Friday, January 28, 2005

Palm Springs myth

There is a commonly held belief that Palm Springs has a lot of golf courses.

And while it is true that there is golf in Palm Springs and a lot of people fly in to Palm Springs International Airport with their golf clubs in tow, the image of Palm Springs itself as a golf capital is factually wrong.

It is only correct in the way people say they are going to Los Angeles to go to Disneyland. Disneyland is in a city called Anaheim in Orange County. There is a lot of shit in Los Angeles and L.A. County, but Disneyland floats in a different bowl.

Maybe that's why Southern Californians are going batty over the professional baseball team based in Anaheim, which is changing its name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. But then again the University of California, Los Angeles football team plays in Pasadena. For that matter the New York Giants football team plays in East Rutherford, N.J.

Most of what the outside world knows as Palm Springs isn't Palm Springs. There are nine cities and some unincorporated communities in this greater community generally known as the Coachella Valley. Palm Springs has about 42,000 people living in it. The greater valley has more like 350,000 people, and swells to about a half million during the winter months. Palm Springs may have the name that people know, but it's a small part of the valley. Palm Springs is just a suburb really.

But there are a lot of golf courses in the Coachella Valley -- 116 at present, with five more under construction. That's a lot of golf courses.

And yes, a lot of people play golf. But not everyone who lives on the beach surfs, and not everyone who lives here golfs. And not everyone who visits here golfs. If the truth were told, there probably is not enough demand to keep more than 120 golf courses buys with play here. Most golf courses really aren't about playing golf here at all. They are just very expensive landscaped parks for all the people who want to own homes on golf courses. That's why there are so many golf courses here. Very few of those 120-plus golf courses do not have housing lining the fairways.

The biggest golf event of the year here is currently going on, the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, which is played on 4 different courses, none of which are in Palm Springs. In fact it is played on courses that are about as far away from Palm Springs as you can get and still be in the Coachella Valley.

This is the 6th Hope Classic I've been here for, but I've never actually gone to the event. That may change this weekend. A friend asked me to go with him to watch some of the tournament on Saturday. Neither of us care much about the golfers. Tiger isn't even here. But, we do want to go to do some celebrity watching. Maybe we'll get to see Samuel L. Jackson or Joe Pesci. Or maybe George Lopez or Roger Clemens or Cheech Marin.

It's either that or clean my apartment. Contrary to another popular Palm Springs myth, not everyone here has a maid. Some of us are the maids, or the busboys or the myriad other working stiff jobs that those people who live on golf courses think make their lives more convenient. Oh well, it's a living. And it's Palm Springs, unless it's Indio or Coachella or La Quinta or Palm Desert or....


3rd Times a Charm said...

That was a kewl post! I hope you have fun celebrity watching...Now the real reason why I'm posting a comment. And actually, it's a question. What is "blogroll me"? It almost sounds like a sexual position..... (Thank you for your patience, with all my blogging questions!)

ak said...

LOL...a sexual position...oh that just made my day

The G-man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The G-man said...

Yea, it's like having the woman bent over the arm of the sofa (or on all fours on the floor) that ends with a post coital/post climate summersault.

Don't forget to say "Ta-Duh!" at the end. It adds a flourish that really is remarkable.

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