We awoke for day two of our golf outing at the Mountain Vista golf courses to clear sunny skies, again we were back to typical Palm Springs weather.
One other dramatic change from yesterday’s gloomy dark rainy skies was a noticeable increase in the wind. What started out as a light breeze where we are staying became a very intense gale out at Mountain Vista.
Having lived and played golf for over a dozen years in the prairies of Canada, I convinced Myra this was just a typical element that golfers have to deal with.
The San Gorgonio course possesses much of the same features as the Santa Rosa course when it comes to the quality of the tee boxes, greens, bunkers and fairways all in excellent condition.
If you are going to play it and prefer a lengthy warm up process stop in first at Santa Rosa to use the practice range, as San Gorgonio only has a practice putting green on site next to its smaller pro shop.
Again a fellow Canadian, Nancy, who was been working in the pro shop at Santa Rosa when we were there the day before was just heading out and gave us another warm greeting. Joe, working in the pro shop, squeezed us in amongst a very busy day and with about 10 minutes of stretching and practice putting off we went to the first tee.
By this time the wind was howling and from my experience in playing in high winds many times it felt like a 4 to 5 club wind.
The tall thin palm trees swayed the back-and-forth like a supportive audience at a rock concert enjoying a slow ballad.
By teeing the ball down, Myra was able to negotiate the wind fairly easily. Testament to this was her fine play on the second hole, a par three, where she negotiated it to secure her first par of the day.
The third hole was also a par three and with the wind blowing 90° from left to right, I aimed the ball 60 yards left of the flag. We marvelled as it soared upward and the wind pushed it 55 yards towards the flag stopping 10 feet away.
We kept our spirits up and tried to keep our golf ball down as the two of us enjoyed another day golfing out in Sun City.
With some unusually unruly weather systems coming in off the Pacific this winter, the wind out here in Sun City is not a usual condition. If anything we were told you may feel odd light breezy day, but generally never of this intensity.
The par 72 layout was a 35 on the front nine and 37 on the back nine and did not relinquish many pars and certainly no birdies in these conditions for me and Myra.
Another highlight of the day was Myra holing out from off the green on 17 to save a bogey. Once I slowed my swing down my last five drives bisected the fairway nicely.
In spite of mother nature turning on the fans, it did not slow us down as we completed our round in approximately three hours and 45 minutes.San Gorgonio is a more challenging lay out than its sister course Santa Rosa, wind or not. Myra and I both agree that they offer the same level of enjoyment, good shots are rewarded poor ones not necessarily punished too badly. Balls hit into one of the many lakes sink to the bottom the same on both courses.
A return visit to the Coachella Valley will see us put this beautiful golfing complex high on our list of courses to return to and play again.