Indian Canyon, Palm Springs

In Golf by Mike Dunn

Let’s go for a journey to one of my favorite spots in California shall we? It is none other than Palm Springs. Palm Springs has been a favorite getaway for many southern California locals because of the resort living, hot weather, tennis facilities and most importantly golf! I must say I have been escaping on golf getaways for many years now and I definitely have a few favorites. One of them is situated minutes from downtown Palm Springs and is called Indian Canyon Golf Resort. There are a few things that really stand out at this course for me, the history and the look and feel of the course.

The first thing that comes to mind when I describe Indian Canyon to someone is the beautiful contrast of the red rock desert background blended perfectly with the green grass and blue skies. When you think of golf as an escape it truly should be just that. With the course nestled in against the red rock canyons you would never know that you are literally minutes away from the downtown hustle and bustle of city life. Another great thing about Indian Canyons is the long historical component it holds. Indian Canyons originally opened in 1961 as Canyon Country Club and at the time was no more than a massive expansion of sand. In the early 60’s Palm Springs was known as a winter getaway and summers were desolate. The drive to LA took over 3 hours and there were very few flights available. Soon thereafter the golf course was developed; many celebrities flocked to experience the club such as Bob Hope, Jack Benny and Walt Disney to name a few. Walt Disney purchased properties along the second hole of the North course and later donated a copper fountain which is still there today between the 9th and 18th holes.

A few years later the club’s membership began to blossom even more with A listers like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Johnny Carson, Jackie Gleason and Milton Berle. For the highest of high profile guests such as Lyndon B Johnson, and Gerald Ford there was a special red phone that was directly connected to the White House in case a problem arose during their golf game. Indian Canyons has had great history with popular golf tournaments as well; the ever famous Frank Sinatra Invitational drew a vast array of celebrities back in the day and kept the club in the top list of courses to play. It’s pretty inspiring to play the course; even today with all its history and if you listen real intently you may be able to hear a note or two from the world famous “rat pack” against the red rock canyons! Indian Canyons will always be a favorite of mine, the image of bougainvillea draping over fences of the surrounding homes and manicured grass will always have me returning for another crack at this historical beauty!