Getting on the green

Blogging about some of the world's best golf holes.


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Hole # 6, Desert Willow Golf Resort, Palm Desert, CA

Hole # 6, Mountain View Course, par 5, 455 yards

If there’s water on the course then my ball will find it. It’s not a mind game with me and water doesn’t really play on my psyche neither. It’s just my golf ball and its obsession with water.

When you drive up the path on hole # 6 on the Mountain View course at Desert Willow, you see water off the tee box. It’s not really in play but it’s a good reminder that water is in play further up the fairway. Gord was first up. He stood on the tee box nervously and waggle his driver like Jason Dufner does. After a few minutes, Gord went into motion and hit a nice drive to the middle of the fairway. Jim was next up. As a leftie, Jim likes to cut the ball so he would start it right and have it draw into the center. With two balls in the fairway, I was up next. I was hitting it pretty good so I was confident that I could join my playing partners and hit it near the center. My ball sailed straight but stayed left. 

On the second shot, we all hit our hybrids except for Jim. In his younger days, Jim would hit a long iron but now at 75, he had to hit his 3-wood to get up to our 4-hybrid distance.  I decided to fade one over the water hazard and onto the landing area just before the green. There’s water that dissects the fairway and it requires a wedge to get it close to the pin. By the time I got up there, I couldn’t find my second shot. I think it must have rolled in. Jim also couldn’t find his ball but he thought he must have went to right and lost it to the water hazard on the right side of the fairway. Gord’s ball ended up in the palm tree oasis to the right of the pond.

From 100 yards out, I played a stroke penalty and hit my ball to the green. Jim followed with a 80 yard pitch shot to the green. Gord decided to sit it out and watch us putt. We were in for a count of 7.


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Hole # 3, Desert Willow, Palm Desert, CA

Hole # 3, FireCliff course, par 3, 139 yards

Desert Willow was one of the recommended courses and a Golf Digest must-play course. After playing the FireCliff course for the first time, I can see why it’s a preferred course. First of, there’s very little to no buildings in play. Courses like Rancho Las Palmas, Mission Hills and Desert Springs may be a problem to golfers who often slice or hook off the tee. At Desert Willow, the worst thing that can happen is that you lose lots of balls rather than putting a ball through someone’s living room window.

The range is complimentary if you want to start the round off with a warm up bucket. If you choose to visit the range, the starter will give you a pager that will vibrate and sing when your tee time is up. Nice touch.

When I drove up to hole # 3, I was thinking of a hole in one. Playing from the white tees, it was a perfect 9-iron. It is a beautiful hole with lots of desert between you and the green. I managed to hit the green but it left me with a rather long putt for birdie. The greens are extremely difficult to read and they were fast too. I ended up with a bogey because I could not read the breaks.