Staying at the Westin Mission Hills in 2018 is the whole reason we got into golf. We had a golf course facing view for our room, but it was only on the last day that we walked around the resort and along the golf course. It was a beautiful day in late December, and we watched people golfing. We had already fallen in love with Palm Springs and vowed to ourselves that we would return as golfers and play some of the courses around Palm Springs. So on our 2019 trip to Palm Springs, we finally golfed! And golf we did!
We ended up playing four times over the course of our vacation, at three different courses. The first thing I want to say is, remember to bring money for gratuities! We never use much cash and I forgot to pack our American pocket money so that was at home back in Canada. I felt a little awkward because there would be people helping carry and load our bags onto the carts, as well as clean our clubs after our game, and I’ll admit I didn’t tip … because I didn’t have any cash! I felt so bad.
We played at the following clubs around Palm Springs, and really enjoyed our experience at each one. These are considered resort courses, read: easy courses, so they are perfect for playing on vacation. We thought the courses were very forgiving, so if you haven’t played in a while or just not very good, it’s a really nice way to experience golf. The views are stunning, and the course designs were great. We also realized that we have it really good in Kelowna for golf, and that some of the courses we play at home are hard AF!
- Gary Player Signature Course at Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa
- Pete Dye Course at Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa
- Dunes Course at La Quinta Resort & Club
We brought our own golf clubs because we had the option of extra baggage with our vacation booking. When we did our research, it also looked like the most economical choice anyway. We didn’t know how many rounds of golf we were going to be able to get in in our week in Palm Springs. We didn’t know the quality of the club rental, or the selection, or price, so we decided to bring our own equipment down. Just make sure you have a big enough rental car. With 2 dog carriers, 2 checked pieces of luggage, and 2 golf bags, our rental SUV ended up being quite full. It looked like our hotel also offered golf club storage, but we didn’t take them up on that and instead just stored the clubs in our room.
Upon reflection and with the recent experience of air travel and transporting our golf clubs, it might be time to upgrade our golf bags because they are a million years old and weigh a ton. They both also have kickstands, and mine has always been a bit confusing for golf helpers to deal with, so it may be time to get lighter bags without stands. We recently bought golf carts because there are courses at home we like to play at, like 2 Eagles in West Kelowna, that are very walkable. So between having hand carts, and playing at courses that require power carts, it really makes sense.
Some of the courses in Kelowna allow you to take the power cart into the parking lot, so you can load up at your car. None of that is acceptable in Palm Springs. You can do valet or someone will greet you in the parking lot and help carry your bags over. When you wrap up your game, someone will help wipe your clubs, as well as the unload/load. When we played at the Pete Dye course, since it was on the property of the hotel, we got to take the golf cart back to our room, with supervision by one of the golf helpers of course! Otherwise, at the Westin they have a golf cart shuttle, so you can be picked up or dropped off, and not have to lug your golf bag so far.
We had a really fun time golfing around Palm Spring. We’re already looking forward to the next time we can golf there, and it’ll be a matter of coaxing our parents into playing with us! We mostly played in the afternoon, so the light was especially stunning on the landscape. We enjoyed the mild December weather, but do make sure to pack some warm layers because the temperature can vary so much in December. And throw some little heat packs into your golf bag, like the ones you can use for skiing. One of our fellow golf couples gave us some in one of our games, and they were such a nice little lifesaver!