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PGA WEST’S new ownership is busy restoring ‘The Western Home of Golf in America’

Photo by Evan Schiller

Martin Kaufmann November 8, 2021 10:55 am ET 

From the moment we first glimpsed PGA WEST at the “Skins Game” 35 years ago, we all knew that we had witnessed something transformative. Viewers couldn’t help but marvel at how land so rugged and unforgiving could be transformed into something so beautiful and seductive, ultimately luring an untold number of golfers from around the world to California’s Coachella Valley over the past 35 years.

PGA WEST quickly earned a moniker – “The Western Home of Golf in America” – that reflected the fact that all of the major professional tours and the NCAA regularly visited, allowing the game’s best players to test themselves against some of the stiffest designs of Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Weiskopf, and Greg Norman. It also became a bucket-list destination for avid golfers and an attractive landing spot for couples looking to enjoy the good life in the desert.

Last year Century Golf Partners, an established operator of high-end clubs and resorts, teamed with Hankuk Industry, which owns courses in the U.S. and Japan, to acquire PGA WEST and The Citrus Club, including the Mountain and Dunes golf courses. That set off a whirlwind of activity, with the new ownership pouring resources into course improvements on all nine PGA WEST courses. The goal of this long-term project is three-fold: provide tournament conditions daily; bring more big tournaments to the property; re-establish PGA WEST as a must-visit destination with courses that are fixtures on top-100 lists.

“We want to secure our position in the top five of U.S. club resorts in the U.S.,” said Ben Dobbs, PGA WEST’s Executive Director. “We have the architects, the properties and the location to achieve this. Having iconic golf courses and great architects were just the beginning. Now we must be innovative, relevant and provide exceptional experiences.”

That attitude is reflected in the recently completed work on the Greg Norman Course, which opened in 1999. Greens were restored to their original sizes, and the TifDwarf Bermuda grass was replaced with TifEagle, which eventually will be installed at each course, creating optimal year-round conditions. In addition, more than 100 bunkers were rebuilt, the expansive native areas were restored, and turf was added to enhance playability on the brutal target-golf layout.

PGA WEST has also made a major commitment to deep-tine aerification equipment, ensuring healthier turf conditions. Each course is being aerified twice annually.

“Ultimately, we’ll have firmer greens and the ability to mow them lower,” said Chris May, Director of Agronomy, who will guide the eventual restoration of all nine courses. “We want tournament conditions on all of these courses before and after overseeding. The benefit of doing all of this work is they get in really good shape in the summer as well.”

The work on the Norman Course follows the restoration last year to the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course – which pairs with PGA WEST Pete Dye Stadium when the PGA TOUR visits each January to play The American Express – and work this year on the Arnold Palmer Private Course.

The latter, with its finishing holes sculpted along the rugged Santa Rosa Mountains, produced some of the most memorable moments of the PGA Tour’s West Coast Swing, including David Duval’s closing eagle in 1999 to shoot 59 and win the tournament. The course has never been in better shape. May’s team installed TifEagle putting surfaces over new greens irrigation, restored all greenside bunkers to original specifications, and replaced all of the bunker sand.

Brandon Johnson, the long-time senior architect for Arnold Palmer Design, returned to La Quinta to revitalize the picturesque finishing holes along the All-American Canal. Johnson put in new bunkering on Nos. 14 and 16 to create more differentiation between those approaches and added a knob on the back of the par-5 14th that presents a new risk-reward scenario for players trying to reach in two. “It definitely has a par-5 green now,” May said.

Johnson restored the other greens to their original contours, recapturing Palmer’s original vision.

“He tied together the whole course with one type of look,” May said.

PGA WEST’s executive team will face interesting choices on the Pete Dye Stadium Course, unquestionably one of Dye’s masterpieces. May guarantees “a restoration, not a renovation,” including recapturing the original green shapes and sizes.

“Every idea that Pete had is on this golf course,” May said. “It’s remarkably untouched – partly because it’s always been so busy that they weren’t able to do the work. We want to bring it back to what it once was.”

While May’s team is busy on the course upgrades, Dobbs also is overseeing enhancements to the five clubhouses and amenities. Those amenities include a recently opened $10 million Sports Club.

“Our owners have committed to owning us for generations, so that helps our team make long-term decisions,” Dobbs said. “I’m super-excited to be able to share everything that we are doing with golfers from around the world.”

Gregg Masuak


★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The word "Home" conjures up different things to different people, but for me, it became, over time, super-charged with a sense of longing but resignment, having been a multiple homeowner at one stage and walking away from it all to experience what inevitably became a determinedly nomadic existence.

"Home" eventually became a distant thing that belonged to other people, something other folk enjoyed, an experience I once had but was maybe never going to happen again, like a trip to that diving island in Fiji I'd never go to again, even though I loved it, or that place in London I should have kept, but didn't, and at times searching for where "Home" might be. I would throw darts against a map pinned on the wall, wondering if they'd stick onto someplace I never thought about and like magic "Home" would happen again. But it didn't.

My besties who have a place in Palm Desert (a place I felt calm and very creative in) wanted me to stick the dart there and, never really wholly engaging in the idea, eventually I agreed to meet their friend Betsy Justice and, after much discussion, we went on a journey together. A road trip really. I rode shotgun with her as she took me on adventures of the idea of "Home" and what it might look like in the many ways that others see as "Home" and many times I just knew there wasn't enough gas in the world to get me there and just let her drive that car alongside a stubborn critter that just didn't believe you could actually get anywhere anymore.

And then at times I realized it was she who was sitting shotgun beside me and taking in the mysterious WTF of what even I didn't know what it was I was looking for. And eventually it shapeshifted into understanding.

And here's the thing:

The world is populated with people who call themselves "Real Estate Agents" and that's just fine. It's also populated, though in a lesser degree, with people who ride shotgun with your dreams, even though you don't even think your dream lives out there in the world anymore, and that simple strong powerful energy of someone just wanting you to find the thing you want, or don't even know you want, but riding shotgun with you in an adventure to find the place - The Place - that make your heart sing, that makes you feel safe, that makes you feel the world is actually alright - is rare and extremely special.

I'm a Home Owner now. Not a Property Owner. Not a House Owner. I got "Home". I have keys in my hand. They're mine.

Thank you Betsy Justice, for riding shotgun with me or me riding with you, who gives a crap.

We got me there. We got me Home.

Bob & Ginny L


★ ★ ★ ★ ★
We really feel an obligation to give Kayla Cunard with Sheri Dettman & Associates a lot of praise. We need to thank Sheri Dettman for the introduction to Kayla via telecon and then we had the opportunity to meet in person on a quick visit to the Coachella Valley to view homes personally. Kayla was described as one of the agencies’ best buyers’ representatives and she did not fail. We are confident that she represents sellers as well.
Kayla was well organized and presented herself with experience and knowledge of the communities and neighborhoods we had prepared in advance of homes to view. We found Kayla to be an ideal listener in understanding and identifying what we were seeking so she could facilitate and assist us in timesaving research.
During our home search we hit a few dead ends, but that didn’t dissuade our pursuit with Kayla. From our home in the Seattle area, Kayla provided visits, video, and critique of homes we were interested in from internet research. She went the extra mile both figuratively and literally to provide the information and feel of being in each home visited.
After our purchase, Kayla is still available to our every request. She is a great communicator and very responsive in addressing a variety of requests. We highly recommend Kayla for your real estate needs be it buying or selling. We are highly confident that you will not be disappointed. 5 Star Attention and Service!

Dining Around The Desert: DSRT CLUB, La Quinta

Another creation brought to you by the owners of RD RNNR. In developing a sister restaurant to RD RNNR, they set out to create a social club atmosphere that draws inspiration from the lore of Desert nostalgia. In their journey through the development of the name and design, they came across a true desert classic in The Desert Club. This vintage establishment was built in the late 1930’s and closed in the late 1980’s. With the 1940s and 1950s marking the major success of The Desert Club, they envisioned a restaurant that brought back the swanky essence of those years here in the Desert.

With the intent to restore some vintage dining to the “cove”, they hope to establish a feeling of an upscale classic that is reminiscent of “nostalgic” Desert vibes. They are focused on offering a great feel in ambiance, amazing food and exceptional service, all wrapped in a tight bow.

The original Desert Club was affiliated with the Peter Pan Woodland Club in Big Bear. In the 1930s the Desert Club was initially offered only to members of the Peter Pan Club. As the Depression set in, the idea to offer Desert Club membership was conceived as an incentive to purchase home sites in the La Quinta Cove.

Michael and I and a couple of our neighbors, Joel & Vicki, had dinner at the DSRT CLUB this past weekend. We arrived early for our reservation and were promptly seated at my favorite table in the bar area.

We all enjoyed the makeover of the space. A little bit of Hotel Bel Air combined with the Pink Cabana in Indian Wells is the vibe.

We all tried a cocktail to start. I had the Lime in the Coconut, Espolon Blanco Tequila, Cointreau, Lime, Agave, Sea Salt, and Nutmeg. Very light and refreshing.

Michael had the Dirty Lipa. Grey Goose, Olive Juice, Picle & Blue Cheese Olive Garnish. He said it was fantastic!

The four of us split a couple of orders of the Twice Cooked Octo. Grilled Spanish Octopus, Toasted Coconut Cream, Passion Fruit with Baby Purple Chips and Cilantro. We all thought it was done very nicely, and I’d definitely have it again.

Vicki and Joel shared a Caesar Salad. The Crisp White Anchovy and Spanish Pumpkin Seeds with Grilled Parmesan Croutons were a nice touch.

For Entrees, I had the “Wide Open” Back Mussels “N” Wine. The Mussels were cooked with Fennel, Dijon, and Chablis, and served over Bucatini with a Basil Aioli. A nice piece of Parm Grilled Bread was included to sop up any sauce.

Michael had the Half “Red” Chicken, Annatto Marinated Free Range Chicken, Grilled Squash, Grilled Scallions, and a Red Butter Sauce. He said it was the best chicken he’s had in a restaurant.

Vicki had the Smoked Salmon Tacos with Smoked Salmon Belly, Frisee, Shaved Radish, Strawberry Salsa, and Cream.

Joel had the Pork Loin and Potatoes. Breaded Pork Loin, Mustard Seed, Warm Potato Salad, Pickled Onion, Fresh Parsley, and Grilled Lemon.

Everything was cooked perfectly, and everyone was a happy camper.

One note about the service. Our server, Tonya, was truly the epitome of professionalism. She was personable, knowledgeable, and probably the best server we’ve had in a very long time. One of my team members, Lauren, had dinner there last week and echoed our thoughts about Tonya.

DSRT CLUB is an excellent addition to the desert dining scene, and we are looking forward to returning soon.

760-777-7424 [email protected] 78075 Main St. #105 La Quinta, CA 92253

Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa Brings Island Style to Indian Wells

For 30 years, Tommy Bahama has created a world where the sun always shines, the drinks are always cold and easy, and breezy styles are always in season. Now, they’re bringing that daydream to life with a new resort.

Site StaffHotels & Resorts

Courtesy of Palm Springs Life
Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa


Renowned lifestyle brand Tommy Bahama has expanded its world of relaxation with the launch of Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa, located in the heart of Indian Wells.

Following an extensive renovation and redesign that blends island living with desert luxury, the transformed resort sits on 11 expansive acres of olive trees and citrus groves, with sweeping views of the Santa Rosa Mountains.

The 215 guest rooms and re-imagined villa suites are infused with a tropical aesthetic.

Distinguished for its exceptional hospitality, the elevated wellness retreat features the relaxing Spa Rosa, a restaurant called Grapefruit Basil that serves brunch and dinner every day, three saltwater pools, and a lively pool bar called Chiki Palm.

“Our first-ever resort has been 30 years in the making,” Tommy Bahama CEO Doug Wood says. “From welcoming you with our world-class hospitality to inspiring you with elevated details, we can’t wait to share this unique experience with you.”

Feel the Magic of Tennis Paradise – BNP Paribas – March 4-17, 2024

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MARCH 4 - 17, 2024
Spend The Perfect Day In Paradise With Single Session Tickets
Single Session Tickets Include:
  • Options to purchase for any day and/or round of the tournament from March 4-17
  • Ability to reserve a seat in Stadiums 1, 2 or 3
  • Choice between attending the Day Session, Evening Session, or staying for both with our Daily Double option
Experience Multiple Days Of Action With A Mini Package
Mini Packages Include: 
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Indulge In World-Class Luxury With Premium Seating Options
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MARCH 4-17, 2024

Dave Kinnett, CA


★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"We were represented by Betsy Justice. Betsy has represented my wife and I in multiple transactions. She is extremely organized and professional. She ran point on our last transaction which was incredibly helpful. She has a great knowledge of the area and spent a great deal of time locating an ideal property for us. We will continue to use Betsy and would highly recommend her to others."


Sheri Dettman – Palm Springs Real Estate Receives 2023 Best of La Quinta Award



Sheri Dettman - Palm Springs Real Estate Receives 2023 Best of La Quinta Award

LA QUINTA August 27, 2023 -- Sheri Dettman - Palm Springs Real Estate has been selected for the 2023 Best of La Quinta Award in the Real estate consultant category by the La Quinta Award Program.

Each year, the La Quinta Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small businesses through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the La Quinta area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2023 La Quinta Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the La Quinta Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About La Quinta Award Program

The La Quinta Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the La Quinta area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The La Quinta Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: La Quinta Award Program

These Greater Palm Springs Area Resorts Offer the Best Amenities

Readers voted for their favorite businesses in 24 categories in our annual Best of the Best competition. Here are their picks for swanky stays.

Site StaffBest Of, Hotels & Resorts

The Paloma Resort's putting green. 


Parker Palm Springs: Eat, sleep, dream, and treat yourself in a Jonathan Adler–designed fantasyland with endless options, including three large pools, a trio of restaurants, four clay tennis courts, a pétanque court, a croquet lawn, a lavish spa, and a fitness studio.



Azure Palm Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa Oasis: An oasis of relaxation, this property specializes in boutique luxury. Beyond the spa offerings, restorative cleanses, wellness classes, and mineral water, discover unique gifts and souvenirs at the curated shop and recharge with organic coffee at the on-site café.



The Paloma Resort: When it comes to unwinding, this resort promises it all, from tapas-style bites at on-site restaurant Sol y Sombra to spa services at Grounded at The Paloma. Follow your poolside libation with a massage for the ultimate experience, then cozy up in a suite decked in murals of desert plants.



The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage: Perched more than 600 feet above the Coachella Valley, the sophisticated 244-room resort exudes unrivaled luxury, from the pair of pools with eye-popping views of the desert to the stunning two-story, 25,000-square-foot spa.



JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa: This wonderland of recreational activities includes golf, tennis, swimming, and wildlife experiences. You’ll ride a boat to reach your dinner reservation (really!), and if you’re after a little tranquility, the 38,000-square-foot luxury spa is just what the doctor ordered.



Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa: There’s something for everyone at this 45-acre resort that was originally built to host the city’s annual tennis tournament. Families love the pool complex, with a 450-foot-long lazy river and dueling waterslides.



La Quinta Resort & Club: Kick back and relish all this resort has to offer, from swimming, tennis, and golf to reinvigorating spa therapies such as a CBD candle massage, a pranayama breathing journey, a soak in a private garden tub, or a massage that begins with a wine tasting.



Fantasy Springs Resort Casino: At Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, you can have it all: a day on the golf course followed by a swim, a fancy steak dinner at The Bistro, and a signature hot fudge sundae at Lique. Before you head home, visit Splurge, where you can spend your casino winnings on a memento to commemorate the trip.


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