NCGA Golf

Winter 2019

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With its idyllic weather consisting of 350 days a year of sunshine, Palm Springs has been a tourist haven and Hollywood hideaway since the 1920s. It is a desert oasis cradled between tall, picturesque moun- tains—the San Jacinto Moun- tains to the west, the Little San Bernardino Mountains to the east and the Santa Rosa Mountains to the south. Don't pass up a chance to ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway 8,516 feet up San Jacinto from the arid desert floor to alpine tranquility on the steepest cable car in the U.S. From the peak, you can see the San Andreas Fault, go for a hike or even engage in a snowball fight. "The Desert" is what locals call Palm Springs itself, shorthand for the 30-mile string of communities— Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta and Indio—that more or less ooze into each other and make up the Coachella Valley. Everything about Palm Springs--the best known and farthest west of the Desert communities—is dreamy, from the red bougainvillea draping the Spanish-style buildings to the renovated mid-century-mod- ern buildings giving it its charm. The palm trees that line streets named after Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Gene Autry and Dinah Shore re- ally do sway in the breeze, and lounging poolside here is a sport, if not an art. Palm Canyon Drive, the main thoroughfare of Palm Springs, is packed with alfresco restaurants with views of the bustling side- walks and the latest boutique shops. Yes, in this bastion of Bentleys and bling, worldly pleasures rule. It begs a question of where to enjoy this paradise: to be close enough to walk to the first tee or in the heart of Palm Springs at any one of a handful of 52 WINTER 2019 | NCGA.ORG T here are a handful of places in the U.S. where golfers congregate in such numbers that we are the majority. At Pinehurst and Pebble Beach, announcing yourself as a proud golfer isn't just accepted; it's expected. So is Palm Springs and its neighboring communities, located a mere 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Here, golf is it. Tennis is popular, too, but the fairways, as far as many residents are concerned, are the essence of desert life. Back in the day when we let our fingers do the walking and the Yellow Pages was an essential part of life, the local Palm Springs book dispersed golf tips on how to grip the club, keep your eye on the ball and follow through on the swing among the volume's various ad classifications. Now that's a city consumed with golf, and one that fills tee sheets with its geriatric golf-loving residents and visitors at more than 100 golf courses. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (top) is the largest vertical cable ride in America. Village Fest is held on Palm Canyon Drive, the Rodeo Drive of Palm Springs, every Thursday.

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