Arnold Palmer designed Classic Club with plenty of water hazards as is one of his signatures. It is located on a frontage road east of 1-10 in Palm Desert and abuts hundreds of acres of open space dedicated to an endangered species so there are great vistas looking east.
When played it Thanksgiving week there with no limitations on driving carts on the fairways. (The Indian Wells celebrity course was cart-path only two days earlier). As with Indian Wells and SilverRock, you are met at the clubhouse to drop your car with the option of free valet parking. That excellent level of service was found in every area of the course.
The Palmer design features immense, fast greens and plenty of water. The landing areas, for the most part, are ample or better—just ignore the water that flows down one side of many fairways.
The par 3 No. 12 requires a forced carry over a large lake to a near island green with a stream and a waterfall to the right. It is a striking hole that plays just 162 from the tips to a green that is 35 yards deep.
Among the more interesting holes was the 568-yard par 5 that features a waste area 15 feet under the level of the fairway all the way down the left side. Seven fairway bunkers flank the fairway and the hole plays uphill all the way.
One nice Troon feature was small towels that had been dipped in water laid over the vertical; bar supporting the cart roof. It made cleaning clubs a snap (the other half was dry). The carts were GPS equipped and golfers were also provided with a yardage guide.
Classic Club plays 7,322 from the tips with a slope of 144 or 6,229 and a slope of 129 from the whites.
It opened in 2006 and was one of the host courses for the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic from 2007-2009. It has been recognized as one of the top 5 new courses in 2006.
For information, please see www.classicclub.com.