You will be hearing a lot more hooting and hollering coming from the direction of Indian Wells Golf Resort starting 30 minutes after sunset on October 15. That’s when the popular “Shots in the Night” program returns, providing yet another reason to visit this destination in the heart of the Coachella Valley.
Open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings until Memorial Day, the nighttime golf experience was the first of its kind in the country when it was introduced in 2018. After the sun goes down, colored lasers project an array of different games on seven greens on the putting course next to the driving range. Groups can book an individual green during the first hour ($45 per hour for up to six people); after that it is first-come, first-served.
There’s also fun to be had on the nearby driving range during the same timeframe, where participants can use one of 12 hitting stations ($45 per hour for up to six people; reservations for the first hour only) and then try to strike a variety of large objects rigged with lights that blink when struck with the glow-in-the-dark golf balls. A food truck is also present to serve up tasty eats (direct from the VUE Grille & Bar in the clubhouse) and drinks.
“It’s all about laughing and having fun while playing the games and trying to hit the targets,” said Michael Tebbets director sales and marketing, Indian Wells Golf Resort. “Plus, it has created an entertainment area for the four resort hotels that surround us to offer another amenity on property, rather than having customers leaving to find something fun to do at night.”
There’s also plenty to do during the daytime. The Celebrity Course designed by Clive Clark serves up plenty of mesmerizing scenery and a fair bit of challenge. A true resort-style layout, the 7,050-yard course is full of colorful flowerbeds and multiple waterfalls. The scenery can affect your focus, especially on holes 10, 14, and 16, all backdropped by nearby mountains.
The adjacent John Fought-designed Players Course is a year younger than its sibling and aptly named: it’s a tougher layout with bigger and deeper bunkers, plus difficult up and downs around the larger greens. Last month the Players Course hosted two professional events: the first and third rounds of the Southern California Open and two rounds of the Southern California PGA Section Championship.
Overseeding — the annual process of shifting from a more heat-tolerant grass for the summer to winter-season grass — will be completed on the Players Course by October 15, with the Celebrity Course open for play through that date. The Celebrity Course then undergoes the same process, with a reopening set for November 6. Outstanding playing conditions were just one of the reasons why the resort was named “California Golf Course of the Year” in 2019 by the California Golf Course Owners Association for its excellence in course quality, water stewardship, ownership and management, newly enhanced amenities, and impact on the community.
Inside the 53,000-square-foot clubhouse, a two-month $1 million renovation in the summer of 2019 resulted in the VUE Grille & Bar being named a Golden Fork award winner (“Most Improved – Public Golf Course”) by Golf Inc. magazine. Limited indoor and outdoor dining is currently available and reservations are required.
Even the golf shop at Indian Wells Golf Resort continues to earn rave reviews. Named a 2020 Platinum Award winner by the Association of Golf Merchandisers (AGM), it was the third time in the last four years that it has received that honor. Fall hours for the shop are 6 am to 1 pm, Monday through Thursday; and 6 am to 2:30 pm Friday through Sunday.
Last but not least, the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort and Spa (one of the four resorts adjacent to Indian Wells Golf Resort) has completed a $21 million renovation, highlighted by the debut of the HyTides Plunge Waterpark and Desert Twist Lazy River. There you will find a pair of three-story-tall water slides (the tallest in the Coachella Valley), a re-imagined Roadrunner Café and 16 private cabanas available for rent.