Indio's Golf Course Quite a Bargain: Beautiful Sunsets Included
When most people think of playing a round of golf, a par 3 course isn't at the top of their dance chart. But out here in Southern California's Coachella Valley, the City of Indio owns and operates a beautiful track of 18 consecutive par 3 holes.
At 3,004 yards, the Indio Golf Course is the longest par 3 course in the country, but what I think is the best feature are the rates. You can play 18 holes for $15 or 9 holes for $10 ($12 and $8 in the off-season), which is a refreshing change from the average rate per round of about $80 to $100 at the regulation length courses here in this world renowned golf mecca.
For those who have visited this area before, you know about the drastic change of temperature from summer to winter. During the summer months, it can range from 100 to 120 degrees in the shade, which makes it pretty tough to enjoy a round of golf at one of the Valley's numerous courses.
What also makes Indio Golf Course attractive is the fact you can play here after the blazing hot sun goes down, thanks to a strategically placed lighting system. It can be such a pleasure to get out and play at night after being cooped up inside most of the time during the hot summer months.
Now during what we like to call "The Season," the Coachella Valley is probably one of the most popular destinations for anyone looking for beautiful weather (average temperatures range in the mid 70's in the winter months, with very low humidity and rainfall) and plenty of activities.
Just ask any of the hundreds of seasonal visitors who keep coming back year after year. They can tell you about the spectacular scenery as blooming desert flowers merge with rugged mountain backdrops leading up to clear blue skies.
For me, I like to plan my golf at Indio G.C. so I can be treated to one of the magnificent sunsets that this desert is famous for. Looking southwest towards the darkening silhouette of Mt. San Jacinto (where the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway can take you from Palms to Pines in minutes), with the setting sun reflecting off a few lingering clouds casting shades from a yellowish orange, to red, to finally a purplish hue over the golf course and all the surrounding desert landscape, one can really get inspired to play some quality golf.
Enough of the beauty of this oasis in Southern California, let me tell you about the course. Opened by the City of Indio in 1964, it has gone through some changes in ownership in the past, but the City got it back in 1997 and has really done a great job in getting it into top condition and maintaining it that way.
Excluding a few weeks in October when the annual task of overseeding (growing winter Rye grass over the summer Bermuda) is performed, the course is always in great shape.
Being the longest par 3 course in the country, average length per hole is 167 yards. The longest is No. 4 at 241 yards, shortest is the finishing hole at 116 yards. Although you won't find any sandtraps here, the large undulating greens and length can make for a formidable challenge.
There is a lake that comes into play on holes 8,9,17, and 18. The local putting rule here is everything breaks towards Indio, but I'm still trying to figure out which way it breaks when I'm in Indio!
You can rent a pull-cart (which I prefer since the course is relatively flat), take an electric cart for a ride, rent clubs, or get lessons from a PGA pro on their full size driving range and short game practice area (which is also night-lighted). The original clubhouse and snack bar will accommodate most golfer's needs.
The course hours are 7:00-10:00 Monday thru Friday and 7:00-6:00 Saturday-Sunday. I've heard rumors of another 9 holes being added here soon, to be designed by noted architect Ted Robinson, who is quite popular here in Southern California. We'll just have to wait and see about that!
Soon the world will know a little more about the City of Indio with the annual "Skins Game" being contended on the newly opened Landmark Golf Club over the next few Thanksgiving weekends. Just a driver and an 8 iron away from Indio G.C, the Landmark Co. has developed another gem to add to their legacy of golf course resorts and communities (PGA West, La Quinta Resort, etc.) and this one is open to the public. I know I can't wait to experience it, I'll let you know all about it after I tour it.
So if you're planning a trip soon to this area, give Indio G.C. a try and see if you can catch one of those incredible sunsets. You won't be disappointed with either the quality inexpensive golf or the scenery!
Indio Golf Course
83-040 Avenue 42
Indio, CA 92201