Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Desert Golf Vacation: Can It Get Any Hotter?

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


Stepping off the plane in Palm Springs, CA. at 12 Noon in the middle of August is a true test of a golfer’s character and was a rude introduction of what was in store for any golfer who came to play golf for a week in he desert.  Flying in from Dallas, where the temp was 102, our arrival at the Weston Mission Hills Resort in Rancho Mirage, where it was 105, was like the proverbial ‘Jumping from the Frying Pan into the Fire’.


The first day of every vacation begins with and ends with travel pains.  Yes, security hassles at the airports, crowded airplanes, screaming kids, the lines at the rent cars, lugging luggage and golf clubs in hundred plus temperature can only be compared to what we will have to go through on the last day of the vacation when we do it all over in reverse.


So, as I poured into the lounge chair in our hotel room after getting up at 4AM to start the first day of vacation, I looking over at the clock and it was only 1PM.  My first training for desert golf, I have to get use to the two hour jump back in time. 


So, what does a vacationing golfer, author, speaker and entrepreneurial kind of guy first do?  Check emails!  Hey…its 105 in the desert! What did ya think I was going to do…play golf?


After spending an hour unpacking and setting up shop I cranked up the lap-top to find…..NO INTERNET ACCESS AVAILABLE…what tha…? Calling the front desk I was transferred to someone in Boston who walked me through procedures I am sure someone in NASA would be familiar with since it sounded like rocket science to me.  But even then, I was not able to get to my emails.  HUM…upon investigation I notice a light flashing on the phone and it was a message from the front desk saying that the hotel “is experiencing problems with internet access and hope to get the problem fixed soon”.


So, now what????  Hey, I am on vacation, so it’s POOL TIME!  MAN?  Have you ever jumped into a pool when the sun is beating down on you like a 105 degree sledge hammer?  The relief from the intense heat lasts only as long as you can hold your breath underwater because when you come up for air, if you don’t have your sunglasses and a hat on, the Ol sledge hits you again…  But, hey,  I am a tough Texan who is on vacation and who came to play golf in the desert in August…so I can take it…for about 10 minutes and I am back in the room in that lounge chair blinded from the sun, with a sun burnt head and burnt feet.


Now what!  It’s only 3PM and I am getting hungry and thirsty… Well there is always the old trusty Martini…yes, the cure all and a must for travel weary vacationing golfers.  So, we started our week long quest to find the best Martini in the Palm Springs area.    So, I literally hot footed it over to the concierge to get his opinion on where to start.  I was overwhelmed at the number of possibilities, none of which were in this hotel (Westin Mission Hills, more about their service, or lack of, later).  You would have thought that the Martini was invented in Palm Springs or as the natives want it to be known as ‘The Valley’. I did find out that the claim for the best Martini in the Coachella Valley was at Pacifica Seafood Restaurant in Palm Desert.  And as is everything else in the valley, it was located right off Hwy 111.   So our adventure started there for dinner…


Seafood in the Desert?  Yes, and it is great.  Pacifica was really a treat.  Not only were the Martini’s excellent, but one of the owners is from Texas and has family in Texas….so that was a comforting surprise.  I will not get into the details since I will review all of the restaurants we dined at in another blog, but I will say this…the food was so good and the menu so large we went back for lunch a few days later.  Does that tell you how good dinner was?


Well, after a long day of traveling to Palm Springs, a five star meal and a five star martini that was all this weary cowboy could take for one day.  So it was off to bed so we could get up at 4:30AM PST (that is 2:30AM in REAL TIME) to start our two hour drive to South Orange County to play 36 holes at Coto de Caza Country Club…


OH, it gets a lot better…SO stay tuned for day two….



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  http://innovativebusinessgolf.com  



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