Desert Dunes Golf Club enjoys as devoted a following as any public golf course in Southern California s Coachella Valley. When you book a tee time, you ll play on an expansive, links-style course in Desert Hot Springs that rambles in a natural desert realm that is delightfully free of housing. Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designed this course in 1989. Jones s design philosophy is to let a site s natural surroundings and contours hold sway. Desert Dunes Golf Club immediately won plaudits from Golf Digest as one of best new courses of 1989 and it began appearing on lists of the top public courses in the country. It has also amassed an impressive tournament history over the years. Having hosted U.S. Open qualifers and various tour qualifying tournaments, this magnificent course will always be part of the rich tradition and history of Palm Springs golf. As the wind turbines in the distance foreshadow, the exposed, links-style playing field occupies one of the windiest spots in the Coachella Valley. Jones took this into consideration as he crafted this exposed layout. Desert Dunes Golf Club is a design that golf course architecture connoisseurs covet. While the opening holes begin in the manner of a Scottish links, by the 5th hole the routing climbs into mesquite-lined terrain. A dramatic change occurs at the outset of the back nine. Mature tamarisk trees rise up, oasis-like (especially on hole 10 and 11), before giving way again to the links-style finishing holes. Water threatens the swing on the 7th, 8th, and 16th holes. The latter is the signature test at Desert Dunes Golf Club it s a water-bound, 530-yard par 5 featuring specimen saguaros and other cacti and a cascading waterfall. The keys to playing this course are hitting the broad fairways (beware of the wiry rough and the snarly desert shrubs) and making the proper club selection in the wind. The large, undulating greens normally roll at medium speed with undulations that aren t too severe. While mountains stand off in the distance, they don t block out the wind, so it s quite common to encounter stiff three- or four-club breezes or worse on the golf grounds. Many accomplished players relish windy days here because the course becomes a true measuring stick for their skills. When the wind is down, though, Desert Dunes Golf Club is an idyllic place and a layout players of any skill level can enjoy. Chances are you ll see roadrunners and jackrabbits and lots of other wildlife throughout the round. Practice facilities include a driving range, putting green, and a chipping green with a sand bunker. The clubhouse is home to a golf shop and a restaurant, though during the hot summer off-season the restaurant may be closed. Desert Dunes Golf Club is one of the best value-priced tee-time options in the entire Palm Springs realm. It s one the area s premier courses and it presents a fun and exhilarating challenge in a tranquil realm. Just be sure to check the wind forecast first.