Course of the Month
Celebrity Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort
Indian Wells, California
One of the newest additions to the Palm Springs golf scene, this complete makeover of the resort’s former West course is in perfect keeping with the lush desert playgrounds for which the region is known. Sculpted waterfalls, creeks and ponds add visual and in some cases strategic elements, and most holes on the back nine run either north or south to maximize views of the mountains. Wildflowers and regal palms fill out the tableau. Designed by Clive Clark, a former British Ryder Cup player, the Celebrity will make its television debut this fall as host of the 2007 Skins Game. The course is part of a roughly $50 million renovation to the resort (not to be confufused with Indian Wells Country Club, a former site of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic). Opened: November. Architect: Clive Clark. Yardage: 7,088. Par: 72. Greens Fee: $170. Tee Times: 760-346-4653, golfresortatindianwells.com.
Montesoro Golf Club
Borrego Springs (private)
Tom Fazio took an existing daily-fee course, imported hundreds of pine trees and desert flowers and utilized surprising elevation changes on this site—nearly two hours from San Diego and three and a half from Los Angeles—to create an entirely new layout. The surreal badlands of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park backdrop holes such as the par-five eleventh, which plunges a hundred feet. Opened: January (first nine, with second nine slated for November). Architect: Tom Fazio. Yardage: 7,300. Par: 72. Membership Inquiries: 760-767-5000, montesoro.com.
Park Ridge Golf Course
Lake Worth (public)
In southeastern Florida, legitimate hill holes are about as common as snowstorms, but architect Roy Case has managed to create a few of them on this former Palm Beach County landfill site. The links-style layout climbs up and down eighty-five-foot mounds. Its Cape-like par-four thirteenth plays across a valley to a temptingly drivable green. Opening: February. Architect: Roy Case. Yardage: 6,919. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $29-$49. Tee Times: 561-966-7044, pbcparks.com.
Leopard’s Chase at Ocean Ridge
Plantation, Sunset Beach (public)
Leopard’s Chase is the biggest and baddest cat yet to prowl this feline-themed seventy-two-hole complex that’s twenty-five minutes up the coast from North Myrtle Beach. Hemmed in by wetlands, waste bunkers and coastal hardwoods, the course demands a precise version of target golf. Opening: February. Architect: Tim Cate. Yardage: 7,155. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $130-$195. Tee Times: 910-287-1717, big-cats.com.
Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Course
Front Royal (public)
Playing along ridges and sloping forests, the elevated portions of this course in the historic Shenandoah Valley, an hour west of Washington, D.C., offer enticing views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A lower meadow-like section of holes twists around Crooked Run Creek, and the aesthetic punctuation mark comes in the form of a slender forty-foot-high waterfall behind the thirteenth green that’s also visible from the eleventh, twelfth and eighteenth holes. Opening: March. Architect: Ault, Tom Clark & Associates. Yardage: 7,315. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $49-$72. Tee Times: 540-631-9661, blueridgeshadows.com.