Our Story

The Story of Desert Willow Golf Resort

Golf courses have a secure place in the history of public parks and recreation facilities, but it took the City of Palm Desert to truly bring public golf to a place of prominence.

Desert Willow Golf Resort began with a plan that embraced the desert landscape and respected the fragility of natural resources necessary to maintain the course.  When the City hired the design team of Dr. Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry and then desert resident and PGA Tour Professional, John Cook, it was solidified that Desert Willow was going to be special.  With Eric Johnson, a local landscape architect, they thoughtfully developed a plant palette that would make Desert Willow environmentally sensitive, unique, and picturesque, while integrating this with an exceptional golf course design.

The Firecliff golf course opened in 1997 and was named for the supper club owned by early Palm Desert residents, Leonard Firestone and Clifford Henderson.  It opened with great fanfare when residents were treated to a grand opening tournament with President Gerald Ford.

Mountain View golf course opened in October 1998 and was immediately a favorite for many.  Designed to be a little more user friendly from the teeing area and including more water features. 

The entire golf resort experience begins with the mile-long approach that sets the stage for what is about to unfold.  Entering the clubhouse, one can appreciate the design, flow and function, whether golfing or attending a private function.  The attention to detail and consideration for the guest is the single element that completes the experience, whether it is a round of golf, tournament play, a lesson, lunch or a special event.

Over twenty years ago, the first round of golf was played at Desert Willow Golf Resort and the dream was accomplished.  Palm Desert residents have a world-renown home course and thousands of golfers visiting the California desert seek out Desert Willow as the place to play.