Golf Blog Writer

KatyKaty Treadwell, 35, originally from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is an avid golfer and has been a Coachella Valley resident since July, 2015. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Mass Communication. She played collegiate golf at the University throughout her time there, and was team captain for all 4 years. She played golf professionally on the Futures Tour from 2005 to 2006. She currently works for Alpha Media Radio Group in Palm Springs. Her hobbies include a variety of outdoor activities, including tennis, hiking, going to the beach, and of course playing an abundant amount of golf. When she’s not playing golf or enjoying the outdoors, she is spending time with her 13 year old Beagle named Norm.

Golf Blog

Wind Free Golf at Indian Canyons

By Kate Treadwell                                                                                rsz indian canyons

It’s happened.  I never thought I’d see the day, but it has finally arrived.  I played a wind free round of golf in Palm Springs!  I know what you’re thinking… “Yeah, right, that’s impossible.” And until this weekend, I didn’t believe it was possible either. But then, I played the North Course at Indian Canyons Resort, and it made a believer out of me. Not only was there not a whisper of wind to be heard this weekend at Indian Canyons, but its location tucked back in the Palm Springs “Canyons,” surrounded on three sides by the San Jacinto Mountains, makes it virtually wind free everyday!

                                          

The wind free zone that Indian Canyons offers is pretty much enough to solidify its place at the top of my list of favorites. So when you add in everything else the course has to offer, in my book, it’s a run away.  Indian Canyons: Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

The course is beautiful and well kept, the views are to die for, the staff is super friendly and the grub at the South Course Restaurant is absolutely delicious! I highly recommend the weekend breakfast/brunch.  Be sure to check their website for hours.  Summer hours vary.  Even if you don’t golf… go for the food and take in the views! 

Now that your mouth is watering; back to the golf.  The North Course at Indian Canyons is the longer of the two courses [North and South] and plays at almost 7,000 yards and a par 72.  The North Course is a super neat track that runs among some really cool mid century homes; some of which were owned by Walt Disney.  In fact, one of the coolest things about Indian Canyons is the

Disney Fountain that sits in the large water hazard that runs between the 9th and 18th greens on the North Course. The Disney Fountain shoots water over 100 feet in the air.  You can’t miss it, and you wouldn’t want to. 

 The North Course starts off pretty self explanatory with a mid range par 4.  Around 380 yards, the first hole has a very wide and forgiving fairway with a couple of sand traps, one left and one right that can come into play if you’re not careful.  Your second shot is a mid iron to a slightly uphill green with a false front.  But beware, if you go just a tiny bit long, you’re a goner too.  It’s not the toughest hole on the course by any means, but lends a good challenge to start the round.  I don’t want to talk about #2.  We did not get along.  It’s a tight, dog leg left.  That’s the nicest thing I can say about it.  Good luck.  After the second, its smooth sailing until you reach the 7th hole. I love this short par 3, but it’s definitely a challenge: Indian Canyons’ version of the Island Green at Sawgrass.  And I bet that water hazard has swallowed just as many balls as Sawgrass too. 

 I could go on and on about how much I dug this course, but believe me, you don’t have that kind of time.  Trust me when I say, go play Indian Canyons.  Show up early and have some delicious breakfast/brunch… maybe even hit a ball or two; perhaps even roll a couple of putts.  The greens were in excellent shape, by the way.  You will NOT be disappointed.

For more information and to book a tee time visit www.indiancanyonsgolf.com

Woodhaven Offers Fun, Low Stress Golf

By Katy Treadwell                                                                       rsz golf at woodhaven country club

After taking a couple weeks off to tend to a hip injury, I wanted my first round back to be as easy and stress free as possible.  I needed a short and easy but fun course, and I needed it to be close to home.  Woodhaven Country Club in Palm Desert was ideal for my situation, so I set the tee time and hit the road. 

 I had forgotten how much I liked Woodhaven.  Like I said, it’s short and easy, but fun.  You can’t take it for granted or let your guard down at Woodhaven, but if you pay attention and play it safe, low scores are easily attainable and fun is guaranteed. 

For instance, although the 5th hole is a short par 4 at only 263 yards from the tips, and it’s almost painful not to take aim at the green and unleash a huge drive; the large, dense trees on the left and the long narrow lake on the right make laying up the smart play… unless, of course, you regularly fly the ball 265 in the air.  And before you say something you might regret, you may consider that the average PGA player flies the ball around 278 yards.  So go on and let it rip…if you’re feeling like Dustin Johnson.  I’ll be the one hitting a sand wedge into the green after laying up. 

Number 6, the par 3 that follows, is one of my favorite holes at Woodhaven.  It’s only 118 yards but is all carry over water.  I mean, it’s not as if you’re playing the 17th at Sawgrass by any means, but there is still a little intimidation factor at play.  And, playing at only118 yards, no matter the pin position, if you can help but to take dead aim at the flag, you are much more disciplined than I.  No, really… how do you do it? 

From 6 on, it’s pretty self-explanatory.  At Woodhaven, what you see is what you get. But that doesn’t make the 17th any less fun.  The 17th is one of only 2 par 5’s on the course and it’s more than reachable after a good drive.  The 17 plays around 494 yards, and despite its straight forward appearance and meager distance, it ranks as the 4th hardest hole on the course.  With water running all along the left, it’s important to make sure your drive finds the middle of the short grass.

And, if you want to reach the green in two, a ball in the fairway is a must, and even from there, you’ll have to go over the water on your second shot.  The 17th is less penalizing than a hole like the 5th,  but one bad shot can still compound quickly on this par 5.  Like I said at the beginning, if you pay attention and play it safe, you’ve got it made at Woodhaven. 

If you’re looking for a fun day on the course and a quick round, give Woodhaven a shot… or 70. (Get it…?)

 

For more information and to book a tee time visit, www.woodhavencc.com

Pete Dye Course is a Beautiful Challenge

By Katy Treadwell                                                                        rsz dye course

Mission Hills Country Club is most known for hosting the annual LPGA ANA Inspiration golf tournament on its famed Dinah Shore course.  Golfers like Annika Sorenstam, Grace Park and Julie Inkster have hoisted the ANA Trophy above their heads and some have even taken the plunge into “Poppie’s Pond” on the 18th after their victories.  The Dinah is most definitely the signature course at the club.  But I am here to tell you, the Pete Dye course has my vote for toughest track at the club after this weekend. 

This weekend was my first time to play the Pete Dye course at Mission Hills, and in true Pete Dye fashion, it did not disappoint.  It has all of Pete’s signature marks, starting with water; lots and lots of water.  In fact, if I remember correctly, I think there are only 2 or 3 holes where the water doesn’t come into play.  Pete dye designed courses are usually lined with OB stakes to the right and have large bodies of water running along the left side of the fairways, and the course at Mission Hills holds true to that outline.  The Dye course at Mission Hills forces players to be accurate and most importantly, not left.  If you normally play a draw, this course could prove to be even more of a challenge.  Pete is also notorious for using railroad ties to line his water hazards and sometimes even sand traps, so occasionally a hard bounce or ricochet can save you from the hazard.  Although most times, my ball has not been spared by the ties, but rather plunged further into its watery grave.

The Dye course at Mission Hills also offers hole after hole… well… 18 of them… of rolling fairways and beautiful undulation like you won’t find anywhere else in the valley.  However, when you are standing in the middle of the fairway after a solid drive and your ball is even with your head and you are trying to figure out how to concoct your swing to successfully make contact, the undulation and rolling hills don’t seem so beautiful anymore.  After your first experience with a side hill lie at the Mission Hills Dye Course, you quickly realize that what you thought were beautiful hills and rolling landscape are really low key hazards that aren’t so low key once you’re on them.  Maneuvering your way around the Dye at Mission Hills takes patience and skill… hmmm… maybe that’s why I had such a hard time. 

After playing the Dye course at Mission Hills this weekend, I wish they would split the 2017 ANA inspiration tournament up and play it on two courses; The Dinah and the Dye.  While the Dinah Shore course is one of the most challenging and beautiful courses in the entire valley, I would venture to guess that competitive scores on the Pete Dye track would be even harder to come by, and that it would be a formidable test for some of the world’s best female ball strikers. 

Mission Hills Country Club is not open to the public but if you know anyone with a membership or have the opportunity to play it in the future, I highly suggest getting in at least 18 on the Pete Dye course.  Of course, it will be hard to pass the famed Dinah Shore course and Poppie’s Pond on your way to the first tee of the Dye, but in my opinion, the Dye is a more challenging and unique course than the tournament course and will leave you feeling much more accomplished and proud after a decent round.

For more information visit www.clubcorp.com

Sizzling Summer Golf Savings

By Katy Treadwell

This time of year, it’s hot in the desert, and so are the deals on golf.  From the end of May thru September, you can play some of the valley’s best and most exclusive clubs for a fraction of the price.  Summer golf in the desert is all about timing.  If you plan your day right, you can beat the extreme heat, play some really awesome courses and help support local golf in the Coachella Valley during the off-season.  With all that in mind, let’s look at some of the HOT DEALS available this summer.                                                                                                       rsz pga west                                                                                                  

PGA West- Who doesn’t want to play PGA West… especially the Stadium Course? The problem is, during season, who can afford it?  Well, from June thru September, you can play it for as low as $48 in the afternoons, or tee off early to beat the heat and you still save HUGE with rates starting at $79 in the early mornings.  Either way you go, morning or afternoon, rates are drastically discounted from their in-season price and rounds go by much faster.  While the heat may be intimidating, super low rates allow you the opportunity to test your skills on courses you normally avoid because of the high cost.  If you can stand the heat, PGA West has deals you can’t beat.

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Marriott Shadow Ridge- One of my personal favorites in the desert, has summer rates as low as $35.  That’s a striking difference from the normal $100 rounds in past months.  Shadow Ridge also offers a Summer Access Pass for just $99.  With the purchase of the Summer Access Pass you can play 18 holes for just $29, any time you tee it up, get 10% off food and beverage, 10% off all golf merchandise and 20% off instruction.  Sure, its hot out, but the hot summer deals and golf pass options at some of the desert’s most elite clubs makes breaking a little sweat worth it.                                                   rsz westin mission hills

The Westin Mission Hills- Do you struggle to get a decent tee time out here during season? We all do.  The Pete Dye and Gary Player Courses are notoriously booked from bell to bell during season. As two of the very best public courses in the valley, it’s no wonder.  But, during the summer months, not only is there significantly less traffic, you can save tons of fun; at times paying less than half the normal green fee.  Normally around $100 a round during peak times and in season, from June thru September you can play either course for as little as $53.  You can even get on for as low as $35 in the afternoons.  If you’re a junior (16 or younger) looking for a place to call home this summer, with the Troon Family Golf option, you can play free any time after 3pm when accompanied by an adult. 

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SilverRock Resort- I couldn’t believe this rate when I saw it… $30 for 18 holes at SilverRock?  No, it can’t be… but it is.  SilverRock uses real time, Dynamic Pricing that fluctuates with the changing conditions and market factors, so depending on the time of day and traffic at other courses nearby, you could happen upon some really “Dynamic”  deal’s.  SilverRock is already offering $30 rates for La Quinta residents and $45 rates for visitors…all day long.  Add in the Dynamic Pricing option, and keep an eye on the changing conditions… you could potentially save even more!                                             rsz palm royale

Palm Royale Country Club- From June thru September, you can enjoy a fast and fun round at Palm Royale Country Club for just $10.  Escape to this challenging little par three course after work or start your morning out with a quick round.  It’s easy to get in a full 18 holes on this track before or after the heat of the day, and you can’t beat golf in the desert for $10, no matter the conditions. I should mention, there is one stipulation; honest golfers only.  The Palm Royale Club House is closed during the summer, so players put $10 in an envelope and place it in the door slot of the club house entry.  The honor system at its finest. 

rsz cimarron

Cimarron Golf Resort- You can play the Pebble or the Boulder course for as little as $20, and only $33 during peak hours, and both are well worth either amount.  Plus, Cimarron Golf Resort also offers a Summer Players Card for just $49.  The card gets you 1 free round, discounted rates through August 31st, a dozen golf balls, a free hybrid certificate valued at $200 and entry into the summer loyalty program.  With 36 holes to play, the $49 Summer Players Card is a great value Cimarron.                                                                                                 rsz desert princess

Desert Princess- Located at the Double Tree Hilton in Cathedral City, Desert Princess has 27 holes and is always a fun track to play.  It’s never terribly expensive, even in season but right now, you can play 18 holes, with lunch and a cart included for only $30 any time of the day.  Desert Princess also offers Unlimited Summer Golf Packages, valid June 1 thru September 30 for only $399.  That’s less than $100 a month for unlimited golf; and that’s a darn good deal. 

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Escena Golf Club- This beautiful layout is worth the green fee no matter what time of year, but during the summer, with rates at $39, it’s almost impossible to pass up.  That’s more than 60% off the average rate.  Like other courses, Escena also offers a Summer Card for $79.  The card includes 1 free round of golf, $20 loaded gift card, discounted rates all summer long, 10% off merchandise and you can bring up to 7 guests at a time at your rate!  Round up the crew, it’s time to sweat it out at Escena!

If you’re still leery about playing in the heat, here a few of my favorite heat cheaters to help make your next summer round a little more comfortable. 

Chill-It’s Evaporative Cooling Towel- Starting at just $3.99, adding this one item to your golf gear will make ALL the difference in the world.  Like your MasterCard, you’ll never leave home without it. 

https://www.tsasafety.com/chill-its-evaporative-cooling-towel?gclid=CjwKEAjwgtTJBRDRmd6ZtLrGyxwSJAA7Fy-hBJxs5RVHHY_k27zwH65Ii_pZjW6N4XxmMTuiLVkDrRoC6F_w_wcB

Mission Athletecare Enduracool Instant Cooling Hoodie- This thing is awesome because it works two ways.  When it’s wet, it cools up to 30 degrees, and when it’s dry, it wicks sweat.  The hotter the user, the better it works.  You can get one of your own for under $20.

https://www.amazon.com/Mission-Enduracool-Cooling-Hoodie-Black/dp/B00BP570Z2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496728261&sr=8-1&keywords=cooling+hoodie

Yeti Tumbler- Because there is no better way to keep water (or vodka) colder, longer than in a Yeti. 

https://www.amazon.com/YETI-Rambler-Stainless-Insulated-Tumbler/dp/B06WVJ8VRP/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1496728404&sr=8-4&keywords=yeti+tumbler

Fresair Rooftop Air Cooler- If you have your own cart, a Fresair rooftop cooler is the coolest thing out there.  The Fresair units fit any cart and are more reasonably priced than you might expect.  An A/C system for your golf cart… what will they think of next? 

 http://fresair.com/

Escena Golf Isn't a Breeze

By Katy Treadwell                                                                         rsz escena0214a 0149 1

The beautiful and scenic Escena Golf Club is located in North Palm Springs and provides one of the most aesthetically pleasing 18 holes of golf in the valley. It is also a course with which I have a very strong love/hate relationship. I love the course…but I hate my scores.

Escena Golf Club is a “links-esque” course, with huge, hard, and fast fairways with few trees to obstruct any views of the San Jacinto Mountains, or your next shot. Large bunkers are placed strategically around the course, but the open fairways provide plenty of opportunity to play around them. Watch out for that roll though. It’s not unusual to get an extra 40-50 yards after a hard drive lands. 

Escena is a Nicklaus design and is ranked the #6 public course in California by PGATOUR.com.  From the tips it plays a lengthy 7200 yards, and remember, it’s in North Palm Springs. So if the wind is blowing, which it usually does out there, you can make that 8000 yards. But it can feel more like 9000. 

The last time I played Escena it was more than gusty, and greens in regulation were as exciting as holing out from the fairway on a normal round. Hole 14, which already plays 438 yards from the men’s tees (not the tips), was most certainly the longest par 4 I have ever played. With 30 mph winds dead in my face, I hit driver, 3 wood, 7 iron, and all three took everything I had in me. 

Escena is a formidable test for even the most skilled players, but can also be a lot of fun for a beginner from one of the front sets of tees. The Escena Grill on the 18th green offers one of the best dining views in the valley, and the food and service are just as excellent. 

“Fore” a truly beautiful round of golf, it’s hard to beat Escena Golf Club. Let me rephrase that. For beautiful views and a beautiful course, it’s hard to beat Escena. Beautiful scores are TBD. 

For more information visit www.escenagolf.com

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