COURSE SPOTLIGHT: Escena Golf Club

Escena Golf Club

Old School New

The Escena Golf Club has reopened – in Palm Springs

One thing you don’t see are new golf courses opening in Palm Springs. While Palm Desert, Indio and the other outlying desert communities continue to add courses, Palm Springs is … well, it’s pretty much full. That’s why the opening (or in this case reopening) of something new in the chic desert town makes you turn your head. And when it’s a course of the quality of the Escena Golf Club … it’s a bonus.

Escena reopened in November of 2009 with new owners and experienced management bringing quality to a daily-fee, top-notch Nicklaus Design golf course. In addition, there’s a new 16,000-square-foot clubhouse that is mid-century modern – a design that reeks with old-school Palm Springs heritage. The design makes you think you might encounter the ghosts of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin sharing laughs and martinis at the clubhouse bar.

As for the course … well, it’s 7173 yards of quality, with four sets of tees to accommodate any level of golfer. From the forward tees it measures in at 5503 yards with a rating of 72.1 and a slope of 127. From the tips it plays the full 7173 yards with a rating of 74.2 and a slope of 130. And there’s the middle and championship tees that fall between the other two. The bottom line: If you’re a high handicapper, you’ll enjoy your round. If you’re a scratch golfer, you’ll be challenged. There’s something for everybody.

“For golfers it’s like the welcoming home of a long-lost friend,” said Mark Tansey, president of Sunrise Golf Company, the managers of Escena. He added, “Escena Golf Club marks a return to what made desert golf great. The course stretches to almost 7200 yards from the tips and offers a quality test of golf for the most skilled players. But thanks to four sets of tees and generous fairways, it is also among the most playable for golfers of any skill level. And every hole offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.”

The course has changed a bit from the original with the addition of rounded stone on the rock walls and bridges that reflect “golf’s classic era.” There are also some 50,000 new plants that have been added – most of which are identical to those found in Palm Springs’ distinctive 1960s landscaping.

The new course is a boon to the city of Palm Springs. Unlike nearby Palm Desert, most of the resort hotels in Palm Springs don’t have on-site golf courses – thus, Escena offers up a wonderful golf course that those hotels can send their guests to.

Escena Golf Club is also different from a lot of the other courses in the area in that it is affordable. A regular in-season (December 26 to April 11) rate is $88 mid-week and $98 on the weekends. Off-season (April 12 to May 24) is $59 mid-week and just $69 on the weekend, and if you can brave the heat of summer (May 25 to September 12) you can play Escena mid-week for just $35 with the fee going to $40 on the weekend. Further savings can be had for joining the Escena Club. No matter how you slice it (no pun intended), Escena is a desert bargain.

The Escena Golf Club
760/778-2737
www.escenagolf.com

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