MGS EXPERIENCES: INDIAN WELLS GOLF RESORT
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MGS EXPERIENCES: INDIAN WELLS GOLF RESORT

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MGS EXPERIENCES: INDIAN WELLS GOLF RESORT

Golf is extraordinary. It challenges you, teaches life lessons and encourages fellowship. It also allows you to immerse yourself in breathtaking art. I am not talking about art hanging in museums. I am talking about the art of a golf course and a destination. 

As golfers, we know the famous golf destinations: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Torrey Pines Golf Course and St Andrews. The list goes on and on and should include a lesser-known destination.

California’s Coachella Valley. Specifically, Indian Wells Golf Resort. 

Indian Wells Golf Resort

Indian Wells Golf Resort is smack dab in the middle of Coachella Valley. Why is it a destination worth considering? It is a resort with a twist. It’s a 36-hole municipal golf facility. That’s right. It’s technically a “muni.” While the City of Indian Wells owns the property, it outsources its management to Troon Golf. I can personally attest that Troon’s presence brings life, hospitality and high customer satisfaction standards to Indian Wells Golf Resort.

IWGR Review

Beauty and The Beast

Fun fact: Beauty and the Beast was my favorite movie as a child, according to my parents. These days, I can aptly apply that phrase to two phenomenally different golf courses: The Celebrity and The Players. 

The Celebrity Course

  • Clive Clark design
  • Opened in 2006
  • Multiple statewide accolades
  • Par 72
  • Plays up to 7,038 yards

This course is “The Beauty” for a reason. For starters, the climate of the Coachella Valley enhances the playing conditions. Head Superintendent Nick Leitner and his team provide world-class maintenance to this gorgeous golf course.

There is a saying, “silence is golden.” I believe that is a perfect representation of the Celebrity Course. Words don’t do it justice as you maneuver through this golf course while the sun sets. Every hole possesses its own character. For me, the entire course is memorable and one I could play every day with enjoyment. 

I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking. 

The Players Course

  • John Fought design
  • Opened in 2007
  • Multiple statewide and national accolades
  • Par 72
  • Plays up to 7,376 yards

From the back tees, “The Beast” is a formidable golf course. There are a slew of blind tee shots, forced carries and strategically placed bunkers. We didn’t subject ourselves to the agony of playing the back tees. However, from any tees, the challenging layout tests every aspect of your game. 

The Players Course will make you a better golfer. Yes, it is called “The Beast” for a reason but it is playable. My recommendation is to play the tees suitable to your skill level or even move up a tee box. Leave your ego at home and you’ll enjoy your round much more. 

And before I forget, there is beauty to this beast. Check out the gallery below. 

Fun For Everyone

First and foremost, Indian Wells Golf Resort is a destination golf facility. However, there are amenities that offer fun for the entire family, a large group or a date night. 

Shots in the Night

Shots in the Night runs from October through May with varying schedules. There are three different experiences.

  • Laser Putting – This activity allows a group to play a variety of games on real putting greens. The entire process is controlled via iPad and offers friendly competition.
  • Toptracer Driving Range – Customers can play glow golf on the Toptracer driving range. They can compete in a multitude of games or against a computer player. 
  • Winterfest – This celebration features a full-size roller skating rink with a live DJ and lights. It is truly a winter wonderland in the desert. Throughout the schedule, there are themed events and activities for all ages. 
Shots in the Night

Stay and Play

You may be wondering “if this is a resort, where is the lodging?” It’s a great question and reinforces the uniqueness of IWGR

Indian Wells has a working relationship with three hotels that are all within walking distance – Renaissance Esmerelda Resort & Spa, Indian Wells, Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa and Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa

Renaissance Esmerelda Resort & Spa

I stayed at the Renaissance Esmerelda Resort & Spa. Let me tell you, every bone in my body wanted to explore Coachella Valley because it was my first time there. On the other hand, there is no reason to leave Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa. It has everything you need for a trip: exquisite lodging, three main dining options, heated swimming pools, a spa, fitness and yoga centers, an arcade and escape room and, to top it off, the customer service and staff are exceptional. 

Renaissance Esmerelda Resort & Spa Review

Families can enjoy “Camp Esmeralda” which offers organized fun for children. This gives the parents a chance to enjoy the experience like real grown-ups. 

The best part of it all (and this is the golfer in me) is that you are a six-minute walk to the golf resort—the perfect warmup to your round of golf. 

Other Amenities

The Academy at IWGR

Indian Wells Golf Resort’s academy features a plethora of instructional opportunities for golfers. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a seasoned player. Here are some of their offerings and features.

  • Wells36 – Suitable for all ages and prioritizes taking instruction from the range to the golf course. 
  • Trackman Hitting Bays – Trackman technology in two indoor bays is used for instruction and fittings, especially during the hot, desert summers. 

Vue Grille & Bar

The Vue Grille & Bar is open every day to accommodate your nutritional needs. In addition, there is the Fairway Grille situated by the starting tees of the Celebrity and Players Golf Courses. They also offer food-truck services, especially during Winterfest nights. The Fairway Grille is a stellar way to begin or end your round. The food is phenomenal and, once again, I cannot heap enough praise on the staff. 

The Pro Shop

“Shop til you drop” is an accurate description of the pro shop. Along with the traditional options of FootJoy, Peter Millar, TravisMathew, et al. But what I liked most was their less mainstream offerings such as: 

Coachella Valley’s Hidden Gem

Coachella Valley is hard to beat. Its beauty and climate makes it a popular destination for the rich and famous as well as just plain folks like you and me. No matter what your tax bracket, be prepared to shell out for big-time resort golf fees to play at Indian Wells Golf Resort but, in my opinion, the experience is worth it. To me, this is Coachella Valley’s hidden gem. 

Indian Wells Golf Resort Review, Coachella Valley's Hidden Gem

I’ve spent a majority of my working career on the green grass and retail side of the golf industry. Hospitality and outstanding customer service are critical in these two areas. Indian Wells Golf Resort and their partnering hotels offer first-class amenities and service. The combination of these two ingredients make for an incredible and memorable experience. 

In the end, Indian Wells Golf Resort is a prize piece of art within the Coachella Valley. The golf is superb. The views are breathtaking. But it is the individuals who are the artists and bring this masterpiece to life. Go explore it for yourself.  

For You

For You

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Phillip Bishop

Phillip Bishop

Phillip Bishop

Cancer Survivor. Amputee Golfer. Essentially, a OneLeggedBoss. When he isn't facilitating testing or analyzing data, Phillip enjoys his family time, practicing and playing golf, unwinding with video games, capturing photos of nature, or devouring pretzels.

Phillip Bishop

Phillip Bishop

Phillip Bishop

Phillip Bishop

Phillip Bishop

Phillip Bishop

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Phillip Bishop

Phillip Bishop

Phillip Bishop





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      Ryan

      4 months ago

      It has been a few years, but the courses are excellent. What is fascinating about the Coachella Valley is that several of the cities have exceptional “muni” courses with great rates for locals. I would strongly recommend checking out the 2 courses at Desert Willow in Palm Desert and Silver Rock in La Quinta. We also have Classic Club, which is another awesome public course. PGA West. The list goes on and on.

      Lastly, just over the hill in Borrego Springs is probably one of the most unique and special courses I have ever played… Ram’s Hill. That should be on all golfers bucket list.

      I strongly believe that Coachella Valley can hold it’s own against any other golf destination.

      Reply

      GolfSpy_SAM

      4 months ago

      This is hilarious – my buddies and I have a trip planned around this very place in 3 weeks – Playing PGA West Mountain, Escena and then capping it off with Celebrity – staying at Lucy & Desi’s hotel (Indian Wells). Cannot wait! Great write-up, and I’ll be putting together a little write-up for the forum of our experiences along with some video!

      Reply

      Brenden M.

      4 months ago

      Ha! I also will be around first week of January. We considered Wells but ultimately will be playing Pete Dye Mountain, Escena and Indian Canyon South. Maybe we will cross paths!

      Reply

      Brenden M

      4 months ago

      Ha! I will be down there with some buddies at the beginning of January. We considered Wells but will play Pete Dye Mountain, Escena and Indian Canyon South. Maybe we’ll see you out there!

      Reply

      John J.

      4 months ago

      Clearly my favorite course in the Coachella Valley. We have a home in Rancho Mirage and except for the 25 minute drive, I’d play there exclusively. Beautiful course, well designed, and very playable for all levels if you play the right tees. The article didn’t mention this, but if you live in Indian Wells, the price is greatly reduced.

      Reply

      Jeff

      4 months ago

      Is the reduced rates exclusive to Indian Wells proper? Or other cities in the valley?

      Reply

      Paul C

      4 months ago

      Nice chemtrails

      Reply

      Mgolfer5

      4 months ago

      Played there also loved the course was in great shape could play it every day. It’s a must play if you’re in the area.

      Reply

      Phillip Bishop

      4 months ago

      I walked off both courses thinking the same. Both are playable and manageable, but a poor shot here and there can implode your round.

      Reply

      Cody

      4 months ago

      Played there literally right after it opened. Fun course.

      Reply

      Phillip Bishop

      4 months ago

      Awesome to hear, Cody. I hope to make it back there. The Players Course ate my lunch.

      Reply

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