The Celebrity course at the 36-hole Indian Wells Golf Resort was originally laid out by Ted Robinson in the mid-1980s. It was completely renovated in the new millennium by Clive Clark (with the Players course at the same venue given the same treatment by John Fought).
There are two courses at Indian Wells and I think the Clive Clark Celebrity is probably the best. This is a typical resort course not overly testing but its a fun course. Although the course has been payed out on a tight patch of land there are a number of good holes and good use is made of the terrain. The 4th is a very good par 5 although not overly long the tee shot requires a little fade from the elevated tee which leaves a long iron or hybrid to this island green set well below the player. Hole 6 a long par three with a steam running along side the left of the green is a strong hole and the 8th is a cracking short par 4 which is drivable if you avoid the bunkers. The standout holes on the back 9 are 14 another par 5 with water protecting both the tee shot and approach…there is also a stream that dissects the lay up area which makes the player think twice before choosing their club. The 17th is a strong par 4 which again is protected by water guarding the right side of the green and 18 a shortish par 4 that has OB both left and right form the tee before you approach this green set in amongst the palm trees…again this green is protected by water. There are not many pay and play courses in the Play Springs area but this is one of the best.
Occupying only 200 acres, and hemmed in by a watercourse and freeway, the Celebrity Course is an impressive effort by Clark. Although tight, the course features beautiful bunkering, and strategically placed water hazards. The landscaping is first class, with the colour and texture of the vegetation a feature.
It is hard to believe you are in the desert!
The course is not overly long, but demands good shot making. It is also just a fun place to play.
Notable holes include: hole 4 – a par 5 with water in play, hole 6 – a long picture perfect par 3, hole 14 – a very interesting par 5 where decisions need to be made on the second shot and hole 16 – another attractive par 3
If you visit Palm Springs, don’t miss The Celebrity Course.
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.