Santa Rosa Course at Mountain Vista – Palm Desert California


An enormous practice putting green sits nearby the practice range

The morning of our first of two golf days at Mountain Vista, out in Sun City – Palm Desert, was rather inclement at our place in Palm Springs. That being said, it didn’t necessarily mean that a half hour away where we were golfing would be the same. Unfazed we made the drive to play the Santa Rosa course.

Upon arrival we pulled up to the bag drop and were greeted by another Bill, who kindly pointed out where we should go to check in and onward to practice then play.

Immediately upon entering the parking lot and gazing around at the grounds and buildings on site, it was obvious that this was a very well-maintained and quality facility.
After checking in with Nancy in the pro shop, a fellow Canadian formally from Victoria BC on Vancouver Island, we said hello to Head Golf Professional, John McLaughlin.
This native Georgian, formally from the beautiful city of Savannah, welcomed us and sent us onward to play this beautifully manicured golf course.

The practice range with those cool big target nets

It is not difficult to see why this is a very popular residential community and golf course with the 2- 18’s and a very expansive practice center. The driving range contains artificial turf matted tee off areas as well as forward of those was the grass hitting area for the range.
Not only did the range have numerous target greens on it but it also had two very large circular target nets to hit a pitching wedge into from about 50 yards away. I think Myra had as much fun hitting ball into the nets, as she may have had out playing on the actual golf course.
There was a separate chipping green, smaller putting green by the first tee and a very large practice putting green directly behind the range. An ample selection to get prepared to play this well groomed layout.

The par 4 opening hole on the Santa Rose course

The skies were greying as a “Closed for the Day” sign had been put out and suddenly we were the only golfers to be seen.
The pretty view from the first tee downward to the green on this gentle par four opening hole was repeated throughout the entire round.
The lovely homes that bordered quite a few of the fairways were set back a far enough distance not to come into play and off the fairways the rough areas angled to promote the ball coming back into play.

A side view of one of the elevated greens

Every aspect of the course was in excellent condition. The greens ran true and the fairways were lush and cut to a perfect height with numerous tee boxes bordered by gorgeous small rosebushes.
There was not an excessive amount of bunkers and although you still had to be aware of some of the larger circular ones around the greens they were fair and enjoyable to get out of.  As usual, Myra pointed out something that perhaps us men folk do not pay much attention to, the washrooms were decorated nicely and spotless inside.

A great Par 5 to finish the front nine with the clubhouse in back

The forecasted heavier rain for the Coachella Valley was looming on the horizon and Myra opted to call it a day after nine holes. If Myra was reincarnated she better not come back as a penguin, she hates being wet and cold.
The rain was coming down fairly steady for most of the back nine and with Myra’s assistance in keeping things dry for me, I zipped around with her in an hour and 10 minutes not wanting to miss the back nine of this exquisite course.
The back nine had a little more undulation to the fairways and one of the obvious design features of the entire course to challenge all levels of golfers were the elevated greens.
 Knowing that we were coming back for a second round on the sister course at Mountain Vista made us very excited with the sunny, warmer temperatures forecasted to return.

The long par 3 16th hole, see how lush the fairway is

We drove the cart directly to our vehicle and unloaded all of our clubs and gear, a feature I really appreciate as I like to unload and load my own stuff.
We popped back in to thank John for the round and exchanged a few laughs when I told him my pace of play on the back nine.

A near hole out from the bunker on 16 for a tap in par

We both would highly recommend this course for all levels of play as it can be stretched out to over 6700 yards and is certainly designed to fit all players ability.
John stated that if the golf course was designed by perhaps some of the more recognizable names in the design industry it might get more notoriety.  Personally, when I read that it was designed by the legendary USPGA Hall of Famer Mr. Billy Casper that was enough for me to feel it was in the same category as those designed Nicklaus, Palmer, Miller etc.
Oh ya, if your coming down from Canada bring Nancy a few Coffee Crisps and boxes of Smarties please. She misses them.

Check out the great website below to get more insight into this wonderful facility. Telephone 760 200 2200


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Bill Flower

Bill Flower 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 throughout the US and Canada playing and reviewing golf courses of all styles. To date he has reviewed over 125 golf courses.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Really enjoyed the articles, found them to be very accurate with respect to some of the courses I have had the pleasure of playing.

    • Thanks for the positive feedback Perry, let me know what other courses in this area you are interested in.

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