Landmark Golf Club in Indio: One special course
INDIO, Calif. -- Sometimes you have to take a step back, put a smile on your face and enjoy what the world has given you.
In my case, it was golf.
For the first time in my life, I was in awe of a course. Not to say I haven't played a stunning course or two before in my lifetime. But growing up in southern Nevada, the golfing opportunities weren't all too plentiful.
Let's just say my golfing experience at the Landmark Golf Club was something I will always remember.
Landmark will be home to the PGA's "The Skins Game" until Fall 2003 -- and believe me this course will be a test for professional golf's finest.
It's hard to describe the feeling of placing your ball on the tee at the exact same tee box that is going to be used by the game's top competitors (the tournament is Nov. 26-28).
In addition to the obvious history that is going to take place on this course, Landmark has several solid qualities.
Landmark, located in the heart of the Indio Hills, is the combination of a challenging PGA course with plenty of natural beauty - variety of landforms, steep slopes, three, eye-catching lakes, rolling sand dunes and desert vegatation.
Landmark offers 36 risky and challenging holes set in a desert oasis atmosphere, perfectly bordered with acres of natural terrain.
All four sets of nine holes zigzag across the banks of southern California's All-American Canal more over a mile stretch before climbing the earthen berm of the northern boundary.
The views from every spot on the course are second to none - especially at the elevated greens (not to mention the ball travels further with the higher altitude). Golfers get a great view of the Chocolate and Gorgonio Mountains while walking the layout.
Even though I didn't see it, I hear watching the sunrise and sunset from Landmark Golf Club gives an awesome panoramic view of the Coachella Valley.
Now on to the golf.
One of the most challenging holes is No. 15 on the north course. This par-3, 183-yard hole was without a doubt a struggle for me. To reach the green, your first shot has to clear the lake - which probably stretches 80-yards in length.
Let's just say I lost a ball - no, make that two balls - in the body of water that seemed longer than the Nile River from the tee box.
Overall, an easy strategy for this course was patience. If you are an average golfer like me, playing this course is far different from getting up and down on your home course.
Landmark will test your skill, but it will always test your mind. There are several shots where it would be easy to get your favorite club out and see how far you could smack the ball.
That won't work here.
This course calls for precise calculation and knowledge of your clubs - and yes, it can get frustrating.
In the long run, though, it's impossible to not enjoy yourself at this true beauty of a course.