Mountain View No Longer Has To Live Up To Big Sister

By Gord Montgomery, Senior Writer, Inside Golf

PALM DESERT, California — As any younger sibling knows, it’s sometimes tough living up to your older sister’s/brother’s reputation and that’s exactly the case for the Mountain View layout at the Desert Willow Golf Resort. The baby of this family is out to change the public’s opinion.

And she’s doing a damn fine job of it!

The Director of Golf Assistant General Manager at Desert Willow Ryan Szydlowski pointed out that while newcomers to this 36-hole facility almost automatically want to tee it up on the big sister Firecliff built in 1997, the staff here don’t hesitate to recommend its younger sister Mountain View as an equally good play.

“We’re constantly encouraging guests to play it,” the pro began. “They aren't aware that Mountain View is also a championship course so we’re constantly up-selling Mountain View. We find that a lot of our guests prefer it once they play it.”

While The Fairways Are Generous On This Course, The Hazards Are Waiting For Wayward Shots, Including This View From The Tee On No. 11, Likely the Hardest Par-3 Which Calls For Carry To The Green. (Photo By Gord Montgomery/Inside Golf)

That is true. Having played both tracks, I’d head back to the baby of the family first, given its great scenery and playability. Challenges do lurk off each tee box, including on the day I played when the greens were stimping somewhere around 11. Szydlowski went on to explain the differences between the siblings, which vary in length by only 143 yards off the back tees.

“You’re going to find more visually wide-open tee shots, but we have more bunkers on Mountain View. There are fewer, but we have 115 bunkers on Mountain View and 88 on Firecliff. From the tee on Firecliff, you’re going to have forced carries and every bunker is kind of in your face with just as much landing area. Whereas on Mountain View, you have no forced carries and the bunkers are smaller and more often nearer the green. Your approach shots on Mountain View will be a little harder and the green complexes themselves can be more undulated.”

With Over 110 Bunkers Strategically Placed Around The Mountain View 18, You Have To Be On Your Game To Stay Out Of Trouble, Especially On This Test On The Back Nine. (Photo By Gord Montgomery/Inside Golf)

Not only that, all but one of the short holes—the par-3s on the younger of the two courses which was built in 1998—are a challenge.

“In terms of what you get on Mountain View as opposed to Fireclifff, the par-5s are easier but the par-3s are harder,” including the demanding 11th hole, which features a tee shot of 173 yards off the blue box that is all carry-over water. “Because the par-5s are shorter, we wanted to have a similar distance to Firecliff,” thus the longer par-3 tests. “The par-3s are going to keep you honest!” said Szydlowski.

About driving traffic toward Mountain View, Szydlowski explained, “A lot of our guests think Firecliff is the one you have to play and that Mountain View is more of an Executive Course. Once they find out it’s 7,000 yards and how much fun it is, they play it every time.”

As should you the next time you’re in the Palm Springs/Palm Desert Area because this is a younger sister who is showing that she is capable of living up to the legacy left by her older sister.

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