TPC Stadium Course at PGA West – La Quinta

By on June 23, 2014
TPC Stadium Course PGA West

The TPC Stadium Course at PGA West was designed by legendary golfer Greg Norman who was charged with creating one of the 6 championship golf courses carved out of the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains and Coral Mountain in La Quinta. Called the “Stadium Course” because of stadium like seating carved out of the natural desert terrain. Since its completion over 20 years ago, it has been host to many well-known golf events, including the Skins Game from 1986 through 1991, the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf from 1995 through1996, and the venerable Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in 1987. The PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament is currently played here every other year. The TPC Stadium Course is rated one of the “Top 100 Courses in the World” by GOLF Magazine and 4th toughest course in America in Golf Digest’s “Top 50 Toughest Courses in America”.

This spectacular course is a thing of beauty as you play every one of the 7,300 yards from the tips. Water comes into play on half the holes that often require carry. Then there are the deep pot bunkers strategically placed as green side protection to catch errant approach shots to demand precise chips and pitches onto rolling greens. This course can be a real grind, but the absolute stunning scenery and masterfully well kempt grounds make it worth the effort.

From the moment you are standing on the first tee box you know this will not be an ordinary day on the links. In fact if you don’t have butterflies in your stomach in anticipation of your first tee shot you probably aren’t prepared for what awaits you. The 192 yard par 3 “Sand Pit” (4th hole) will tax your nerves. Any miss left or right and you will find yourself in a massive moon crater like bunker. Hole 5 aptly nicknamed “Double Trouble” is one of the more difficult par 5’s anywhere in golf. With water left from the tee box and right on your approach shot, in order to reach you will need 3 very accurate shots. Just when you thought this has to get easier… no such luck. The sixth hole is a monstrous 255 yard par 3 – all carry over water. Of course that is from the tips.

The 17th hole island green is a manageable 168 yard par 3 is comically named “Alcatraz” and unapologetically is the TPC Stadium Course signature hole. This is simply one of those golf shots every golfer dreams about having the chance to play.

The 18th hole is widely considered one of the most difficult finishing holes anywhere in golf. The tee shot requires shaping your shot to avoid water. Hit left and you will find unforgiving water that parallels the length of the fairway. If you attempt to slice and happen to hit long and straight you will find water there as well. Hitting 3 from the tee is common. There are deep fairway pot bunkers protecting the entire right side of the fairway.

You will need accurate tee shots and a strong short game to score on this course. But this is an experience every golfer should want to have on their resume.

PGA West Stadium Course is located at 56-150 PGA Blvd. La Quinta, CA 92253 and can be contacted by calling (760) 564-7111 or at

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