Borrego Springs Resort - Desert Willow Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.3

Golf - Public Course · 9 Holes · Par 72
Borrego Springs, CA

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Borrego Springs Resort - Desert Willow Course Review

We understand that Borrego Springs Golf Courses have bee permanently closed - what a shame!

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. 

We thought that Desert Willow was the most scenic of the nines with tall palms, trees, desert fauna, and good views of the mountains.  It is also the most interesting nine with some fun and somewhat challenging holes.  For example:

  •  #2 is a demanding 518 yard par 5 (with six good sized fairway bunkers) that doglegs left to the green - the tee shot must be accurate to hit the narrow fairway and avoid the bunkers and for long hitters you might try to fly the trees to shorten the hole for a birdie or better
  • #6 is a short par 3 (142 yards) but you will need to carry a pond and stuff it on a gently sloping green guarded by four bunkers - don't let the majestic mountains in the background distract you
  • #9 will make you want to play this nine again - a short 330 yard dogleg right around a pond to a well guarded green with water, four bunkers, and mounding plus several observers having lunch on the restaurant patio overlooking the green

The fairways were in very good condition and after that it varied from natural area to a rough of patchy grass, sand, and dirt.  Most of the fairways are flat and you can typically see what you're up against from the tee box. Miss the fairways and roughs and you're likely lost in the desert. 

The greens seemed to be a little smaller on this nine and most have gentle slope and easy to read breaks.  They held the ball well, were a tad slow (around 8 to 9), and ran true. All of the greens are well guarded. 

The bunkers were in fair condition and there are 40 of them scattered along the fairways and around the greens.  Most are relatively flat faced and easy to get out of. 

Nice nine and one that you should choose when you pick the 18 holes to play

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 3,050 69.6 118
White 2,833 67.4 114
Gold 3,332 72.1 123
Red 2,466 68.2 113

Course Information

Course Architect:
Cary Bickler
Greens Type:
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Very easy walk
Beware of water on 3 holes and the 40 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.3 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:


Approximate Weekend
$25.00 to $55.00

Service is ok - there was no cart service when we played. The pro shop has the basics and the practice facilities are adequate. The restaurant is very good.



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.