The third golf stop during our Palm Springs trip was at the SilverRock Resort Arnold Palmer Classic Golf Course. We were greeted at the bag drop by two friendly gents who opened our car doors and wouldn’t dare let us take the clubs out of the trunk ourselves. Not completely necessary, but a very nice gesture and great first impression of the facility. SilverRock is located in La Quinta, California amongst the Santa Rosa mountains which makes for a beautiful backdrop for your day on the course.
The course itself can play as quite the beast for the average golfer, stretching out to as much as 7578 yards, but six different tee boxes provide an appropriate yardage for everyone. It was the host course for the Bob Hope Classic from 2008 – 2011 where Bubba Watson set the course record at 62. I can say that his record was never in too much danger when we were out there.
It’s kind of an odd layout with the first tee being located quite a distance from the pro shop, but was likely a space and logistics issue to locate it near the massive driving range and short game area. As long as you don’t forget anything in your car, it makes for a seamless warmup once you’re out there.
The course itself is classic desert golf that has a bit of attitude with massive aesthetically appealing bunkering, large undulating greens and strategically placed water features.
The first tee, a 426 yard par 4:
The 3rd hole, 183 yard par 3:
Large fairway bunkering on the 4th hole, a par 4 measuring 385 yards:
After a couple of match play losses to Beth’s Dad in our first couple rounds of the trip, I had him on the ropes on the back 9. He was up on me all day until he had a bad stretch of holes where I kind of just hung on and was able to grab a 1 up lead heading to 17, a 200 yard par 3 all carry over water to a front left pin:
I had the honor and hit a 5 iron safely to the middle of the green. Gary then proceeded to skank a bit of a pull hook short and left of the green, narrowly making it over the water. Walking tall with my big advantage I figured I had a great chance to close the match, or at worst head to 18 with a 1 up lead. Then the beauty that is match play shone through. Gary chips it close to save his par (I made him putt the 2.5 footer, just to keep his nerves sharp) and I leave myself with a downhill 4 footer which burns the edge and we’re all square going to 18.
On 18 Gary hit a great drive down the middle while I fought another pull hook and found the water right. I drop and figure I can still try and salvage par and at least force him to make birdie for the win. We both lay up, his second shot and my third shot. Then from about 100 yards he stuffs a little wedge in there to a front left pin over water to about a foot passed the hole that spins back in for eagle! Game, set, match. A fantastic finish by him, and a lesson learned for me that no matter where you stand in match play, to never let up and never get ahead of yourself!
All in all, it’s a fun course with no shortage of challenges. The course does a good job of distinguishing between good, bad, and mediocre shots. Good shots are rewarded with scoring opportunities and the bad ones are fairly to severely punished.
We paid a little over $100 for the round, which I felt was decent for what we got. If I had to pay much more I wouldn’t rush back, but I’d still recommend trying it if you’re looking for a course to add into your rotation. It’s always fun playing where the pros have played.
We had plans to head to a happy hour elsewhere after the round so we didn’t try the restaurant, but they do have a nice patio overlooking the course with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. Overall, SilverRock Resort is a great facility and a fantastic way to spend a sunny day in the desert.