PGA West Stadium Golf Course Review
La Quinta, CA
75.9 rating; 150 slope
Review by GolfTop18
Rating: 5 out of 5
Year Last Reviewed: 2010
More Info on Rating Criteria
PGA West Stadium Course Overview: Pete Dye at his diabolical best: No golf course has the ability to strike rational fear into the heart of the golfer on more shots than the Stadium course at PGA West. In fact, it’s so difficult the PGA refuses to play the venue (except for punishing Q School) because it makes them look bad. The course is relatively flat and plays every bit of its ungodly yardage of 7,266. The hazards are numerous with 10 holes being accosted by water and just as many by bunkers deep enough to need ladders to enter and exit. If the trouble can be avoided (which it can’t) the greens are relatively easy and provide the only safe harbor during the day. Very enjoyable course with the most enjoyable holes reviewed below:
PGA West Stadium Course Hole 3: Mentioned not for any gimmick or unbelievable treachery, but for being the hardest hole that doesn’t have any of these things on the course, and maybe anywhere. At 471 yards, with a narrow fairway surrounded by bunkers left and large mounding right, the drive must be perfect, just to leave a mid iron to a angled green fronted by an extremely deep bunker front-left and more mounding right and long. (not pictured)
PGA West Stadium Course Hole 4: This is actually one of the four easy (all is relative) golf holes on the course (along with 1, 2 and 14). Of course, if one finds the "Sand Pit" it gets a lot harder.
PGA West Stadium Course Hole 5: “Double Trouble” has two lakes, one of which will plague each shot on the hole if the golfer is not careful. Not an extremely long hole, the premium is on accuracy as the green is very puttable, providing one of the few real birdie opportunities on the course.
PGA West Stadium Course Hole 6: “Amen” is the longest par 3 most golfers will ever play. From the back tees, it is a driver for anyone who is human and the only place where there is no water is long, which nobody can reach anyway. The bail out area is short left, but it is narrow and is still over 200 yards to get there from the back tees. The green is 50 yards deep so even a shot that somehow hits the green can easily leave the golfer with a 100+ foot putt.
PGA West Stadium Course Hole 7: “Black Hole” gets the award for the prettiest hole on the course. At less than 350 yards, the golfer might get lured into a false sense of security. That player will score poorly on this hole as there is nothing but danger everywhere. The tee shot, if driven too far, will find steep mounding or bunkers or bushes. Thus, the safe play is an iron that still must carry close to 200 yards to avoid the water hazard. Anything pushed right or short on the drive or approach is wet. The second shot will be short and must be dead accurate to hit the small, sloping green. Finding the pot bunkers is as big of a mistake as finding the water.
PGA West Stadium Course Hole 9: A tough finish to an exhausting nine awaits the golfer with another 450+ yard par four with plenty of water and bunker trouble all the way down the right side of the hole.
PGA West Stadium Course Hole 10: A tough opening to the back nine, this par four must avoid the rock-lined lake on both shots. Anybody too overzealous in missing the lake, however, will find steep mounding, deep bunkers or OB, any of which will not allow a par to be made.
PGA West Stadium Course Hole 12: Known as “Moat”, this short par 4 has only one objective: miss the namesake. There’s no real trouble of the tee in one of the few relaxing shots of the round. The short to mid iron into the green, however, must be dead accurate to avoid the bunker that circles 75% of the green. The only open space is right and that leaves a chip straight down hill from deep rough. The bunker is scary deep and up and down from there is a minor miracle.
PGA West Stadium Course Hole 13: One of the less heralded par threes at the stadium course is also one of the most difficult. The water down the left side is perilous and any shot pushed right will find deep bunkering or mounds. There’s just no safe place to hide on this monster par 3.
PGA West Stadium Course Hole 16: “San Andreas Fault” is simply terrifying. There is severe mounding and OB right from tee to green. That which is left, however, is far more daunting to the psyche. The bunkers after which the hole is named dominate the landscape of the hole and the largest of these is entrenched along the entire left side of the green. All approach shots feed towards it and once the golfer finds it, there can be no escape.
PGA West Stadium Course Hole 17: “Alcatraz” – true island hole, with the added bonus of rock bounces and mountain views. Enough said.
PGA West Stadium Course Hole 18: It wouldn't be right if the last hole of the day wasn't brutal, so this long par four with water in play left on both shots is a fitting end.