The desert course at The Reserve Club – a Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish creation from 1998 – lies in the shadow of the Eisenhower and Indio Mountains at the southern end of Coachella Valley.
There are actually twenty-one holes in play here, comprising the main 18-hole course and a separate group of three so-called “trophy holes” which allow members to put into practice things they’ve been working at on the range.
Configured somewhat unusually with five par fives (a round at The Reserve starts and finishes with a par five) and five par threes (back-to-back short holes feature at the 16th and 17th), the course can be stretched to 7,021 yards from the back markers.
A capital investment of $13 million was agreed in 2018 to replace the club’s 20-year-old irrigation system and re-design the clubhouse. Course renovations might also follow, building on the decision to remove thirty bunkers in 2013, which left ninety in place.
When the tandem of Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish were functioning as an architectural team the quality of golf courses produced was quite good. Both men knew that golf design was not simply to create impossible to play courses that only the top .0001 percentage of players can handle.
Weiskopf / Morrish understood the fun meter was to be accentuated.
The Reserve is a quality private club set in the Coachella Valley and is located in the community of Indian Wells. The course is away from the drumbeat of the nearby desert communities and the layout is well served by an above average routing that gives golfers a wide range of different looks throughout the round. The only downside is that too many of the greens are flat and the distinctions that should have been present when testing approach play is simply not sufficient. On the flip side, there are far too many courses that have created greens which are more suited for miniature golf than the real variety.
The course is generally in top condition and the juxtaposition of the green grass against the desert landscape makes for a visual treat. The Reserve was created for a clear reason and Weiskopf / Morrish have delivered on that in a very clear manner. Those getting the opportunity to play here will be in for a true golf treat.
by M. James Ward