The Springs Country Club is a private golf course located in Rancho Mirage, where we were invited to play by our friend, Sharon, who hangs out there for the winter months. Playing The Springs was one of the highlights of our trip and it was great to be able to play another one of the beautiful golf courses in the area. There are so many golf courses in the Palm Springs and Palm Desert area, it’s no wonder anyone with the slightest affinity for golf tends to retire there.
I have to admit I didn’t know much about The Springs prior to the round, but as we pulled up to the secured entrance, I figured it was a pretty classy joint. Turned out I was right.
A cruise through the pleasantly quiet neighborhood en route to the clubhouse gave me a welcoming sense of community at The Springs. As we arrived Sharon greeted us and showed us around. I visited the men’s locker room where I felt fortunate not to get lost. It even had a steam room and a hot tub which I opted not to take pictures of, because I’m not a weirdo.
We had a great warm-up on the grass-tee driving range (I’m always impressed when a course doesn’t have mats), stroked a few putts on the practice green, and were ready to set sail.
I chose to play the tips at 6637 yards, which is long enough for a fun challenge, but not so long that it adds unnecessary stress to a chill vacation round.
The course is pretty flat and features slightly raised green complexes which are well protected by large bunkers. If water features make you uneasy, you had better be mentally prepared for this round, because there are a few of those too.
I absolutely loved the green complexes. They rolled pure, were large, and undulating enough to make them quite challenging but not so much that they ever felt severe or unfair.
You had better embrace the par-3 5th hole, because it’s the only par-3 that doesn’t have water.
After finishing the front-nine with a birdie, we picked up a beer, juicy cheeseburger and complimentary cookies at the halfway house, and were primed for the back-nine.
The back starts with a strong par-4 and a reachable par-5. Most of the par-5’s are great scoring opportunities, but still require smart execution since there is enough trouble for them to get away from you if you’re not careful.
Although the par-3 12th hole pictured below has some more water to contend with, the biggest defense of this par-3 is a boomerang shaped green, making it possible to be on the green but not be able to putt directly towards the hole. To get the full experience, I made sure to hit to the front right of the green when the pin was back right, giving me almost no chance of two-putting.
It’s not just the par-3’s that use water, the par-4 13th hole has water down the left side, and depending on your angle into the green, you may have to play over more water into the green.
If you happen to be playing the tips, the par-3 15th hole is one of the most visually intimidating shots on the course. It’s 218 yards, but the carry required isn’t quite as much as it looks from the tee. The other tee boxes are further off to the right, making the water much less in play.
The 16th hole is a fun short par-4 and the first I’ve ever played with a moat around the green. There is no castle to defend but it does make you think twice about the wedge or short iron you’re playing into this green.
While looking back at my photos and writing this review, it feels like water is the defining feature of the golf course. However, when I walked off the course and looked back on the round, it didn’t feel like I had just spent 4 hours trying to dodge water. Much of the water isn’t in play as much as it looks, and would require a considerable mistake to be wet.
What stood out to me were the green complexes and the bunkers. The par-4 17th hole puts water in your vision for the approach shot, but that’s not what realistically protects this green — it’s the raised green complex and bunkers.
We went away from The Springs feeling great about our experience and impressed by the facility. The course was in immaculate shape, the views of the surrounding mountains are stunning, and although it’s not the longest golf course out there, it provided plenty of different challenges and unique features that kept me guessing and looking forward to the next hole.
Our member-host, Sharon, spoiled us and made sure our experience at The Springs Country Club was a memorable one. A big thank-you to her for having us out. I was feeling pretty lucky having played two of Palm Springs’ beautiful private golf clubs in the same week (also see my review of The Vintage Club). This has set the bar high for future trips, but I’m always up for a challenge.