Desert Classic

The Desert Classic tournament – the title of which was changed to The American Express for sponsorship reasons in 2020 – is a 72-hole professional golf championship on the PGA Tour which is played in the Coachella Valley, California as part of the PGA Tour’s “West Coast Swing” and it’s organized by the non-profit organization called the Desert Classic Charities.

Desert Classic Championship Trophy

It started out as a four-course, 90-hole competition called “The Palm Springs Desert Golf Classic” back in 1960 but it soon became known as “The Bob Hope Desert Classic” when the popular comedian took on the role of event host and his name then became synonymous with the tournament for almost half a century.

Hope – like Bing Crosby at the Pebble Beach Pro-am – could always rely on the support of Hollywood celebrities like Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas and Frank Sinatra to take part in this pro-am event and his involvement with the tournament would in turn be emulated by other entertainers in California, such as Andy Williams in San Diego and Glen Campbell in Los Angeles.

The first edition in 1960 occurred twelve months after the demise of the Thunderbird Invitational, which had been held in Rancho Mirage during the previous six years. Arnold Palmer won the last Thunderbird title then he picked up the winner’s cheque for the inaugural Desert Classic with a 3-shot win from nearest challenger Fred Hawkins.

Four clubs shared hosting that first year: Indian Wells Country Club, Bermuda Dunes Country Club, Tamarisk Country Club and Thunderbird Country Club. Thunderbird quickly fell off the roster, replaced by Eldorado in 1963, and this course, along with the other three, staged the Desert Class...

Desert Classic host courses

Eldorado

38th California - Best in Area

Two years after the Eldorado Country Club was formed in 1957, it hosted the 13th series of Ryder Cup matches so its course is historically important. In 2003, Tom Fazio carried out extensive alterations to the layout.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

PGA West (Nicklaus Tournament)

87th California - Best in Area

The PGA Tour’s CareerBuilder Challenge event (once known as the Bob Hope Classic) used both the Nicklaus Tournament course (featuring two island greens) and Pete Dye’s TPC Stadium course at PGA West to co-host the tournament in 2016.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

PGA West (Palmer Private)

77th California - Best in Area

One of six courses that operate out of PGA West, the Palmer Private course is where David Duval won the Bob Hope Desert Classic in 1999 with a closing round of 59.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

PGA West (TPC Stadium)

24th California - Best in Area

The best and toughest of the three public courses at the PGA West golf complex, Pete and Alice Dye’s 1986 creation, the TPC Stadium course, is host to the PGA Tour “Q-School” Finals every two years.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

SilverRock (Arnold Palmer Classic)

Gem USA - Best in Area

The Arnold Palmer Classic is the first of two planned courses at an ambitious residential development within the SilverRock Resort. This 7,578-yard monster co-hosted the PGA Tour’s Humana Challenge (formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic) from 2008 to 2011.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Thunderbird

Gem USA - Best in Area

In the Rock-n-Roll 1950s, the Thunderbird Country Club attracted celebrities from all over the USA and it wasn’t long before the Ford Motor Company heard about the place.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Desert Classic Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Bruce Bearer Courses Played 7
2 Ron Stelten Courses Played 6
= Paul Rudovsky Courses Played 6
= Tanner Bown Courses Played 6
5 Kuan Kuo Courses Played 5
= RM61 Courses Played 5
= MW Tracker Courses Played 5
= Maurice A Delgado Courses Played 5
= John Pestana Courses Played 5
= John W. Gartman Courses Played 5