With 124 golf courses, Coachella Valley is a 40 mile desert valley in Southern California bounded on the west by the Santa Rosa Mountains. The village of La Quinta includes PGA West, a semi-private golf club. Known as the Western Home of Golf, PGA West hosts the annual Career Builder Challenge on the PGA Tour. The newest course, PGA West Norman course is the only Greg Norman-designed course in the Coachella Valley.
Five Public Access courses
Five public golf courses are available for guests of the PGA West complex. Three PGA courses – Norman, Nicklaus Tournament and Stadium course. Only the Nicklaus Tournament and Stadium courses host the PGA Tour event. Two courses, the Mountain Course and the Dunes Course, next to the resort complex also provide public guest tee times.
Members of PGA West have access to four private courses. The Citrus course near the resort and the Weiskopf, Nicklaus Private and Palmer courses at PGA West bring the total course menu to nine.
La Quinta Resort and PGA West offer a rich set of golfing package options as they have the same owner. Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, purchased the properties from the sovereign fund of Singapore in 2018.
PGA West Norman Course
Entering from Madison avenue, which separates the Stadium course, you’ll see a compact modern clubhouse with a lush practice range and an ample short game area. Less notable than the other PGA West courses, hence less busy, it’s a superb addition.
A compact design with only sixty acres of fairway, Norman crafted a playable yet challenging course. Imagine punchbowl fairways that deflect balls toward the middle correcting an offline shot. Larger errant shots may bounce the other direction. With limited land, the fairways are narrower and large firm sandy waste areas replace rough.
They shape eighteen acres of water into play on nine holes. Repeatedly, you encounter shots over water. You’ll need precision and courage.
Sharp colors are everywhere. Contrasts between sandy browns waste areas, multi-colored wildflowers, brown wispy grasses, white crushed marble bunkers, lush green fairways (and greens), and blue water create a gleaming palette. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced vibrant colors so consistent throughout the layout.
One of our favorite holes showcasing the color is the ninth hole. It’s a short 339-yard par 4 demanding a tee shot over the deep blue water framed by the brown waste area filled with green/brown wispy bushes. Distance control is essential. Steep white sand filled bunkers loom left connecting to a bushy brown barranca crossing the fairway ready to collect long tee shots.
We share scenic mountain vistas of the Santa Rosa Mountains with the other La Quinta courses. The color and mountain vista combination is dazzling.
The golf is fair and fun. Try the PGA West Norman course as a respite from the grueling tracks of the other two PGA West public courses.
Explore other California golf courses from Quintessential Golf Magazine.