas, white sand bunkers, sparkling crystal clear lakes, and lush green fairways.
Speaking of fairways, they were near perfect, generous off the tee box, and then tight to the green. Most has some slope and contour, others were flat to roller coaster. No homes or barking dogs to distract you here – all the fairways are lined with trees, colorful fauna, barrancas, palms, natural areas, or water features.
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Everything is first class at Indian Wells Golf resort from the bag boys to the upscale clubhouse. The pro shop is well stocked and one of the best, the practice facilities are great, and the food is very good.