Indian Wells Golf Resort - Players Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.2

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Indian Wells, CA

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Indian Wells Golf Resort - Players Course Review

Indian Wells Golf Resort is home to  the LG Skins Game in 2007 and 2008, a Callaway Performance Center, a very impressive and upscale 53,000 square foot clubhouse (the IW Club), and two equally impressive 18 hole championship golf courses - the Players and Celebrity Courses. 

Each course has it's own unique personality and characteristics and both are a real pleasure to play. 

  • Celebrity Course - at 300 yards shorter from the two back tee boxes and a little longer from the forward tees than the Players Course, Celebrity is considered a tad easier, more scenic, and much tighter than the Players Course - Celebrity requires target or placement golf to score well
  • Players Course - this 18 is a more traditional and straightforward tournament and desert golf style course with some demanding holes with challenging green complexes and extensive bunkering

Common to both courses are upscale amenities, excellent conditions, and first class service from the bag boys to the pro shop to the starters, marshals, and cart ladies. 

The Players Course starts you off by giving you a sample of what to expect during your round on this fantastic layout designed by John Fought – a 558 yard par 5 that will temp you to pull out the big dog and let it rip to what looks like a wide landing zone on a severely sloping and contoured fairway that will send your drive into a couple bunkers or the natural area lining the fairway and hopefully protecting stray balls from heading down a deep gully then you have a narrow fairway leading to a guarding and sloping green.  And that was the #11 handicap hole!

On the rest of the holes you’ll need to manage ample but roller coaster contoured fairways, well manicured and landscaped natural areas, lots of barrancas (deep gorges or ravines) that can devour your golf balls, water hazards, plenty of treacherous bunkers, forced carries, tight approaches, dog legs, and challenging green complexes.  All of that can cause you trouble on the Players Course but you’ll find that if you play smart and study the GPS this great layout will treat you fairly and you’ll have a very enjoyable round.  Beware that the landing zones off the tee box are generous (after which it gets a little tighter) and you’ll be tempted to let-er-rip but if you miss, par is going to be tough.  And make sure that you choose the right set of tee boxes – the tips at 7376 yards and several challenging forced carries will test the best player, while the other four sets of tee boxes play more like a typical resort round of golf – challenging but fair and forgiving. 

The Players Course is home to some fun, scenic, unique, and memorable holes, for example:

  • #5 a 469 yard par 4 that dog legs right around a barranca that looks like an oasis with boulders, colorful fauna, natural sand, trees, and swaying palms plus the majestic mountains as a backdrop to the green
  • #9 is a monstrous 626 yard par 5 with a carry across the natural area from the tee box, a narrow fairway leading to a green offset to the left and sparkling crystal clear pond covering the left side of the fairway from 200 yards out
  • All four par 3s are spectacular with a combination of long and demanding (230 yards) shots to a short (146) but demanding big downhill shot that needs to carry the lake and miss the two large bunkers around the small green
  • #18 will make you want to play this nine again – a large landing zone which then requires an approach along a narrow fairway or a carry over a large barranca to a green with three huge bunkers waiting for the long ball

Part of what makes playing the Players Course is the stunning beauty of this beast – three jaw dropping majestic mountain ranges (San Jacinto, Santa Rosa, and San Bernardino) as backdrops, swaying stately palm trees, several varieties of colorful plants, oasis and threatening barrancas, white sand bunkers, sparkling crystal clear lakes, and lush green fairways. 

Speaking of fairways, they were near perfect, generous off the tee box, and then tight to the green.  Most has some slope and contour, others were flat to roller coaster.   No homes or barking dogs to distract you here – all the fairways are lined with trees, colorful fauna, barrancas, palms, natural areas, or water features.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,376 75.3 139
Blue 6,316 70.6 126
White 5,636 67.7 117
Gold 6,913 73.3 134
Red 5,108 71.3 122

Course Information

Course Architect:
John Fought
Greens Type:
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
check with pro shop
Beware of water on 4 holes and the 64 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$40.00 to $165.00

Everything is first class at Indian Wells Golf resort from the bag boys to the upscale clubhouse. The pro shop is well stocked and one of the best, the practice facilities are great, and the food 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.