Escena Golf Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.0

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Palm Springs, CA

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Escena Golf Club Review

Escena Golf Club is relatively new on the scene for golf in the Palm Springs area and is quickly turning into an outstanding course. The wide fairways are framed by lots of bunkers, clusters of towering Mexican fan palms, pepper trees, small native trees, and lots of natural waste bunkers. Lakes and streams, lush greens and fairways, and the majestic mountains in the background contribute to making this an enjoyable course to spend a morning on. A magnificent new clubhouse opened in 2008 and Escena Golf Club has won a number of accolades including: #15 in Golf Digest's Top Twenty and Golf Week's naming it one of the Top 20 in California.

Nicklaus designed an eye pleasing beauty and a track that will challenge all parts of your game from the tee box to trying to sink it in the cup.  In most cases you can see what you're up against and the fairways are generous off the tee box but you'll need to manage the strategically placed bunkers, water hazards, and undulating greens.  Make sure you pick the right set of tee boxes if you want to walk into the clubhouse with a good score.

This beautiful course meanders through a master-planned community that is built in classic Spanish design and will require a good short game thanks to some challenging green complexes that are tight and have an assortment of collection areas, good sized bunkers, and swales.  And the spectacular mountain backdrops behind the sloping greens can be a tad distractive.  

Conditions of the fairways, bunkers, and greens are very good and there is good mix of short and long par fours, manageable par 5s, and some very challenging par 3s. Most of the holes are bordered by desert waste areas that are very well manicured and if you find them, you'll still have an opportunity to get back to the fairway and possibly save par.  

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,615 71.1 124
White 6,120 69.8 120
Gold 7,173 74.2 130
Red 5,541 76.7 135

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jack Nicklaus
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Yes - check with the pro shop
Beware of water on 5 holes and the 97 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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

Service is good, the pro shop is well stocked, practice facilities are adequate, and the clubhouse and grill are great.


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.