Review: Silverrock Resort Golf Course

An Arnold Palmer Course Up Close to the Mountains
The greater Palm Springs area is surrounded by mountains.  Most of the golf courses in the area use the mountains as a picturesque backdrop for their holes, but in the distance.  At Silverrock, Arnold Palmer has numerous holes that are literally right at the base of the mountain walls, even coming into play on a couple holes.
Immediately upon entrance to Silverrock you drive right up to the rock walls of the mountain.  The clubhouse and cart staging area are right at the base of the mountain.  The range is a long drive through the middle of the course and so is the first tee.  This course is also a former home of the Bob Hope Classic tournament.  It can play very long from the back tees.  I opted to move up a box so that I could enjoy the course rather than trying to hit driver then 3wood all day long.  Even up a box it was still playing almost 7100yards.  I’ve played many Arnold Palmer courses before and this one had a number of his signature features.  Some forced carries off the tee, almost no blind shots, large receptive greens and some pretty good scenery to look at.

On the front 9 the collection of holes 3-8 were most memorable.  Each one was unique, distinct and challenging.  The 3rd is a great par 3 that is all about avoiding the bunker.  The 4 hole is a short dog leg that requires an accurate tee shot.  The 5th is right up against the mountains.  The 6th hole is a come back par 4 to set you up for the brute of a par 5 7th hole which is long, and requires the navigation of water on all three of your shots to reach the green.  High numbers can be had on this hole.  The 8th hole is a stunning short par 3 that has a huge rock outcropping as the backdrop of the green.  You could potentially hit into the rocks and have it bounce back onto the green.  (not that anyone did that)

The back 9 starts off with a bang as you navigate the narrow landing zone over a huge lake on the left, this long par 4 is tough.  As you weave back and forth on the backside there are a couple of tricky holes; like the long par 4 13th hole which has some waste areas that must be avoided.  The par 4 16th has a gigantic bunker guarding the front of the green.  The final two holes are stunning.  The 17th is the signature hole that plays long over water to a well guarded green with the mountains on your left on this spectacular hole.  The 18th hole is interesting in that you are really close to the clubhouse when you tee off, yet play away from it over a number of water features for a solid 3-shot par 5 to finish.  Then you have a long trek back to the staging area.

Silverock sets up well for a tournament course, since it is big and brawny with plenty of trouble, yet big receptive greens that were relatively flat.  The greens weren’t too fast the day we played, but because of their lack of slope, they could really speed them up and still keep them playable.  The natural beauty of this course butted right up against the mountains makes a majestic setting.  While the course itself had a good mix of holes and challenging layout, the overall property was odd with the long driver from the clubhouse out into the middle of the property for the range and the start and finish. (I saw a master plan that includes another 18 holes and a hotel/resort that would fix this current layout issue) I think the real beauty of this course is how Arnold Palmer designed this course tight up against the mountains.

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Quick Hits
+Arnold Palmer design
+Close to mountains
+Large flat greens
+Very good conditions
+Challenging holes

–Odd property layout
–When greens are slow, not too interesting