Dec 21 2018 – 9:32 a.m.
I was going to post something on Face Book – to share our adventure and allow those golfing buddies of mine to live vicariously through some selfies and tall tales – but I haven’t opened FB in a long time – and then just as a quick look to see what pics daughter may have posted. So instead I’ll post here. I haven’t been HERE much either mind you, and I’m winging it … blogging isn’t a thing for me…. but I journal regularly. Semantics right?
Dec 22 2018 – 6:49 a.m. (Sunrise is 6:47):
Well. Everything went mostly right. We had to run to make our connection in Calgary. Karen doesn’t run mind you. It was “Sweetie…. run and catch that plane for us would you?” …. When we hit Palm Springs my data plan didn’t work so we had to use an actual paper map (!) to find our hotel. Ahem RESORT. I am nestled in an area of the world known for being a golf getaway – more courses per square mile here than anywhere else on the planet….
– aaaand my golf clubs didn’t make the connection…….
My clothes made it (sans golf shoes) mind you so that’s a silver lining. I can rent clubs for one game. Wouldn’t have been able to rent clothes – or even buy them on time. I’ve done my morning stretches and am watching the sun rise over the mountains and Celebrity Golf Course. Life is good.
The Celebrity Course at Indian Wells – 72.3/133, 6642 yds from the Blues. 9:00 am tee off. Mostly sunny, about 17C at tee time and 25C at 1:00. The round took 4 :15 and never felt like we were held up.
View of the Celebrity Course from our 3rd floor balcony. 🙂
Dec 23, 2018
oh. my. That was the most beautiful golf course I have ever played. And I shot a respectable 88, especially considering this was my first game in 2 months, I was wearing loafers, and had a set of rental clubs – Callaway Rogue. (There I go hexing my game today…). It helped that the course was in immaculate condition and that the weather was perfect.
Played with Ian and Blake. From Canada. Ian is a semi-retired business owner / money manager, and Blake is his soon to be son in law, getting married to his daughter here in Palm Springs on Christmas day if I caught that correctly. Both good people. They were part of a rather large group of family and friends, some of whom were playing behind us.
So, of all things, I’d managed to have come down with a cold a day or so before we headed down here. Not too bad mind you but I have a raspy voice and dry cough. When does Dayquil become Nyquil? When you have 4 pints with your dinner…. 😐
Off to play the other course here at the resort – The Players. Instead of adding a bunch of pics here, I’ll link the courses to their respective home pages.
The Players Course at Indian Wells – 73.4/135, 6913 yds from the Blues. Identical day weather wise from my 9:00 am tee time. 4 1/2 hours with a little bit of waiting. A Sunday after all. Notes tomorrow.
Dec 24, 2018
Celebrity vs Players is much how you might guess it to be. Where the Celebrity course is all about the scenery – waterfalls and landscaping eye candy abounds – the Players is a difficult, longer, and more narrow course where you have to hit your targets or the ball will roll away, and generally into hazards. I shot a 48/46 for a 94 which was a little disappointing but given my handicap I probably should have played from the Yellow tees.
I was at the 1st hole waiting* for my other 2 playing partners when a 4th joined us, Steve, a retired electrical something something, who lives in Seattle but “winters” here and is a resident of Indian Wells. As a resident his rate for this course is only $35.00 – crazy! I believe I payed $135.00. He teed up from the Blues (so of course I felt obligated to do so as well then…) and piped a nice baby draw way down the middle. I followed up with a high pull that landed in the fairway at least. Comments like “That won’t hurt you” are a nice way of saying “oooooooo, hope that’s not going to be typical….”
*(The gentleman checking us off at the first tee was a man by the name of Lloyd who enjoyed chatting me up and explaining the course. When I told him I was from Canada and had only the other day been shoveling the driveway, he remarked about how it was fortunate that we had both the laws regarding the legalization of marijuana and gay marriage instituted at the same time. I merely looked at him and I suppose he felt this was his cue to finish the joke: “Two men can now lie together without having to be straight….”)
We proceeded to wait for our other 2 partners (the Kims), and I was actually hoping they would be late and me and Steve could play as a twosome, but at precisely 8:59 and elderly pair of Koreans showed up all bundled up like they were expecting snow. I did an internal eye-roll which turned out to be entirely unjustified as – despite some rather wonky, nonathletic looking swings, both Jay (probably not his real Korean name…) and Young continually splashed the ball down the middle of the fairway the entire game. We immediately caught up to another group of older Asian gentlemen who were obviously playing for high stakes as they eyed up every undulation fairway to green before attempting a shot. They played just fast enough that we never really caught them but had to wait at each tee box for them to clear out in front of us before we could go.
Karen and I did a recon of the Classic Club which I am playing today – which sported an uber opulent clubhouse and has hosted the Bob Hope Classic for several years in the early 2000’s. It’s 7:14 and she is about to drive me there for today’s round. There was more to yesterday besides golf as well that I want to put down here – this is as much an exercise in remembering the moment for later as anything – but I’ll have to do it later.
Well I have to say the course matched the clubhouse. Spectacular views, immaculate course – quite playable. The sand traps were maybe the only gripe as they weren’t the fluffy stuff I played at the Celebrity, but still real manicured and prepared traps. A lot more water on this course – with herons, pelicans, cranes and all manner of floaty fowl contributing to the spectacle. I played with an older couple out of New Mexico – Russell, a retired banker (of course) and his lovely wife Lori. This was the most expensive game so far at $165.00 – but I did get a free signature towel and a $15.00 voucher…… Karen came up to the clubhouse and we had a nice dinner on the deck with Russell and Lori.
After golf Karen did a bit of shopping and then we went and took a dip in one of the pools surrounding the hotel. She echoed a sentiment I was feeling about how his was all rather surreal. It’s crazy how clean and GROOMED everything is. Not just the resort but everywhere. I get the feeling the a stray chip bag would immediately find itself embarrassingly out of place and hoist itself into the nearest garbage container.
Anyways, for future reference, this is on the top of the list for courses to return to.
The Classic Club at Palm Desert – 72.9/135 6711 yds from the Blues. 9:00 am tee off again. Basically identical weather as the past two days – perfect. Under 4 hours. Shot much better than my score of 91 would seem to indicate – a couple 7’s in there – but it was an easier more forgiving course than the Players where you had options to play smart. I just maybe went for a few when I shouldn’t have. But when you are on holidays playing a course like this, it’a all about going for it.
Dec 25, 2018 Christmas 🙂 …. In Palm Springs
It was supposed to possibly rain today with gusts up to 50 mph – and it appeared to be raining off in the different distances on occasion but it never bothered us as it was sunny and warm all day again. Karen and I slept in and went for a lovely breakfast on the balcony about 10:00 and just soaked in as much as we could. Later we went for a drive to scope out the route to the La Quinta Mountain Course that I was playing tomorrow (today actually as I’m writing this Wednesday morning. I’m at the desk with the curtains open watching the sunrise…). After finding it she said she’d like to simply lay by the pool and read a book. I checked to see if I could hit balls on the range but they said the range was closing at noon (Christmas) … oddly I was able to actually get on the Celebrity Course for the last tee time (!), so I ran back to the hotel and changed into the proper attire and worked my way out to the first tee. There we ran into a backlog of tourists golfing just to take pics of the scenery and their kids running about so the starter shuffled me and two other gents (Drew and Craig – A father and son-in-law from Montana) down to the 10th to start on the back. And thus began yet another perfect golf round. Other than it was a little windy and I shot 101, losing 6 balls in the process – but hey: Golfing on Christmas Day in Palm Springs.
After that we went and saw Holmes and Watson in a fancy theater with Lazyboy type recliners where you could enjoy a beer. The movie had it’s moments but was pretty dumb overall. Karen thought so more than I, but I agreed.
Dec 26, 2018
La Quinta Golf Resort, Mountain Course.
Ugh. This was just one of those days. I went to the course early as usual and was killing everything at the driving range. The course was a whole other matter as I lost 6 balls in the first 4 holes and probably a dozen all told. I am pulling my drives like crazy and just couldn’t get it together. I had several good holes but nothing to make up for the over all game. I was so unimpressed I even stopped keeping score and of course didn’t bring the card home. A pity too as it was another beautiful day and the course itself was very nice. Just water and rock waste area hazards everywhere.
The Mountain Course signature hole #16 – 157 yds to a tiny green.
We went to the Souplantation for lunch, which was awesome, and then came back to the room for a snooze. The plan was to go see another movie but when she looked on-line to book seats, they were pretty much sold out for anything we wanted to see together.
Dec 27, 2018
A day off from golf, we had a nice breakfast at one of the local IHOP’s and then thought we might catch the The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens. Unfortunately, by the time we got there around 10:30, the place was packed and there wasn’t a parking spot to be had. So we basically just started driving west towards Palm Springs and ended up going to an area dedicated to Outlet Stores or whatever they’re called – basically a couple outdoor malls with a whole bunch of these fancy little stores; Gucci, Calvin Klein, Porsche, Tommy Hilfiger, etc., etc.. Karen’s idea of heaven I do believe. We spent several hours there and drove back to La Qunita to find the Greg Norman course I’m playing tomorrow. We thought we were going to do the Cheese Cake Factory for supper which is in a large complex with all sorts of other stores and eateries, but again, no place to park. We tried the Outback Steak House but it too was a 35 minutes plus wait and Karen was starting to get tired so we went looking for a burger take out joint and found a Carls. We headed home and she pretty much fell asleep and I watched a movie. A good day.
Dec 28, 2018
PGA West Greg Norman Course 71.5/128 6671 yds from the Blues. 10:30 tee time. Only got up to about 16C and it was quite windy so the greens were very firm. Played some good holes and some bad ones as well and shot a 98. It’s as simple as this: you have to keep the ball on the fairway. The desert eats balls and where there’s not desert there’s water.
I played with Steve and his wife Elizabeth who bought a house on the course and come down on weekends from the home somewhere else to play. They had a fancy little Mercedes golf cart. I asked Steve how much that was worth and he said he didn’t know, it came with the house. I didn’t ask how much the house cost. My playing partner was a young fellow from San Diego, Yoseph. He was playing from the Black tees. He is also playing the with the San Diego State golf team, is planning and turning pro, and at a spindly 5’10” was regularly crushing 275-300 yard baby draws into the middle of the fairway. He drove away in a Porsche. 😐
Karen and I went to the Souplantation again for brunch and then did a bit of shopping at (Cost Plus) World Market and Target before going to see Aqua Man. Which was horribly corny IMHO.