“Treat your members like guests and your guests like members” is a long standing philosophy for successful golf course operators. At the Westin La Paloma they take that to heart. To begin with, access to the golf course is only available for members of the country club and guests staying at the resort. But that’s not a bad thing; if you are not yet ready to join this magnificent club just check into the resort for the weekend and be treated like a member. Seasonal packages including unlimited golf, a luxurious and well appointed room, a variety of dining options, and all the amenities that come with this Four Diamond resort are available and well worth the cost at any time of the year.
The golf course consists of three Jack Nicklaus designed nine hole layouts and no two holes are alike. As a matter of fact, La Paloma was one of Jacks first designs. While many desert courses are defined as target style, the fairways at La Paloma offer a generous landing area and the sculpted mounding on the sides can help to knock errant tee shots back into the short grass. The greens are fairly large and surrounded by typical Nicklaus bunkering, that means usually well below the putting surface. Miss those greens and be prepared to hit a variety of short pitches or chips from all kinds of stances and lies….and isn’t that what can make the game so interesting at times, the creativity and touch needed for a good short game. You will get a chance at every short shot you never practiced at La Paloma.
One of the great par five holes on the course has to be #7 on the Hill nine. A beautiful view of the Catalina Mountains from the tee can distract you from the task at hand which is to find as much as you can down the fairway to possibly get home in two. Laying up short of the arroyo crossing in front of the green will leave you a short iron and a good chance for par. On the Canyon nine, my playing partners and I all decided that #7 had to be one of the best and most interesting holes on the course. A lengthy par 4 that is downhill off the tee and uphill all the way from there. The green complex is fronted by what can best be described as a mogul field on a steep ski slope…very cool Mr. Nicklaus.
While the course is members and guests only, there is another way to play it … host a tournament for your favorite charity. The facility is a perfect venue for tournament play; with ample parking, indoor or outdoor dining for the awards ceremony and a staff that is experienced in hosting big events. If you don’t want to throw your own tournament, find one of the many that are played annually at La Paloma. You will do well for that charity and for yourself and your golf game.