PGA West - Stadium Course

USA, California, Coachella Valley, Palm Springs
5.3 (6)
Designer: Pete Dye
Course Opened: 1986

The Stadium Course at PGA West is a badly dated and horrendously over-shaped resort layout full of penal hazards, artificial mounding, obscured greens hidden beyond massive bumps/humps and water in play on 9 holes. Much of the shaping and hazard location makes no sense from a strategic standpoint and seems merely intended to increase the intimidation factor on approach and tee shots. Around the greens are large shapes and depressions, sometimes filled with sand and other times grassed over.

The placement of the sand hazards and the larger shapes are dramatic but seem a little random. The greens are on the smallish side in terms of actual target areas, the putting surfaces quick and full of steep slopes and probably the best feature of the course. The most famous part of the course is the all-carry par three 17th, with its Sawgrass-style island green. The other par threes include two longer  holes carrying across water and one across sand.

Unfortunately the Stadium Course at PGA West is overdone and dated. So much earth was pushed around to create the fairway shapes and greens, the dirt extracted from what became large ponds that now dominate the landscape. The course itself is impossibly tough for mid-markers, but just a track for better players.


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