Late spring and early summer are ideal golf conditions in the desert. Many of the snowbirds have gone home, but the courses are in perfect condition, with warm days giving way to cool, relaxing evenings.
La Quinta enjoys perhaps the best setting in the entire Coachella Valley. The Santa Rosa Mountains frame the town on the south and west, creating a buffer from most of the wind while catching the majority of the daytime sun. The stark contrast between the mountains and the golf courses with green grass and lakes makes for a very peaceful ambience. The entire La Quinta area is largely upscale with immaculate public areas connecting the plush gated country clubs.
La Quinta Resort & Club
As you turn in from Eisenhower Drive and make your way down the palm-laden entryway, you know you are in for a special visit. The La Quinta Resort and Club features a series of Spanish-style casitas anchored by The Plaza with its fine dining and shops. The setting has a true Old World feel and the landscaping is out of this world. Flowers, waterscapes, and grapefruit trees populate the pristine walkways leading to your accommodation.
The casitas continue the Spanish theme inside with authentic tile and the finest in linens. Each dwelling is close to a pool/Jacuzzi area, and the peaceful mountains are ever present. A short walk will get you to the tennis center and spa. Tennis has always been a big draw here, and the resort has one of the finest facilities in the desert.
The Plaza is a great spot to unwind at night as you take in the clear warm sky dotted with stars. On this trip we dined at Twenty6, a modern American bistro with indoor and outdoor dining. Our Slow Roasted Salmon and Swordfish Picatta entrées were delicious and the servers very attentive. One could easily spend hours at the Plaza taking in the culinary delights to the sound of live music in near perfect evening weather.
Lots of Golf
The collection of golf offered at the La Quinta Resort and Spa is unmatched in the Southwest. There are five championship venues to choose, and they have all hosted the PGA Tour. Right on property you have the Mountain and Dunes courses, which were designed by Pete Dye. At PGA West you can play the Jack Nicklaus Tournament course, the Greg Norman Course, and the famed TPC Stadium Course, also a Dye creation.
The Mountain Course at La Quinta Resort has been the focus of the golf world since its opening. Playing along the side of the mountains and through a canyon it creates some unforgettable golf shots. My favorite hole is the par 5 15th, which plays 517 yards. This downhill dogleg to the right can be reached in two by many, but the approach will need to be exact in order to avoid the rocks surrounding the green. The Mountain Course was host to one of the early Skins Games featuring Fuzzy Zoeller, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Tom Watson. Fuzzy stole that show, and the Skins Game became a big hit.
The TPC Stadium Course is equally famous and hosted numerous Skins Games. This Pete Dye track has been softened from its original design but still has plenty of teeth. The Nicklaus Tournament Course is a bit more forgiving and has also hosted many PGA Qualifiers. This is also where the Jim Mclean Golf School is located. The Greg Norman Course is one of the few links style layouts in the desert and maybe the resort’s best kept secret. If you like to practice they have two top notch facilities: one at the La Quinta Resort Club and the other in between the TPC Stadium and Nicklaus Resort courses.
Those who travel with pets will want to take notice of the PAWS La Quinta pet experience. The La Quinta Resort has always been pet-friendly, but recently they have elevated this service. Special pet amenities such as an oversized pet bed, pet placemat, stainless steel bowls, and clearly marked Doggie Relief Stations throughout the property make it easy to bring your four-legged friend. You can even arrange for a pet massage.