PGA WEST in La Quinta, a prolific golf haven with nine total courses, is home to two Jack Nicklaus eighteens. While one of Nicklaus s layouts is private, the PGA WEST Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course welcomes public tee times. With its dramatic setting enhanced by distant mountains, this beautiful golf course provides a fun round that is far less penal than the adjacent PGA WEST Pete Dye Stadium Course with which it shares a clubhouse. Although mounding mimicking the surrounding mountains serves both an aesthetic and strategic purpose, the primary design feature of the PGA WEST Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course is its elevated, plateau-like fairways. These carpet-like swathes of emerald turf sit above patches of rough, deep waste bunkers, and desert scrub that loom wide of the tabletop landing areas. Thankfully, the landing areas are ample, and players can unleash their driver on most holes. While you may be carefree when hitting your driver, your heart will likely race a bit as you contemplate your second shot. The bite of the PGA WEST Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course usually starts on second shots. Fairways constrict precipitously en route to the greens. While the greens themselves are a good size, they may appear to be small targets because of all the surrounding trouble. The PGA WEST Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course will test your short-game, as up-and-downs are not easy on the slick putting surfaces. The 1st hole, a short par 4 that doglegs slightly, sets the tone for the day with its green perched high above the fairway. As the round unfolds, you ll encounter features such as split fairways and peninsula and island greens. Water hazards aren t abundant on the PGA WEST Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, but they are intimidating. The most memorable hole and one of the great holes in the Coachella Valley is the par-5 15th which features one of the layout's two island greens. Like the PGA WEST Pete Dye Stadium Course, the PGA WEST Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course boasts a rich tournament history. Back in the days when the PGA Tour held its Q-School qualifying tournament, the PGA WEST Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course (in tandem with PGA WEST Pete Dye Stadium Course) hosted the competition in alternate years. The PGA WEST Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course now is one of the three courses used during the first three days of the PGA Tour s American Express championship. After your round, you can grab lunch or dinner at Ernie s Bar & Grill in the palatial PGA West Tournament Clubhouse. For a convenient home base when playing the The PGA WEST Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course and other layouts in the Palm Springs realm, there s no more intimate and atmospheric spot than the venerable, full-service La Quinta Resort & Club. The resort, a sister property of PGA WEST, is about six miles from the PGA WEST Tournament Clubhouse.