Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Desert Golf Vacation: Ah, Southern California in the Summer!

 (Following is the second of a six part report on golfing in the Palm Springs area in the summer.)


First of all, if you cannot drive 90MPH for at least a solid one hour don’t even think about making the trip from Palm Springs to South Orange County.  NASCAR has nothing on the speeds those people drive out there.

Yes, Our 5:30AM drive over to Coto de Caza Country Club began with burning about a quarter of a tank of gas just getting on West bound Interstate 10.  I was glad we rented a Grand Prix or we might still be trying to merge into the 80 mph plus traffic.    And since they were just a blur as we passed them, but the price of gas out there is over $3.50 a gallon…do the math on the gas for a Hummer doing 90MPH for an hour…because that was what most of the people out there were driving.

Where are all of these people going?  Well, I can say most of them are heading to LA because when we made the turn South to Irvine the NASCAR changed to Grand Prix Racing action along a winding two lane Hwy 61 through the mountains of Riverside.  Who needs a Starbucks when you have these kinds of white knuckle driving for almost a solid hour? 

But all came to an end quickly when half the population of Orange County converged on the construction on Hwy 215.  The lines art the airport was a cake walk compared to the five lane parking lot.  And nobody was using the HOV lane…except for the occasional motorcycle going by on its back wheel… Just in case you have forgotten I was in California!   

Were we running late for our 7:30AM tee time?…OH, yes we were and what took place next I’ll leave for my personal blog, but I will tell you this… the next thing that happened involved me meeting some of LA’s finest up close and personal.

After a quick call to Coto de Caza’s pro-shop we rescheduled our 7:30AM tee time and after paying about six dollars in tolls to get there we finally got to the first tee of the South Course.

OK, let me calm down…hahummmmmmmmm…   AAHHH, What a wonderful view and course.  My first trip to Coto was two years ago and it looked just as good now as it did then.  Flowers everywhere with the golf course trailing along the valley with large plush homes all along the valley rim.

The course was set up for an American Junior Golf Association tournament that was held the week before and the rough was at US Open length.   Counting the first tee ‘Breakfast Mulligan’ I gave myself, I lost 12 balls on the first 18 holes.  Now I understand why the pros like for the gallery to stand along the fairways so there is someone who saw where there ball went. 

The greens rolled well but the break I saw in the putt was never there so the putting killed me.  There were some triple extra large par fours on this puppy and the par fives were so long they had the greens located in a different zip code.

We played the first 18 in record time…three hours and 45 minutes.  And I can safely say that the club record was never in fear of begin broken with my score.  

We had time enough to have lunch before our guests arrived to join us on the second round on the North Course.  What a lovely Spacious clubhouse and very elegant with waterfalls in the entryway.   And we had a great lunch on the patio overlooking the golf course.

The second round included Scott & Nichole Walker, from  Even with Scott’s knowledge of the course I could not keep from getting in trouble in the six inch rough.  But by now my swing was getting in the grove and I was hitting more fairways…that is until we made the turn and then my body realized how early 4:30AM PST really is.  Now, my golf swing started resembling the punches thrown in the 15th round of a heavyweight fight.  Not a pretty site.

Now, my personal goal for the day was to make it to dinner where the gloves came off and my quest for the ultimate martini continued, which after all I had gone through that day, I needed the martini, or two. 

Coto de Caza did not let me down on the food.  The martini…well, let me say I am still looking for the ultimate martini in Southern California.    Our day ended with the trip back to Rancho Mirage which seemed like it was much longer to get back than when we came and we arrived back in the room at 11:38PM PST (that is 1:38AM in Texas meaning I was up almost an entire 24 hours if I was in Texas).  As you can imagine, I did sleep well that night. 

And I needed it, because we were scheduled to play the Pete Dye Course at the Mission Hills Country Club the next morning at 8AM sharp…with a forecast of a mire 105 degrees. 

Now, we are getting to the Desert Golf…so stay tuned for day three of the Desert Golf Vacation…


Scot Duke,  President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions, provides over 31 years of corporate management experience to helping businesses improve their marketing strategies. As author of: How To Play Business Golf, Mr. Duke outlines the steps to sucessfully using golf as a business tool.  To learn more about Mr. Duke, IBGS or to purchase How To Play Business Golf visit  


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