La Quinta Resort – Pete Dye Mountain Course
Course Review Date: 2/17/2012
Course Reviewer: Sean Charlton
Located at the La Quinta Resort are both the Pete Dye Mountain and Dunes courses. The mountain course is literally in the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains. More than half of the course is backed up to, if not in, the rocky hill side. A breathtaking site looking up along the mountain ridges or down onto the course from elevation.
I asked the starter for a little advice for this course and the one thing he told me was ‘go long’. He said that the closer you can get to the greens the better. Usually a 130-170 yard approach shot is appropriate on most courses, but he said that even if you think that’s the right play, try and get even closer. The greens are small, he said, so it’s better to have an 8 iron or less in so you have a little more control. Small greens, with near PGA quality quickness, made this course quite challenging.
Playing from the 6300 yard White Tees at the Mountain course, felt miles shorter than the 6500 over at PGA West – Nicklaus, and was much more forgiving. Laid out more like a traditional course, using more of the lands natural shape as a guide for each hole, you really felt as if you were playing in the mountains; tee boxes, fairways, and greens in some cases were surrounded by the rocky slopes.
Driver off the tee is an option for just about every non par 3 hole, but narrow landing areas and well placed mid fairway bunkers will test your accuracy and force you to make smart club selections. 200 yard long sand traps lined several long fairways with other holes having rocks and cacti separating you form the green. Perfectly manicured in every way, from the dark green fairways, to the untouched sand, to the perfectly conditioned greens, this course was my favorite out of the three I played.
Being so close to the hills, the wind was a factor on some holes, but not all. The wind swirled a bit in places and it felt as if you were almost always hitting in to the wind when it was present. Apparently, wind is a common factor on this course as the hills accentuate whatever breeze may be blowing.
Like to walk when you play? Don’t… you get a cart with your very large greens fee and it is well worth it. A couple long jaunts between holes will wear you out and it’s called the Mountain Course for a reason; it’s not flat, don’t be a hero, take the cart.
This is a tough course that will absolutely test your abilities and is a must play during a Palm Springs visit. The views alone are worth the greens fee, the golf is an added bonus.
Golfchops.com rating: 25/25
Customer Service: 5
Condition of Greens: 5
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 5
- Customer Service was impeccable. A shared clubhouse for both the Mountain and Dunes courses has you greeted at the front door, clubs taken down to your cart, and cleaned upon your return by the cart staff. Very friendly clubhouse staff from the front desk to the bartenders.
- Greens=Perfect, Fairways=perfect, Tee Boxes=Perfect
- A small restaurant and bar in the club house, on course beverage service that hit us every 3-4 holes, nice proshop with a great selection, and a real estate agent on site, just in case you saw a home on the course you have to have.
Value – coming in off the street, you’re going pay $195 a round in the peak season (late December- late April). However, they do offer discount passes for 3 rounds (One must be at the Dunes course) for $379 that can save you a little money, OR you can work a little magic with the La Quinta Resort and negotiate a ‘stay and play’ package for yourself. I talked to a group of 12 that paid 600 bucks each for 3 nights and unlimited golf.