Golfing Marriott’s Shadow Ridge Golf Course in Palm Desert, California

A shallow stream creates a visually interesting hazard
A shallow stream creates a visually interesting hazard

Year-round golfing is a bonus for residents or snowbirds who live in the southern U.S. And Palm Springs is one of the most popular. I guess that’s why there are more than 100 courses in the greater Palm Springs area. So much so that the area is often called the “golf capital of the world”. Our visit today is to the Marriott Shadow Ridge Golf Club just southeast of Palm Springs, in Palm Desert in the Coachella Valley.

This course is routinely rated one of the best in California.

Marriott’s Shadow Ridge Golf Club is surrounded by desert and the snow-capped Santa Rosa Mountains. Because of its location, this part of California gets an abundance of sunshine and, of course, warm temperatures.

Championship player Nick Faldo designed this 18-hole, par-71 course, his first in the U.S., which opened in 1971.  He leaves his mark on every hole. According to Faldo’s website, “Shadow Ridge was our first project in America and I am extremely pleased with the way it turned out. The stunning (often snow-capped) mountain backdrop provided a wonderful setting, but our major inspiration here emanated from the classic sand-belt courses of Australia. Our fairways are typically generous and our bunkering style is strikingly bold with greens that have plenty of subtle undulations to reward and encourage a variety of approach shots.”

Teeing off at Shadow Ridge near Palm Springs
Teeing off at Shadow Ridge near Palm Springs

The bunkers are a challenge, and often the roll is towards the sides of the fairway, so it’s best to keep your drives as accurate as possible.

Overall, it’s a beautiful, well-maintained golf course with wide fairways. Watch for water hazards on holes 5, 9, 13 and 18. But the biggest challenges are the many sand traps that surround the greens.

As of this writing, the course is open and a round will cost about $140 US. The course is an easy walk, but the carts provide some shade and GPS.

Have you golfed there?

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