Play golf in the desert . . . Palm Springs, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Indio and Indian Wells.

by Tony Schieffer of

It’s almost wintertime in the Coachella Valley and that can only mean one thing . . .“Snowbirds.”  Snowbirds is a term used for individuals who are trying to take refuge from the colder winter climates and to enjoy the warmer desert weather.  You can’t really play golf or enjoy the outdoors when there is a foot of snow on the ground, so head to the desert where it’s 70 degrees, the sun is shining and the grass is green in the winter.

It all started back in 1927 at a resort called the Hotel La Quinta.  The resort at that time was a twenty-room hotel with a 9-hole golf course.  The cost for a round of golf then was $1.00.

View of the Dunes Course from the east side of the course, facing west.

Today, the 640 Spanish-style rooms and suites at La Quinta Resort and Club are surrounded by acres of citrus groves and lush tropical gardens, with more than two-dozen swimming pools and thirty-eight whirlpool spas scattered discretely throughout the grounds. Seclusion, privacy and golf remain the order of the day.

The La Quinta Resort and PGA West are home to more top-rated golf courses then any other resort in Southern California, and that includes the popular Stadium Golf Course, which designer Pete Dye once called “the hardest damn golf course in the World”.

From its modest beginnings, the Coachella Valley has grown into the golf capital of the world, boasting in excess of 100 golf courses.  The population of the Valley increases by hundreds of thousands in the winter months, and the golf courses go from virtual ghost towns in the summer to fairways lined wall-to-wall with patrons.

La Quinta Resort from the green on the 1st hole of the Dunes Course.

Annual golf tournaments such as the Bob Hope Classic, Kraft Nabisco Championship, Skins Game and Frank Sinatra attract thousands of snowbirds to the Valley each season.

World class resorts and exclusive private country clubs as far as the eye can see, are winter homes for people from all over the world.

Unfortunately, if you plan to join the thousands that migrate to the Coachella Valley every year, you won’t be able to get a round of golf in for a buck, but you can enjoy some of the best hotels, restaurants and golf courses in the world and definitely the best weather in the winter months.

Tony Schieffer on the tee box at Trilogy, which is now called The Golf Club At La Quinta.

For more information on golf in the desert regions, visit our “Things To Do: Golf” page.

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