Short Course Blitz: Hoppin’ Around the Desert

I moved out to the Coachella Valley in March and have been enjoying the local golf scene. I’ve already gotten somewhat used to the heat every day. I’ve been able to play some great private clubs. There have also been a few little short courses I’ve played, but haven’t posted about yet on this site. These won’t exactly be in chronological order. More likely in order of relevance.

So, it’s time for another Short Course Blitz!

Sunrise Country Club • Rancho Mirage, CA • 7/28/17

With my summer email campaign to reach out to as many private clubs as I can, I also included all the local private short courses I haven’t played yet. Sunrise Country Club was one that responded and was nice enough to invite me out for a round.

A friend joined me and we set up an 8:00 tee time, following some of the normal morning member groups. We had a little gap in front of us when we started, but we quickly caught up. It was a little slow going (especially long wait at the turn), but it still moved along fine and we were done in under three hours.

Sunrise is a private 55+ community with an 18-hole executive golf course. It plays to a par of 64. The longest holes barely stretch out to around 300 yards from the blue tees. The par-3s feature a good mix of lengths, though, ranging from 116 up to 204 yards.

Overall, Sunrise is a rather forgiving and simple layout. There are a few water hazards in play and a couple interesting holes like 14 and 18, which are both dogleg right par-4s that bring water directly into play on the approach shots. Otherwise, as long as you get your tee shots positioned safely in the fairways you can post a really good score. I hit 15 greens in regulation, which is a personal best for any type of course, anywhere.

The people around here were friendly and none of the members seemed bothered at all by our presence. It probably helped that my friend was in the 55+ age range, so we didn’t look as much out of place here.

The conditions were good overall. The greens were receptive and rolling at medium/slow speeds. No real complaints, especially in the dead of a very hot summer this year.

I am grateful to the staff at Sunrise for having me out and it’s another nice example of a senior-friendly private club and course in the desert.

Some pictures from Sunrise Country Club (7/28/17):

Now, we need to travel back in time a bit to include the next few local short courses. Honestly, it’s nothing exciting, but I like to try and feature everything I play. These will be very short reviews with a few pictures for each…

Canyon Estates Golf Course • Palm Springs, CA • 6/6/17

This is another little senior course I got to play earlier this summer. It is just a 9-hole pitch and putt layout with the longest hole just under 100 yards.

It’s a pretty simple layout in the middle of the small community. The greens are tiny and there is one water hazard in play on the final hole. Otherwise, what you see is what you get. Conditions were decent. The greens were actually pretty good (faster than they look), and much better than I’d typically expect on a course like this.

Some pictures from Canyon Estates Golf Course (6/6/17):


La Rocca 3-Par Golf Course • Palm Desert, CA • 4/29/17

Like Canyon Estates, La Rocca is just another little desert community that happens to have a small 9-hole par-3 pitch and putt golf course. It isn’t much, but it is a nice perk for the residents. Holes range from just 55 yards up to 86, so a wedge and a putter will be all most people need, making it a nice easy walk.

The course looked nice and green in April and the tee boxes have pretty good mats to hit from. The greens are small. They were very spongy and slow. Not really typically grass used for greens, cut down more comparably to fairways at most courses. Certainly, the course isn’t anything to take too seriously, but it was another one off my list.

Some pictures from La Rocca 3-Par Golf Course (4/29/17):

Last and certainly least…

Casa Dorado Golf Course • Indian Wells, CA • 5/14/17

So, there are short courses and then there is Casa Dorado. I have a hard time even considering it a “course,” but it exists and you know I had to try and play it.

Casa Dorado is just another little community pitch and putt course. However, unlike the previous two, it is only four holes. You heard me right. It’s really just a glorified short-game practice facility that runs through this small mobile home tract. The holes range from about 50 yards up to maybe 85 yards. There is no signage or official scorecard (and I don’t carry a rangefinder), so I just had to eyeball and guess the distances.

Conditions were what they were with the greens being more like nice rough on normal courses. Just shaggy, spongy and slow. I feel silly even making note of this course on my site, but I am also somewhat proud to represent golf courses of all shapes and sizes!

Some pictures from Casa Dorado Golf Course (5/14/17):

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