The Westin Mission Hills Gary Player course was the last stop for us on our Palm Springs trip, and the course did not disappoint! Located in Rancho Mirage, California, Mission Hills offers two courses, the Gary Player and Pete Dye tracks. This review is for the Gary Player course.
The course can be stretched out to 7062 yards from the back tees and offers three more tee boxes to provide something for everyone. When we pulled into the parking lot I was definitely a bit underwhelmed by the clubhouse, but we weren’t there to study architecture, we were there to play golf.
After checking in and browsing the pro shop we headed to the full length driving range with plenty of grass hitting areas. A chipping area is conveniently located next to the range hitting area, and a putting green located near the pro shop on your way from the range to the first tee makes for a seamless warmup.
I was very pleased with the layout, conditions and feel of the course right from the first tee:
The fairways, tee boxes and greens were immaculate. The greens were quick but receptive, making them challenging but very fun to play. The dormant bermuda grass rough added a rustic feel to the course which we all enjoyed.
The course has a great mix of shorter risk-reward holes and some longer holes that require a bit of muscle. One of my favorites was the par 3, 5th hole shown below. It probably helps that I made a birdie there!
The reachable par 5’s on the front 9 are great scoring opportunities and might lull you into a false sense of security as you head to the back where they get much meatier. However, the shorter par 5’s had the most narrow fairways so you still have to pony up and hit a good tee shot. The par 5, 7th hole is pictured below.
The longer par 5’s give you more room to rip it out there which I admired in the design. The 591 yard par 5 17th was playing into the wind the day we played it which made it a true savage beast, but I survived to tell my tale.
Another design feature I admired were how the greens weren’t just protected by bunkers, but also some pockets of steep closely mowed runoff areas which were, in some cases, more penalizing than being in a bunker.
I found the back 9 to be slightly more challenging than the front with longer par 5’s and significantly more water in play. A good example of that is shown on the finishing hole, below, with water all down the right side to think about.
All in all, I was extremely pleased with my experience at The Westin Mission Hills Gary Player course. With a clever, challenging, and fun design paired with immaculate course conditions, it’s really hard to find anything to complain about.
It’s a challenging course for low handicappers yet still playable and enjoyable for higher handicappers playing from shorter tees. With what seemed to be more competitive green fee pricing than some other big name tracks, I’ll be tempted to tee it up here anytime I’m in the area.
If lounging around for drinks in a luxurious clubhouse right after your round is your top priority, this might not be the course for you. If you’re in for some solid and fun golf at a reasonable price, I highly recommend it.
Click here for a virtual tour of the Westin Mission Hills Gary Player Course.