PGA Tour Stop Turns into Desert Fes­ti­val

Golf Vacations - - Contents - by Terry Ross

The Coachella Mu­sic & Arts Fes­ti­val and Stage­coach Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val dur­ing the spring sea­son have cer­tainly left their mark on this area known as the Coachella Val­ley dur­ing the spring with their week­ends of con­certs. But now, the PGA Tour stop is tak­ing on a new iden­tity with a heav­ier ac­cent on mu­sic, great food, wine, and spir­its – to go along with watch­ing the best golfers in the world play for mil­lions.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing a golf des­ti­na­tion, the Palm Springs area of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia has taken on a rep­u­ta­tion over the later years as a mecca for fes­ti­vals and con­certs.

The Coachella Mu­sic & Arts Fes­ti­val and Stage­coach Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val dur­ing the spring sea­son have cer­tainly left their mark on this area known as the Coachella Val­ley dur­ing the spring with their week­ends of con­certs. But now, the PGA Tour stop in Jan­uary that has been around since 1960, is tak­ing on a new iden­tity with a heav­ier ac­cent on mu­sic, great food, wine, and spir­its – to go along with watch­ing the best golfers in the world play for mil­lions.

Un­der the di­rec­tion of Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Jeff San­ders and his col­leagues at La­gardère Sports, who were given the task of re­mak­ing the ven­er­a­ble event by its found­ing char­ity last fall, the Ca­reer Builder Chal­lenge has added loads of hos­pi­tal­ity op­por­tu­ni­ties for fans and two days of first-rate con­certs im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing play on Fri­day and Satur­day of tour­na­ment week.

As the first PGA Tour event of the year played in the con­ti­nen­tal United States, the Ca­reer Builder Chal­lenge has a his­tory of get­ting the golf­ing year off to a start in this sec­tion of the world—and it is now set­ting the ta­ble for the con­cert sea­son in this re­sort area that has be­come fa­mous for mu­sic and fes­ti­vals.

This past Jan­uary the Ca­reer Builder kicked off its Con­cert Se­ries with per­for­mances by rock bands Huey Lewis and the News and the Goo Goo Dolls on con­sec­u­tive days on the driv­ing range on the home course of the Ca­reer Builder— the PGA West Sta­dium Course in La Quinta—as thou­sands of en­thu­si­as­tic fans got a dose of the world’s best golfers and great mu­sic at one stop.

Two bands that have sold more than 32 mil­lion al­bums com­bined un­der sunny skies and into the evening as pro­fes­sional golf turned into a fes­ti­val for both lo­cals and va­ca­tion­ers.

And, of course, on Sun­day a cham­pion was crowned as Jon Rahm, the se­cond-ranked player in the world—beat An­drew Landry in a four­hole play­off af­ter they both fin­ished 72 holes at 22-un­der par. Not a bad way to end a week of great golf and mu­sic.

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