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Palm Springs – Day 3 – The Players Course at Mission Hills

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www.westinmissionhills.com  Phone 760 328 5955 

We awoke to clear sunny skies and an increase in the temperature to 12 degrees Celsius by 8 am.  We were off to the 36-hole facility at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort in Rancho Mirage as guests of fellow Dallas Cowboy fan Director of Golf Anthony Holder.  It was apparent right from our arrival in the parking lot that this would be a special day.  The sweet scent of alyssum which grew in abundance in the many flower beds around the practice green and pro shop filled the air.  We took a few minutes to take it all in and stroll around before heading into the Pro Shop where we were greeted by two very friendly and capable people, Assistant Pro Brett and his very helpful associate Brittany. Without feeling rushed, they attended to our needs and we were out the door in what seems like perhaps 2 minutes directed towards the lanky Starter, Mike.

The practice range with target greens

The practice range with target greens

The practice area beckoned us and we headed over to hit numerous balls that were neatly piled in pyramids on the grass tee boxes of the driving range.  Following that we rolled some putts and chips on the beautifully manicured putting green and just a few minutes before heading to tee off we were introduced to the two-some that we would be enjoying our day with, Barry and Cindy, who had traveled down from Calgary for a golf getaway.

Approach to the first green

Approach to the first green a 423 yard Par 4 from the gold tees

From the very first tee shot, it was apparent that this was resort golf at its finest.  The fairways had filled in nicely from the recent rye grass over seeding program and the greens, tees, bunkers and even the very playable Bermuda rough all would rate a 9 out of 10.  The design of the course was in no way unfair or unreasonably penal.

A delicate little approach shot sets Bill up for par

A delicate little approach shot sets Bill up for par

Numerous holes had long expansive water features with rock waterfalls allowing the water to cascade gently down the rocks into the pools below.  Off the tee the landing areas were very generous and as is typical of resort golf the rough areas to the right and left were cambered which meant off fairway hits quite often bounded back down to the lush green turf of the fairways.  Every par 3 was a potential signature hole.  The par 5s long and demanding and the par 4s a balance of 3 – 400 yard nuggets.

Well defined fairways make for easier aiming

Well defined fairways make for easier aiming

Myra herself felt that the par 4s were really fair and fun for her level of ability and even our new golfing friend Cindy, who was a true beginner, did not find the course insurmountable.  The 9th hole brings you back to the Clubhouse where an efficient and speedy snack bar can get you a quick bit and cold drink without any undue delay.

The 11th a world class Par 5 for sure

The 11th a world class Par 5 for sure

Marshalls keep the pace of play moving along nicely and the tireless efforts of the on course maintenance staff are obvious as virtually no excess debris, fallen branches or untidiness is anywhere to be seen. Notable highlights of the round were Barry’s chip in for birdie on the first hole, the girls both parring the par 3 12th hole and my own par on the 420 yard 16th hole.

Myra and I set reasonable goals when we are doing our course reviews.  First and foremost, we must leave the facility feeling like we truly had a fun day.  Secondly a good par or two for Myra and perhaps a special birdie for me are added bonuses should they occur.  What I am really trying to say is that we are out there to have a good time and really enjoy the experience.  If these are your goals and Palm Springs is your golf destination in the future, take advantage of the fantastic experience that this course can provide to you.  The photos in this article provide further proof and support of what we were fortunate enough to enjoy.

Looking down over the water hazard that protects the right side of the 382 yard Par 18th

Looking down over the water hazard that protects the right side of the 382 yard Par 18th

With our clubs and gear all tucked away in our vehicle, we sat in a clean, tidy and rather simple looking well-lit bar area sharing a cold drink with our golfing companions, Barry and Cindy.  While we did not succeed in solving the problems of the world we did all unanimously agree that it was a great day for golfing and camaraderie. After sharing a few warm pleasantries with Associate PGA Professional Brody Nomura whose friendly manner and professionalism permits through to the entire staff we headed homeward to the condo.

Tomorrow Myra and I play the sister course at Mission Hills, The Dye Course.

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Diamond Bill

“Diamond” Bill is a passionate golfer and lover of the game who lives on Vancouver Island in Parksville, BC. He has played the game since the age of 10 and has spent many years in the golf business ranging from full time teaching pro to part time professional caddy, golf tour operator and golf writer.He loves to travel with his wife Myra up and down the west coast of the US playing and reviewing golf courses of all styles.

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