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|Want to finally see your boss sweat? Suggest a round at the punishing PGA West TPC Stadium Course during your next Palm Springs corporate retreat. (Chris Baldwin/GolfPublisher.com)|
If you're looking for a destination for a corporate golf outing - a place where the team can get away for some R & R and a bit of brainstorming - put Palm Springs atop the list.
The desert paradise once a playground for the aristocracy of Hollywood's golden age has some of the nation's finest full-scale resorts, such as La Quinta, which has hosted the likes of Oprah Winfrey. Add to that a large selection of challenging desert golf courses like the famed and feared PGA West TPC Stadium Course, and it's clear Palm Springs is an excellent place to gather the employees for a team building session.
Here's a quick guide on where to stay and golf in Palm Springs.
La Quinta Resort and Club: With more than 66,000 square feet of meeting space, La Quinta is the perfect accommodation choice. It has received several awards from organizations representing meeting professionals, including Successful Meetings, Meetings & Conventions and Corporate Meetings & Incentives.
The resort also boasts 41 pools, 800 guestrooms and five gargantuan suites, prompting TravelGolf.com's Chris Baldwin to say "La Quinta is to resorts what the Empire State Building is to skyscrapers."
La Quinta's AZUR restaurant is the finest at the resort. An offshoot of Bernadin in New York, AZUR serves excellent seafood. Splurge on the Maine lobster poached in coconut and truffle butter, which runs $55.
Hyatt Grand Champions Resort and Spa: Another great option, the Hyatt Grand has more than 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting, exhibit and banquet space. It also has special group offers.
Rooms feature marble baths, complimentary robes and furnished balconies with picturesque views of the surrounding desert and mountains. When you're not on the course or in a meeting, take a dip in one of seven pools or check out the Agua Serena Spa.
Ristorante Tuscany serves excellent northern Italian fare, including delicious antipastos. For a more exciting dining experience, check out Mikado, a Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar.
"You start at the Mountain Course talking about the looming Santa Rosa Mountains," according to Baldwin. "You leave in wonderment or disgust (often both) at just how Dye managed to make this relatively short course such a monster."
Make sure to bring your corporate credit card, as the scenery and challenge come at a price. A round can cost as much as $200 in high season.
PGA West TPC Stadium Course: Dye was told to make the toughest round of golf in the world when he was hired to architect the Stadium Course. He may have done too good a job.
The 7,261-yard Stadium Course has a daunting slope rating of 150, and this bite has given it much of its cache. It has hosted myriad international events and is ranked among Golf Magazine's "Top 100 Courses You Can Play" in the U.S.
Desert Dunes Golf Course: Tired of standard desert golf? Then play a round at Desert Dunes, Robert Trent Jones, Jr.'s unique take on desert golf. The course is full of thick vegetation that can swallow up golf balls, making focus key.
Desert Dunes is also a great place to play if you've been a bit too liberal with the expense account. In a town known for greens fees that can reach the three figures, this club charges around $50 during holiday season.
August 30, 2007
From high-tech gadgets to clever, low-tech stocking stuffers, more great gift ideas have come across my desk this season than in the past five years combined. If you can't find something above for every golfer on your list, I'm going to chalk it up to Grinchiness.
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