Golf News

Redesign of Indian Wells Golf Resort will include new closing holes

Indian Wells Golf Resort

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — When John Fought redesigned one of the two courses at the Indian Wells Golf Resort in 2007, he essentially built a new golf course on top of an existing one. But Fought still had one major problem.

“One thing I had to do was keep 17 and 18 because of the (Renaissance Esmeralda Resort) hotel,” Fought recalled. “I never wanted to keep those holes.”

Fought is getting a second chance at redesigning the Players Course at the golf resort, and this time that work will specifically get rid of the par-3 17th and the par-5 18th holes. It’s part of a project to re-route the golf course for the city of Indian Wells’ needs, give land back to the Renaissance hotel and maybe make the course more enticing for professional golf tournaments.

“That was part of the guidance. Troon [the golf resort’s management firm] thinks we would have a challenge getting a PGA Tour course here, but they are comfortable with an LPGA, a senior tournament,” said Chris Freeland, city manager for Indian Wells. “And we have had initial discussions with the LPGA as part of the Epson discussion about coming here.”

Indian Wells Golf Resort

The par-3 17th hole at the Indian Wells Golf Resort in Indian Wells, California. (Photo: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun)

The city voted last November to sponsor the Epson Tour Championship, the final event of the year for the LPGA’s developmental tour. The Players Course, host of that event the first week of October, should be radically different by the fall of 2025. Currently, 16 holes on the Players Course are on the north side of the Whitewater Wash, but golfers must drive down into the wash to reach the 17th and 18th holes on the south side of the wash.

“There is nothing wrong with those holes. They are just out there in the middle of nowhere,” Fought said.

Freeland said when the course was built originally in 1986 by architect Ted Robinson, the Renaissance wanted those golf holes near the hotel. Now the hotel would like the land back to add family friendly amenities to that resort.

That gave the city the chance to approve a project of nearly $9 million that will change the golf course but also allow the city to add what it feels are needed enhancements.

“Part of the rehab of the course included our desire to do a fire access road,” Freeland said, adding that the access road added $1.5 million to the project. “The city has been talking about that for years, because this bridge (from the clubhouse over the wash to the first…


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