Course architect Clive Clark is one of a select group of designers to have played in the Masters, and it made an indelible impression. In his first round at Augusta National in 1968, the former British Ryder Cup player aced the 16th hole, which might explain why his design for the Celebrity Course at the Indian Wells Golf Resort is chock-full of tributes to Augusta.
Clark took the resort's existing West course and gutted it, and the result is a stunner. Admittedly there are holes on the front nine that feel shoe-horned in, but most of the east-west holes are undeniably memorable, especially the watery 237-yard, par-3 sixth, which plays straight at the San Jacinto Mountains.
There's more elbow room on the back nine, where Clark cleverly mounded both fairways and greens to deflect slightly errant shots back into play, making the course a treat for the wayward hitter. But what distinguishes the 7,088-yard layout from its neighbors are the colorful flowers, cascades of water, and brilliant white jigsaw puzzle-piece bunkers, which add instant texture to the design. This is a Celebrity worth fawning over.
Greens fees: $65-$175
For tee times call 760-346-4653 or visit golfresortatindianwells.com