Review: Desert Spring - Palms Course

So Much Water at this Desert Oasis
It is not a mirage, Desert Springs Palms golf course has a water feature on almost all of its holes (or so it seems). If you want to experience a desert oasis, this course really makes you feel like you are in a lush tropical environment right in the middle of the desert. The property has a number of water features greeting as you enter. After you pass through the hotel entrance or the proshop, you see the large lake on the back side of the resort, so large in fact they have a gondola taxi service to get you around the various waterways. Even to get to the first hole you’ll need to traverse a number of bridges.
Upon your arrival on the first tee you’ll  get a sense of what your round will be like.  Moguled fairways with a good chance of water on most holes.  At least the first hole offers a fairly good chance at birdie with the short par 5.  The biggest water feature on the front nine is already on display by hole 3.  A short par 3 with water all over the place, almost feels like an island green.  The day I played they had a sucker pin placement in the front left corner that left almost no room for error.  After the impressive par 3, the next few holes surprisingly don’t have any water.  But trees and bunkers still keep you on your toes.  The 6th hole brings some water back into play with a hidden just off the front right of the green.  After an impressive decorative waterfeature as you cross the street from 6 to 7, you then wander through a more hilly section of the front side.  As the final hole on the front 9 challenges you with a green almost entirely cirlced with bunkers and elevated, it is more difficult than it looks.

As you start on the back 9, you get a good downhill par 5 to start and then meander up and down and around for a few holes.  A solid mixture of a couple short par 4s, a long par 3 and a par 5.  Once you reach the 15th hole, it is massive water features on every hole until you finish.  The 15th and 16th run next to each other with a lake and waterfalls dividing the two holes.  By far the 17th hole is the most impressive water feature I think I’ve seen on a course.  Falls, rocks, flowers, tiers and an island green.  It is a really tough yet beautiful hole.  From the back tee it was playing about 175 because of the breeze in our face.  While I was able to hold the back side of the green our group had 2 short, 1 run through the green and 1 on.  The finishing hole is a long sweeping par 4 dogleg left around a giant lake that is the one right out the back doors of the resort.

If you want to experience a true desert oasis, this is the course for you.  There are so many water features on this course you feel like you are playing in FL rather than the CA desert.  The grass throughout the course was well maintained and the greens were smooth with significant undulation.  They didn’t have them blazing fast which made them very playable as a resort course.  It does weave through condos, houses and lodging, but most were far enough off the fairways and had a row of trees in front of them that it didn’t feel too closed in.  If you like water features and an oasis like look, this is the course for you.

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Quick Hits:
+Oasis look
+Lots of water features
+Lush conditions
+Challenging layout
+Good length for all skill levels

–Condos/Houses on almost every hole