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Borrego Springs Resort - The Palms Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 7.9

Golf - Public Course · 9 Holes · Par 36
Borrego Springs, CA
Website
Date Last Played: February 21, 2011

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Borrego Springs Resort - The Palms Course Review

Borrego Springs Resort is home to twenty seven holes and each of the three nines has it's own unique personality and characteristics:

  • Desert Willow is the most lady and couples friendly nine because it is the easiest and prettiest of the 27 holes
  • Mesquite is a par 35 and  the middle of the road nine with some fun and challenging holes
  • The Palms is the most demanding of the three because it's longer and requires some shot making to avoid the huge treacherous bunkers

Common to all three courses are good conditions, a good restaurant and bar, snack bar, pro shop, and practice area.  Borrego Springs Resort has lodging and some good stay and play packages. 

The Palms nine is characterized by over 55 treacherous bunkers of all shapes and sizes and some holes will seem like a minefield of bunkers that you'll need to carefully navigate your way through.  You'll encounter them strategically placed along the fairways and plenty of them guarding the bunkers.  The bunkers pinch several fairways demanding accuracy off the tee box as well as on most of the approach shots.  Take number nine for example, a 459 yard dog leg right that will temp you to try to fly the large bunkers on the right side only to find four more a little farther up the right side - oh, and there are three more big monsters on the left side waiting for your tee shot and then two additional bunkers protecting the green. 

The Palms has a open links style look and feel to it and as such you'll have an unobstructed view of the majestic mountain ranges.  No homes with barking dogs or hecklers line this nines which makes for a peaceful and quiet round. 

The Palms offers a pretty good mixture of fun and challenging holes.  #3 is a challenging and scenic 181 yard par 3  water hole with the mountains reflecting off the smooth surface until my ball entered and created the ripples.  On the two par 5's you can pull out the big dog and let it rip but make sure you miss the bunkers strategically placed in the landing zone.

The fairways are a little tight and the rough is wide but was a mixture of spotty grass, some weeds, and dirt - after that you're in the natural area which if you can find your ball is playable.  The fairways are a mixture of flat and straight to some gentle dogs and some contour and mounding.  The fairways were in above average condition and firm which gives the ball some extra roll.

The bent grass greens are ample size, pretty well guarded, and had both slope and some undulation.  The fringe as well as the greens were in outstanding condition.  The speed was good, they ran true, and held the ball well. 

Practice your sand shots before you head out to play the Palms.  The sand is thick and heavy but the good news is most of the lips are manageable.  I know, I took home plenty of sand and I'm still finding it in my pockets, hair, and car. 

The Palms is the most demanding of the nines but we enjoyed our round here and turned in a pretty good score.  The good news is that the pro shop will let you pick which of the nines you want to play.  But challenge yourself and give this nine a try. 

The slope and rating are based on playing The Palms and Desert Willow.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 3,571 72.1 123
Blue 3,288 69.6 118
White 3,081 67.4 114
Red 2,588 68.2 113

Course Information

Course Architect:
Cary Bickler
Greens Type:
Bent Grass
Greens Condition
9.0
Greens Difficulty
7.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Yes
Beware of water on 1 holes and the 56 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
7.9 out of 10
Beauty:
8.0
Difficulty:
7.5
Variety:
7.5
Fun to Play:
8.5
Value:
8.5
Condition:
7.5
Front Nine Rating:
8.0
Back Nine Rating:
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$25.00 to $55.00

Service is ok but there was no cart service when we played. The restaurant has some really good food. The pro shop has the basics and the practice facilities are ok.

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Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.