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

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.

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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. 

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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.

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.

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

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?

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  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. 

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Great Golf Value at PDCC

By Katy Treadwell                                                                       rsz palm desert country club golf course fairway 1

Palm Desert Country Club is one of the best values in the desert, and has been consistently voted among the best public courses in the Coachella Valley for over 50 years. A very forgiving course with large, open fairways, PDCC is a fun and affordable course, set to the beautiful backdrops of the San Jacinto, Santa Rosa and San Gorgonio mountain ranges. 


Perfect for a weekday or weekend round with friends or family, Palm Desert Country Club accommodates golfers of all levels. Open fairways and short cut rough are very inviting, and for most, insure a clear, short iron into the greens. While it’s pretty much a, “What you see is what you get” lay out, there are a couple of great holes that require precise shots into the greens and strategically placed tee balls. 

Hole number 4 is one of those… and my favorite on the course.  On the scorecard it doesn’t look like much, playing only 404 yards from the tips. But look a little closer and you’ll see that the short 4th is actually the number one handicap hole. The slight dog leg right requires an accurate tee shot and an even more targeted approach to a small, kidney shaped green that’s surrounded by water and sand. It tests every aspect of your game from tee to green.  It will also test your patience. 

Both the 9th and 18th are beautiful finishing holes. Running alongside each other, the holes are elegantly landscaped with rock features, blooming colorful flowers, and a stunning waterfall.  But don’t let their beauty fool you, as neither hole offers an easy finish to the 9th. 

After the picturesque fight to the finish, The Cactus Club, located inside PDCC, serves up tasty, pub-styled fare and cold drinks. You can also stick around every Friday and Saturday night for live music on the patio. Did I mention there’s a fire pit? Not too shabby.

With green fees for under $100 all year round and as little as $49 in the summer, The Palm Desert Country Club is a tremendous value and one of my top picks!

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Illuminating Golf at The Lights

By Katy Treawell                                                                                   rsz the lights golf   

Like Kanye would say, “Turn up the lights in here, baby!”  And like I say, “I LOVE this course”.

This par 3/par 4 course in Indio has everything.  Well, except for par 5’s.  No matter the time of day you can play, The Lights at Indio is there waiting.  With 18 holes made up of 3 and 4 pars, The Lights is an excellent place to perfect your iron play, and the super slick, firm greens make this short course much more challenging than expected.  Remember, everything breaks towards Indio. You’ll thank me later. 

At The Lights at Indio, the name says it all.  As if darkness never falls on the course, the huge stadium lights lining every hole take over for the sun when it turns in for the night and disappears beyond the mountains.  The Lights at Indio is the perfect place for players who work into the evening hours or just want to avoid the fiery summer sun and high temperatures. The course stays lit until 10:00 pm and rounds are short and sweet. Just like the course. 

 The Lights at Indio provides a unique opportunity for all golfers in the desert. With night rounds available and practice facilities open until 10pm, players can continue to practice, improve and enjoy rounds of golf year round. 

There’s no need to put up your clubs this summer. Throw them in your trunk and head to The Lights at Indio after work.  Show up on a Tuesday night and you might even get to join the Skins Game and win some cash.  Oh, and did I mention green fees at night with a cart are only $15?  Like I said, I LOVE THIS COURSE!

For those in your group that might not feel like having a traditional round, The Lights at Indio also offers Foot Golf… which is, exactly what it sounds like.  It’s actually just like golf except you use your foot instead of a club and a soccer ball instead of a golf ball.  When I say it like that, it’s not really the same at all, is it? 

 Foot Golf has become very popular and there are even leagues… nationwide. But if you’re thinking, “Foot Golf… that seems much easier than real golf”, remember, the key word in that phrase is, “seems”.  As we all know, things are not always as they seem.  Foot Golf is an absolute hoot and great fun for anyone, but don’t surprised if you are humbled by it. 

 Trust me, like the writing on the bathroom wall at your favorite bar, “For a good time, call The Lights in Indio”.

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