How Many Public Golf Courses in Palm Springs, CA?

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When a destination is given the title “the golf capital of the world,” we need to sit up and take notice! This is how Palm Springs is regularly described, which is an oasis with lush green courses set amidst the sprawling, rugged expanse of the surrounding desert.

With more than 100 golf courses in and around Palm Springs and several public courses to test players of all abilities, it’s undoubtedly one of the best locations for any recreational golfer to vacation.

Below, we take a look at some of the best public golf courses in Palm Springs, CA, and get a handle on the lie of the land in this golfing Mecca more generally.

By the end, we wouldn’t blame you if you have signed your buddies up for a weekend getaway to this golfing paradise at the heart of California!

How Many Public Golf Courses are in Palm Springs?

In Palm Springs itself, there are two public golf courses which are the Escena Golf Club and the Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort which both offer non-member golfing in the heart of Palm Springs. Simply reserve a tee time online and turn up to play.

Daily rates are not cheap for an 18 hole round of golf, but these are special clubs in an exclusive area and of course, there are no membership fees to pay.

However, in the greater Palm Springs area, there are more than 100 renowned golf courses, encompassing areas including Palm Desert, Cathedral City, La Quinta, and Indio.

Most of these courses are within a thirty-minute drive of downtown Palm Springs, which is the main reason why this golfing Mecca has been dubbed ‘the golf capital of the world.’ Read on to find out everything you need to know about golfing in Palm Springs.

How Much Does it Cost to Golf in Palm Springs?

According to Desert Sun, the average cost of a peak tee time at public and resort courses in Palm Springs is in the region of $100 – $125. However, high-end resorts charge in excess of $200 for a round, particularly at peak times (weekend mornings, for instance).

Within the Palm Springs area and the greater Coachella Valley, you can find great value golf if you’re happy to play at public courses off-peak. In other words, you are willing to play when the course isn’t particularly busy.

Arguably the best public course in Palm Springs is Escena Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus-designed track. Although premium times at Escena go for $228, you can play after 3.30 pm for $80.

Another great option in Palm Springs is Indian Canyons Resort. Non-members can play the North Course at any time for $109, with a twilight rate (after 1 pm) for $89. A super twilight round (after 3 pm) is available for $50.

Therefore, if you’re happy to play twilight golf at public courses in Palm Springs, you can play for as little as $50. But if you’re hoping to play golf during peak hours at some of the best tracks in the region, you will pay in excess of $200 for a full round of 18 hole golf.

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Does Palm Springs Have Good Golf?

Palm Springs is one of the best locations in the state of California when it comes to golf courses. The valley boasts more than 300 days of sunshine each year, and the sheer variety of tracks in and around Palm Springs is nothing short of mesmerizing.

The Pete Dye Mountain Course at La Quinta is one of the most stunning courses in the whole of golf, with rock staircases, unforgiving bunkers, and island greens quite literally built into the surrounding desert and rock.

Equally, Escena sits at the base of the San Jacinto mountains and is exceptionally lush for a desert course. More than 7,100 yards long, it’s undoubtedly one for the big hitters, and the roomy fairways and generous landing areas make it one of the most accessible tracks in the valley.

The bottom line is that this locality is one of the best golfing destinations in California. Whether you’re planning a weekend retreat or a week-long golfing vacation, you will receive an exceptional test of golf at the various courses in and around Palm Springs, regardless of your budget.

Does Palm Springs Have the Most Public Golf Courses?

Palm Springs has an excellent selection of both public and private golf courses, meaning you can certainly find a track to play when you’re in town. California has a total of 921 golf courses, with more than 100 of these a mere drive away from Palm Springs.

Many of Golf Digest’s top 100 public courses can be found in California, highlighting just how impressive the state is when it comes to golfing locations. Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, and Pasatiempo all sit in the top twenty public golf courses in the USA and are all in the state of California.

So, while the likes of Escena and the Indian Canyons resort might not have the same profile as Pebble Beach, both courses provide an excellent test for recreational golfers. And given the fact that there are more than 100 courses within a short drive of downtown Palm Springs, there’s no doubt that it’s the place to be on a golf vacation.

As already recommended, consider scheduling your tee times in the late afternoon so you can find better value when playing at Palm Springs’ top courses. Given the soaring temperatures in the desert landscape, it will also be a more enjoyable round than playing at the height of the day.

How Many Golf Clubs Are in Palm Desert?

There are 23 golf courses in Palm Desert, including the popular Desert Willow Resort, the Palm Desert Golf Academy, and the JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort and Spa.

Again, there are more than 100 golf courses within driving distance of Palm Desert, so you can broaden your horizons if you’re staying at one of the many resorts on vacation.

Desert Willow Resort is arguably the pick of the municipal courses in the region and is just four miles outside of Palm Desert. Tee times at the resort fall under one of three categories – resident, non-resident, or platinum.

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Non-resident tee times start at $79 after 3.30 pm on the Firecliff course, while the Mountain View course is slightly more expensive.

Given that Palm Desert is one of the most popular golfing resorts in California, it’s perhaps little surprise that you’re blessed with lots of choices when it comes to when and where to play.

However, if you have a car, don’t restrict yourself to Palm Desert. Get out into the broader Coachella valley and experience the incredible variety of courses that the area is renowned for.

Why is Palm Springs Called the Golf Capital of The World?

Palm Springs has earned the title of “the golf capital of the world” because it’s the perfect setting for golf. With at least 300 days of sunshine each year and more than 100 golf courses to choose from, it’s easy to see why the region attracts millions of visitors every year.

In addition to golf courses, Palm Springs is blessed with stunning natural scenery, including harsh desert scapes and rugged mountains, which beautifully contrast with the lush, manicured fairways and water hazards of the region’s testing golf courses.

Visitors to Palm Springs can also dine out at some stunning restaurants and stay at one of the many five-star resorts in and around the vicinity. When you think about it, Palm Springs genuinely has everything you could possibly wish for from a high-end golf resort.

So, whether you agree with the statement or not, it’s difficult to challenge the logic behind naming Palm Springs as “the golf capital of the world,” and it’s an excellent destination for your upcoming golf vacation.

Does the PGA play in Palm Springs?

Palm Springs has several championship venues capable of hosting PGA Tour events. Most notably, PGA West is home to nine championship golf courses, five clubhouses, and two private clubs within the resort, which is often referred to simply as La Quinta.

For instance, in 2020, La Qunita played host to the American Express PGA event, which was played at the Stadium & Nicklaus Tournament courses. As the name implies, the stadium course provides exceptional views from the galleries and lends itself perfectly to the serene desert setting.

Palm Springs also played host to the PGA Club Championship in 2021, which is a prestigious amateur championship that sees club champion golfers compete against other winners in one of recreational golf’s most popular tournaments.

Given the sprawling expanse and pristine condition of many of the courses in and around Palm Springs, it’s little surprise that the PGA Tour hosts regular tournaments in the Coachella Valley.

Conclusion 

There’s no getting away from the fact that Palm Springs, California, is one of the most pristine and attractive golf destinations on the planet. With more than 100 courses and 300 days of sunshine each year, what’s there not to love about the Coachella Valley?

We hope that you now have all the information you need to plan your golf trip to Palm Springs and sign up for a public course that will offer you a wonderful test of golf in stunning surroundings.