Palm Springs is not blessed with many public courses but the two at Indian Wells are amongst the best. The Celebrity designed by Clive Clark is the shorter of the two and is fun for golfers of all abilities. The Players is longer, more demanding and has more risk and reward holes. What is unusual is how undulating The Players is which you don’t get a feel of until you get out onto the course. The opener is a good par 5, teeing off from an elevated tee the hole gets tighter as you near the small tiered green and a hazard lies in wait for the pushed approach. Hole 2 is mid length par 3 to a green well protected by bunkers. The 3rd is a fun short par 4 which is drivable with the right wind, a bunker 30 yards short of the green is deceptive as it looks green side….the green slopes heavily from back to front. Hole 4 heads in the same direction as three although slightly longer with an elevated green which adds a club to the approach. The 5th is an excellent par 4 with hazards both left and right off the tee. The tee shot is relatively tight but once the fairway is found a mid iron is needed to find this long tiered green guarded by a deep bunker on the right and huge run off on the left. Hole 6 has water down the left which pushes the player to the right side of the fairway leaving a longer approach. The 7th is straightaway par 5 which is reachable if you hit a good tee shot. Hole 8 is a very nice par 3 slightly elevated with huge bunkers on the right and a huge drop off on the left….this green also runs slightly across the player which adds to the difficulty. The 9th is another par 5 which is again reachable although the approach is tight as the green is small and water awaits the pulled shot. 10 plays downhill with cross bunkers set at around 260 yards to stop the player hitting a driver….if the player leaks the tee shot to the right side of the fairway the bunkers block the view of the green. The 11th is a fun short par 4 with water in play on the left and the right….this also has an undulating green. 12 is a shortish par 3 which plays slightly downhill with bunkers left and a run off on the right. 13 is another good hole playing uphill with bunkers right ready to collect the pushed tee shot. The second shot is rarely played from an even lie and the green is again well protected by bunkers. Hole 14 is an excellent par 5 playing from and elevated tee the player should favour the left side of the fairway which will leave a shorter second to a narrow green with another huge run off to the right. 15 plays back down towards the clubhouse and has a semi blind second shot as does 16 a well bunkered par 4 with an approach which requires some thought as the green is set well below the golfer. Hole 17 is a fun short par 3 over water with a green that gets narrower from right to left…if the pin is on the left it plays a club longer. The finisher is a cracker, a long par 4 with a generous fairway and a green guarded by a large hazard….the hazard eats into the green as it moves right which again makes choosing the correct club difficult. Both courses at Indian Wells are fun to play and always in decent condition….well worth playing if you’re in Palm Springs.
Date: April 19, 2020