The Classic Club – CA Desert

Categories: California.
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The Classic Club in Palm Desert California is a recognized Arnold Palmer-designed championship course.  It has frequently been a host site of the former Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and has been listed by Golfweek as one of the Best Courses in Arizona to play.   An abundance of pine trees and pine straw are unusual for a desert course. A profusion of water features navigated by fourteen bridges combined with wide landing areas makes this a very fun yet challenging course to play.  Five sets of tees on each hole enable golfers to select the best playing length for maximum enjoyment.

A three-story 63,000 square foot Tuscan Village inspired clubhouse is impressive.  Each greens fee comes with a $15 food/beverage voucher for the day along with a first-rate logo golf towel. The service is excellent and you really believe they want you at their golf course.

Impressive new clubhouse

The practice facility is well done. It includes a superb two-acre teeing ground coupled with chipping greens, a large practice bunker and large putting greens that are all consistent with the course conditions.


The Classic Club Golf Course

The course is maintained to a very high standard.  The popular site ranked The Classic Club as the Best Golf Course Playing Conditions in Southern California.  It’s very difficult to get a bad lie.  Even the par 3s teeing grounds are not torn up as you might expect.  The fairways give are not soft and not hard, but just right making it easy for good contact for players of all abilities.  The rough is dense and maintained but not punishing since you usually can get a club on the ball.

Severe penalty for missing this approach on the wrong side.

It’s important to define and hit a target line for both the tee shot and the approach shot.  Although the fairways are generous, it’s best to be in the right position off of the tee especially with a plethora of dog-legs in both directions.   Approaches to most of the greens are challenging as misses in the wrong place can be deadly.

Fourteen of eighteen holes have water features like this at Hole #8


Water comes into play on tee shots, par 5 layup shots and approach shots in many different ways.

The greens are outstanding.  They are not rock hard with good shots stopping but hard enough to allow for some roll-out.  The speed, undulations, and pin placements make for some treacherous putts if you above or to the wrong side of the hole.

Bunkers are firm.


Bunkers are also well groomed but unusually firm for a desert course.  This is the hardest part of this course.  It’s easy to “hit it thin” with a high bounce wedge.  It’s worth practicing in the bunker area before the round to get a feel for the sand and pick your best wedge/bounce for these course conditions.

The course is one of the few desert courses located north of the I10 freeway in the Coachella Valley.  Hence, you’re going to get some higher winds here than at the courses 10-15 miles south and southwest near State Hwy 111 and the Santa Rosa Mountains.  However, given its unusual design for the desert and impeccable conditioning, this is the one to play near the I10 corridor.



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