Celebrity #14

Planning a golf trip out of the country can be a delicate dance between several partners. You have the courses, the hotels, the airlines and what ever else you need to make your trip memorable. Oh, and you have input from your well-meaning friends of course.

Lucky for you and your friends, Indian Wells Golf Resort in the Coachella Valley is ready for you with what amounts to one stop shopping for your getaway. Let the dance begin!

Let’s start with not one, but two stellar tracks to play and you’ll get a different vibe from each as they have very distinct personalities. Not Jekyll and Hyde difference but enough change to notice characteristics of each one.

“The Players is a bit wider and quite a bit longer. The Celebrity has the narrow fairway corridors and all the bells and whistles with the streams and the waterfalls and the colour splashes,” said Joe Williams, the long time Director of Golf at Indian Wells.

The greens on Celebrity have more of a country club feel to with more undulations and run-off areas, said Williams.

Indian Wells Golf Resort
Players Course #17
Indian Wells, California

“With the Players, it’s a little more subtle, so two completely different products.”

It doesn’t stop there when it comes to contrast either. The Celebrity course is a sea of green grass in the desert from tee to green and side to side. The Player’s has that well-known desert look with dormant grass providing a golden-brown framing of those very green fairways.

No matter which one you tee it up on though, your camera or your phone will get jammed with great pictures of each hole. With the Santa Rosa mountains as a backdrop, you will get some great shots.

But back to the dance. Snowbirds or those just getting away for a few days can take comfort in knowing there is a team ready to handle your trip from start to finish-no matter the duration.

To begin with, there are four hotels on site to choose where you lay your head down at night. The Renaissance Esmerelda Resort and Spa, The Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort and Spa, Tommy Bahamas Miramonte and Indian Wells Resort Hotel. Each one of these has a stay & play package for you to plug in your details. All are within walking distance of the golf courses. You might want to check out the Troon card as well which can give your bank account some cushion.

“A lot of different options and a lot of different price points,” said Williams.

Booking weeks ahead of your trip is a no-brainer. Tee times around the Coachella Valley can be tough to find, especially during mid-January and February. Fail to plan, plan to fail. Maybe not that harsh but no need to make it difficult. Golf will take care of that by itself.

Williams says the staff at Indian Wells are at the front lines of your golf experience and they know their stuff.

“We kind of model ourselves that this is your country-club experience for a day. With that service, with the conditions and with the quality of the products that we offer, it’s a true luxury brand.”

Booking your trip is made as simple as possible by using a third party called Golf Experiences. They take over from start to finish from when you land at the airport, check in times and days, the courses you are playing and your tee-times.

Now just because the sun has gone down it doesn’t mean your golf day is done. At Indian Wells you can feast on delicious food from a diverse menu at Vue and then hit a few more golf balls on the range with Shots In The Night.


The driving range was used at night to hit glow-in-the-dark golf balls with targets and music playing. Indian Wells has raised the bar on that experience. They’ve added several Toptracer hitting bays so you can see the distance and action on your ball as it sails into the night.

There are also seven lit, natural grass putting greens where the games can continue. There are nine different games to choose from and they can be adjusted to the individual level of play.

“You might want to play darts and so the laser will shine down a dart board with the hole being the bullseye,” said Williams. With different levels of difficulty to choose from you can make the board bigger for one player and smaller for another.

There is a food truck right there, bar service and music playing. It doesn’t get boring once the sun goes down.

Williams says Indian Wells is a great piece of hardware to work with. The staff are the software, and they must make it work each day.

“You can have all the luxury you want but if you have the stuffiness and the things that can turn people off, you can sour things real quick,” said Williams.

Maestro, strike up the band and let the dance begin!