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5 Amazing Reasons to Play The Stadium Course at PGA WEST

5 Amazing Reasons to Play The Stadium Course at PGA WEST

Each year, hundreds of golfers from around the world are drawn to play The Stadium Course at PGA West. Beyond jetting to Palm Springs to revel in the area’s trademark sunshine, there are legions who choose the Pete Dye-designed Stadium Course for earning the heavyweight contender status of saying, “I’ve played it!”

There are dozens of courses who claim to earn a bucket list distinction among their golfing brethren, but what truly catapults a golf course into the upper echelon of the greats? Is it history, stellar conditions, or is there something unique about the 18-hole experience?

One of the elements that places The Stadium Course into the best-of-the-best category is the golfing notoriety of the company it keeps. The Stadium is nestled within the 5-mile radius of PGA WEST, a golf mecca in which the course designer names next to Dye’s are legends Nicklaus, Norman, and Weiskopf. With that being said, let’s look at what makes The Stadium Course one of the most highly regarded 18-hole experiences on the planet.

Play Where the Pros Play

To play a course that you’ve watched on television is an opportunity for the amateur to transport him or herself alongside the game’s best. In 1986, The Stadium Course burst on to the international golf scene as the televised home to The Skins Game. Millions watched in 1988 as Lee Trevino scored an ace on the 17th hole Par 3 dubbed Alcatraz.

Today, each January, The Stadium Course hosts The American Express Tournament along with PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament Course and La Quinta Country Club. Play the Stadium Course, and you can whisper or shout, “I’ve played where the pros play.”

The Clubhouse – If These Walls Could Talk

A fan of the game’s history will love walking into The PGA West Stadium Clubhouse. Peruse photos, statistics, and framed quotes from players like Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, as well as celebrities such as Bob Hope.

Many of these quotes or flashbacks breathe fire as the professionals comment on how tough it is to play The Stadium Course. Regardless of whether the testimonial is complimentary or derogatory, you’re reminded that the flavor of your upcoming 18-hole round will be anything but vanilla.

The Conditions

PGA WEST takes great pride in the stellar conditions that golfers savor upon arriving in La Quinta, CA. Within this beautifully landscaped 2,200-acre community, you’ll find nine golf courses, a Golf Academy, five clubhouses, and five restaurants. Everywhere you look, golfers feel like VIPs.

The lush Bent and Bermuda grass at The Stadium Course contrasts magically with the backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Then there are the roller coaster contours that make The Stadium Course a 7,200-yard layout that is a wonder to behold. Add the Coachella Valley’s bluer-than-blue skies, and golfers are in for a visual treat.

Go Long or Go Home

Legend has it that Dye was given strict instructions to design the “hardest damn course in the world.” When the Stadium Course was introduced to the professional ranks in the late 80s, many felt that Dye fulfilled this mandate and then some.

During the ensuing four-plus decades, The Stadium Course has softened a bit, but there are several tee shots, unusual lies, water hazards, bunkers, and greens that will test the mettle of even the most confident golfer. The closing three holes are universally considered to be some of the toughest anywhere.

Play One or Play Them All

Of the nine courses at PGA WEST, five are open to the public. In addition to the Stadium Course, you are welcome to play the Pete Dye designed Mountain and Dunes Courses, the Greg Norman Course, and the Nicklaus Tournament Course.

You’ll soon discover why the Palm Springs region is known as the Golf Capital of the World. In fact, there are 130 golf courses within a 20-mile radius. One of the best reasons to include The Stadium Course on your future golf calendar is that by adding this amazing Pete Dye design to your playing portfolio, you may be introduced to a new favorite 18-hole experience that also happens to call Palm Springs home.

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About The Author

Tim Cotroneo

Tim is a Minneapolis-based travel, business, and golf writer. He specializes in writing hotel, resort, and villa articles. He also has a passion for writing entrepreneurial success stories, as well as what makes your golf course unique. He’s covered 26 Caribbean islands, and he’s yet to meet a beach bar he doesn’t like.

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