This was my first time to the Palm Springs area so I wanted to make sure I played golf a couple of times while I was there. I live in Wisconsin about an hour away from Kohler where Pete Dye's Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits sit. So, I am very familiar with Dye's designs and layouts of his golf courses. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous playing the Stadium Course as it has a reputation for being one of the most difficult courses to play in the U.S.
The course: The starter on the 1st hole gave us the scoop on playing the Stadium Course. He warned us that there is not an even lie on the whole course and there is tons of water and sand. The starter was super friendly and really funny making fun of how difficult the course is. It made us relax and feel at home with his low key style and humor.
As I mentioned I am from Wisconsin and very familiar with Pete Dye courses. The Stadium Course has all the same design elements that the Blackwolf Run Courses have. After teeing off, I felt very comfortable playing the Stadium Course. That's not to say it's not hard because it is but I think being familiar with Dye's designs it felt comfortable to me. To me, the hardest part of the Stadium Course is navigating around the water. The par 3's are ridiculous! Intimidating would be a fair word to use on these holes. WATER! WATER! WATER! Wow, a blast to play!
I played all the par 3's great except #17 Alcatraz, the shortest of the par 3's. I dunked it left of the green. Still a great hole to play.
The people at the clubhouse were very nice and accommodating. They have a large pro shop with many golf items to choose from which is great for souvenirs. I bought some shirts, logo golf balls, PGA West flag and a money clip. The pro shop serves both the Stadium Course and the Nicklaus Tournament Course.
Overall, I would highly rate the Stadium Course. It is very challenging and may be too difficult for some golfers. You MUST play from the appropriate tees to enjoy the course. The views are amazing of the surrounding mountains and the course was in fantastic condition. It is a must play when in La Quinta!
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