SilverRock Resort in La Quinta: PGA's Humana has left, but hope lives on

By Travel ArticlesMarch 2, 2012, 5:00 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Men's pro golf in the Coachella Valley has proven a fickle beast. The vast history of what's now the Humana Challenge (still better known as the 'Bob Hope') stretches back to a genesis tournament in the early 1950s. Over six decades of play, the list of courses used to host various incarnations of the event tallies a dozen in number.

When the Humana pared down to a rotation of three courses (and four days) in 2012, the latest track to become a 'former' PGA Tour course was the Arnold Palmer-designed SilverRock Resort. Myriad Tour pros (whether privately or on record) were disappointed to hear of the track's exclusion, the most notable of which was 2011 Hope runner-up Gary Woodland who declined to play in the '12 event specifically due to SilverRock's removal.

But like resilient desert foliage, SilverRock plays on -- and continues doing so in a big way.

'I think the changes to the tournament and the new format were good,' said SilverRock Head Professional James Saenz. 'There was some disappointment to not being in the new format, but we completely understand why they made the changes they did. But overall, having our facility open that week was probably far more beneficial to us fiscally. We had a ton of play that week.'

If you are placing tee into turf, remember SilverRock offers one of the area's most inspired and demanding canvasses of golf. And at nearly 7,600 yards from the tips, it's also one of the longest in Southern California.

SilverRock Resort: Know your distance

One cannot survive at SilverRock on distance alone. Though the landing areas are often generous, the first-timer will experience some nuance off the tee. While 10 holes chart at 418 yards or better, a solid drive still requires study. Of the 200 acres of golf property, a quarter of the land is sculpted around native areas.

Translation: Examine the modern GPS mapping well.

Finding the fairway at SilverRock doesn't segue to easy scoring chances. Every green is armed with protection, and those playing bailouts will oft-encounter a thick second-cut or a potentially penal chip sporting danger across the green.

'Even the greens that don't seem to be guarded probably are,' said Sanez. 'All the greens have some sort of bunkering around them -- or a lake. When people ask for advice, the main thing I tell them is to club-up. You can play the golf course past the green, but it's really difficult short of the green because of the swales and the bunkering.'

Adding to the call for learned distance and demand for accuracy is the canal running through the back side.

'The length, especially on the back, is a defining feature. That's where the challenge begins,' Saenz said. 'The par 5 on No. 12 is a good example of all of it. It's a tough lay-up. If you start cheating to the right, you can go into the canal, which runs diagonally across. And the more you try to cut off to the left, you can go right into the lake.'

As SilverRock winds you home against the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains, the finishing holes serve as a mental test to see if the learned player has taken notes about clubbing long.

'On No. 16, there's an area behind the green where if you roll past or you're long, it's much easier,' Sanez said of the 488-yard par 4. 'And on the par-3 17th, there's the lake in front, but if you play long, there's a lot of grass back there that will catch your ball. The hole can also play into the wind. I found that putting the hybrid in my bag makes that one a little easier to play.'

The 570-yard, par-5 18th proves an excellent finishing hole with the canal running through the deep fairway, coupled with water to the front left of the green and bunkering to all sides of the putting surface. It's as if The King crafted one last court to provide the player a worthy crown -- or jester's cap.

SilverRock Resort: The verdict

'I thought the course was great, really beautiful,' said Bob Perkins of Seattle. 'It was in great shape and with lots of sand to deal with. We've played a few other courses out here, but this has been the prettiest.'

Many visitors to the Palm Springs area slate their golf getaway with tee times across the desert. But SilverRock is a course you'll want to play twice.

With added course knowledge, the track will play far more favorably, and the brilliant surrounds will prove all the more rewarding.

Full practice facility is offered, and on-site instruction is available to players of all levels. Tip: Arrive early and make use of the practice bunkering.

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Watch that time Tiger throttled Ames, 9 and 8

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 4:54 pm

Nine and eight. Three words that live in golf lore. Just say them and any golf fan can tell you what they mean.

In the 2006 WGC-Match Play, Tiger Woods faced Stephen Ames in the opening round. Ames, when asked prior to the event about his chance of winning, infamously said, "Anything can happen, especially where he's hitting it."

What happened on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at La Coasta Resort & Spa, was the most lopsided result in tournament history: 9 and 8 Check out the highlights below:

After his win, Woods was asked if Ames' comment had motivated him. Woods replied, "9 and 8."

Woods eventually lost, 1 up, to Chad Campbell in the third round. He then won his next start at Doral and went on to finish the season with six consecutive Tour wins, including The Open and PGA. He also won his first start in 2007 to make it seven consecutive Tour titles.

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Schedule change, caddie change for Casey at Match Play

By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 4:12 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Paul Casey originally planned to skip the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, opting for two weeks off before the Masters.

Those plans changed when he removed the Arnold Palmer Invitational from his schedule and returned home to England last week to attend the funeral of a family friend. That adjustment also prompted a caddie change this week, with Scott Vail stepping in for the Englishman’s normal caddie, John McLaren.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Tee times

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“We looked at tickets and it just didn't make sense for Johnny to fly back. We try and base our schedule around playing the best golf possible, but also having quality family time,” Casey said on Tuesday at Austin Country Club. “For Johnny to break up a nice three-week break with his family, there was no point to ruining that.”

This isn’t the first time Casey, who won the Valspar Championship two weeks ago, has needed a replacement caddie. At last year’s Travelers Championship, McLaren took a similar break and was replaced on the bag by Shannon Wallace. Although it’s not uncommon for caddies to take a week off, McLaren does have one stipulation.

“The only rule we have is that if Johnny is not going to work, he picks my caddie. So he picked the caddie,” said Casey, who is 20-12-1 in 12 starts at the Match Play and has advanced to the championship match twice.

Westchester Country Club hosted the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship. (Getty) Getty Images

Westchester selected to host 2021 U.S. Women's Am

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 3:20 pm

The USGA announced Tuesday that Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., has been selected to host the 2021 U.S. Women's Amateur. The tournament will be held Aug. 2-8, 2021.

The club's West Course first hosted the event in 1923, and it boasts a storied history of professional tournaments as well. The PGA Tour hosted the Westchester Classic, later known as the Buick Classic and eventually The Barclays, at Westchester from 1967-2007, including the first-ever FedExCup playoff event, won by Steve Stricker in 2007.

The course was also the site of the 2011 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, won by Fred Couples, and the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship, won by Inbee Park.

"The USGA is thrilled to bring the U.S. Women's Amateur to Westchester Country Club for the second time," Stuart Francis, USGA championship committee chairman, said in a release. "One of the USGA's three oldest championships, the Women's Amateur consistently identifies the world's top female players, and we are confident Westchester will provide the ultimate test for the championship's 121st playing."

First held in 1895, the Women's Amateur is open to players with a USGA handicap index not exceeding 5.4. Sophia Schubert won last year's event at San Diego Country Club, while this year's tournament will be held at The Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs.

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Stock Watch: Park rises again, under the radar

By Ryan LavnerMarch 20, 2018, 12:48 pm

Each week on, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


Rory (+10%): The massive drives, the fist pumps, the unmistakable strut – McIlroy finally found the spark that he needed to play confident, aggressive golf. Bring on Augusta and his shot at history.

Tiger (+7%): It was another forgettable end to a final round, but let’s not lose sight of the big picture: Five events into his comeback, Woods has now carded 10 consecutive rounds of par or better – all on tough tracks – and can be viewed as a legitimate threat at the Masters. Remarkable, really.

Inbee Park (+5%): Fighting injuries and questioning whether she should retire, the Queen ‘Bee routed a top field in just her second start back. Stud.

Bryson (+3%): When The Machine operates properly, he’s one of the best ball-strikers in the world. Yes, he’s still painfully slow, but there’s no denying his talent – his runner-up against a star-studded field should help him tremendously.

Laura Davies (+2%): Fifty-four years old and nursing an Achilles injury, she turned back the clock with one of the coolest performances of the young season, on any tour. She’s still got tons of game.


Henrik Stenson (-1%): Maybe he’s just destined to go winless at Bay Hill. In the past four years, he’s had three excellent chances to win there and came away empty-handed each time.

Rickie (-2%): Hanging near the lead, Fowler closed his third round bogey-double, then shot 74 in the final round to drop out of the top 10. Sigh.  

P-Reed (-3%): His whiny protest to a rules official about a free drop – “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth” – got even juicier when the Ryder Cup partners were drawn in the same group at the Match Play. Get your popcorn ready.

Ted Potter Jr. (-5%): His impressive victory at Pebble Beach over DJ, Phil and J-Day is looking more and more like a fluke each week. He’s now missed four consecutive cuts.

Fan behavior (-7%): Another week, another player complaining about increasingly hostile spectators. The Tour has (frustratingly) remained quiet on the issue, but the tipping point will come when one of these dopes affects the outcome on the 72nd hole.