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 (fashioned in conjunction with Schmidt-Curley Golf Design) 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.