Situated in the scenic Coachella Valley, within a large Marriott Resort, the spectacular 18-hole layout at Shadow Ridge Golf Club was Nick Faldo’s first American course to open for play when it debuted at the start of the new millennium.
Although the fairways weave their way through quite a substantial residential development that lies between Frank Sinatra Drive to the south and Gerald Ford Drive to the north, there’s never a feeling of playing in overly cramped or constricted surroundings at Shadow Ridge.
Highlight holes include the 609-yard 2nd, the longest of the three par fives on the course, along with the 371-yard 8th, featuring a strategic split fairway. On the back nine, the par four 11th favours an approach from the right side of the fairway, whilst the par three 17th with its water-protected green is a potential card wrecker.
Shadow Ridge is one of the best conditioned and fun courses in all of Palm Springs. While it is a resort course, you do not feel hemmed in by houses or the Marriott property and the routing of the holes allows for a variety of different shots leading to a fun day.
Most public Palm Springs courses end up leaving you a bit disappointed, whether due to the pace of play, the desert feel being obliterated by housing track after housing track or a host of other factors.
Shadow Ridge offers none of these downsides and should definitely be on your list next time you are looking for a round.