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Escena Golf Club

Escena Golf Club
Palm Springs

By Jerry Martin
Photos By Michael Castello

Escena Golf Club

Michael Castello, owner of, and I had the opportunity to play Escena Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus design, in Palm Springs, opening day. What makes this course unique is that this is the first course to be built within the Palm Springs city limits in over 20 years. It is so close to the Palm Springs Airport you can fly into town and make a morning tee time. Everything that day was a first, that is because we along with about 25 other invited golf professionals, were the first guests to ever play the golf course. So we were all playing for bragging rights of holding the course record, at least for that day, which I believe was a 66.

What a terrific golf course! The fairways, rough, sand traps and greens were in perfect shape. The course encompasses 172 acres and involves lakes and streams on nine of its 18 holes. I was really impressed with how the greens rolled and how true to the line each putt was. What makes this course really tough is the rough. If you land outside the fairway your ball just sank deep into the high grass with almost no chance of recovery. As the day went on we learned how to stay away from those difficult shots.

Escena Golf ClubEscena Golf Club has four sets of tees ranging from the forward tees at 5541 yards to the Tournament tees at 7173 yards. This is all the golf course you can handle no matter what tees you choose to play and par is 72. We decided to play the Championship tees at 6615 yards and were really impressed with the par 3’s. All five of the par 3’s are a challenge being long with sand traps guarding the greens and undulating putting surfaces. It is all you can do to make a par.

The par 4’s are even more of a challenge because the entries into the greens are well protected and most are elevated requiring “one more club” than you think. The par 5’s were our favorite, each one was laid out perfectly requiring that accurate shot onto the green. I was fortunate to par every one. However Michael and I were really impressed with the combination of holes 13, 14, 15 and 16. These four holes will make or break you. Hole number 13 is a 554 yards par 5 that forces you to hit a perfect 3rd shot into a very small green. Then you move to a 462 yards uphill par 4 that has water on the left with a great bridge like St. Andrews.

After surviving 14 you get to play another par 5 that requires a tee shot that is straight and then a decision to “go for it” or not. This hole is 502 yards in length with water all the way down on the left side and a nice water fall near the green. We decided to “lay” up. Then just when you think it is going to get easier here comes number 16 a par 4 measuring 415 yards. This was my favorite hole because of the layout of the bunkers in the fairway and the elevations you had to encounter.

This course is planning to open in the fall around November 1st, 2005. There are a lot of great golf courses in the Palm Springs area, but this has to be one of the best. When you are coming to the desert or if you live here give us a call or go on line and book a tee time with us for a round of golf you will truly enjoy.

For tee time reservations call toll free: 1.800.727.8331

Escena Golf Club


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