Essential Golf: A passion for the Game

Go to California for Golf

If you’re going to San Francisco for your vacation, be sure to visit TPC Harding Park for a top golf experience. Located less than one mile from the Pacific Ocean, this is the city’s municipal golf course, with two impressive courses open to the public: the Harding Park golf course and the Fleming 9. Both courses create a challenging and scenic experience for each golfer, with towering Monterey Cypress trees and a tranquil Lake Merced.

Named after U.S. President Warren G. Harding, Harding Park Golf Course was opened on July 18, 1925 along the shores of Lake Merced, in San Francisco’s southwest corner.

In 2002/3 a $16 million restoration took place featuring a complete re-design to the course. The result was a highly acclaimed championship course that maintains the character and integrity of the original layout, but incorporates design elements and infrastructure to accommodate today’s players. The 15-month project to expand the course from 6,743 yards to nearly 7,200 yards in length, enhancing the driving range, clubhouse and restaurant, upgrading the nine-hole layout of Fleming. Harding Park Golf Course officially reopened August 22, 2003.

Harding Park culminated its remarkable rebound by being added to the PGA TOUR’s prestigious TPC Network of clubs in November of 2010. Since its recent renovations, TPC Harding Park is championship-worthy once again, hosting several PGA TOUR events such as, the WGC-American Express Championship, the Presidents Cup (2009), and the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in 2010 and 2011. Future major events include the PGA Championship (2020) and a return of the Presidents Cup (2025).

So here is an opportunity for golf fans to play in the footsteps of some of our greatest players, with greens fees (1-4 players) at $167 midweek and $180 on weekends. TPC Harding Park also has an expansive 20,000 square-foot clubhouse where the staff cater for meetings and events of all types and sizes, as well as welcoming guests for a drink and a bite to eat after a round of golf; to entertaining friends or colleagues for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

There’s a wide choice of accommodations nearby, including the Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf Hotel (7.2 miles), Hotel Drisco Pacific Heights (5.4 miles) and Hampton Inn San Francisco (2.7 miles).

Indian Wells Golf Resort (IWGR) is a premier 36-hole golf resort located near Palm Springs, just minutes from Palm Springs International airport. Surrounded by four luxury hotels, IWGR stands alone as the only golf property in California with two courses ranked in the Top 20 “Best Courses You Can Play” in California.

This resort has an “exclusive” atmosphere with genuinely warm hospitality. The panoramic views of the surrounding Santa Rosa Mountains are a rugged backdrop to the magnificent waterfalls owing and brooks that flow through beds of wild flowers, adding a splash of color throughout this stunning setting.

Designed by Clive Clark, the Celebrity Course is a challenging yet playable design. While the Players Course, designed by John Fought, pays homage to great designs such as Riviera, Winged Foot and Augusta National. The bunkers placed throughout the undulating topography of the Players Course provide the perfect complement to the mature trees and natural desert arroyos. While playable for all skill levels, the Players Course was also designed to challenge the most skilled golfers, which makes it a perfect forum for competitive golf.

Indian Wells Golf Resort is also home to the latest in nighttime golf entertainment called “Shots in the Night.” IWGR is partnering with NextLinks to turn the practice putting green into a fun and social experience at night, thus creating a one-of-a-kind, family friendly and fun night-time activity. At sunset, the putting course transitions into a nightlife entertainment area, focused on app-driven putting games with an offering of food and beverage.

This entertainment innovation, says Michael Tebbetts, Director of Sales & Marketing, “brings together cosmic bowling intertwined with the playability of mini-golf, also adding a variety of putting games. Guests can now enjoy a fun and engaging Glow Golf experience on the driving range that features massive inflatable targets in the shape of bowling pins and beach balls.” These targets contain LED lighting and sensors so when a golf ball hits them they blink in succession. The golf balls are activated by black light and are charged up prior to play. Michael Tebbetts says that IWGR’s Glow Golf offers a fun experience that’s designed for golfers of all skill levels, especially beginners or those who don’t play frequently.

This article first appeared in the PGA TOUR June-November 2019 issue, which can be read here.

See also: A Visit to Indian Wells Golf Resort, California

Five Best Golf Courses in California