I went golfing in Palm Springs on Sunday. If you live in Ohio or Idaho or Iowa and you want to play golf right now, hop a plane and go to Palm Springs. It is golf nirvana.
In the Coachella Valley there are 104 golf courses with ANOTHER 100 opening in the next five years. The air is cool and clear. A sweet fragrance lingers in the desert air.
Ahhhhhhhhhh! This is the place to play golf. But I won’t be there. In January and February it is not uncommon to pay $125 or more per round. PGA West, home of the famous “Alcatraz” island green, costs well over $250.
I love to golf, but I also need to save for retirement. If I don’t put away some money now, I will be eating dog food under a bridge somewhere. $200 a round doesn’t leave much in the Joe Ditzel Retirement Fund.
In the summer, golf in the Coachella Valley is much more reasonable. Last summer, I played PGA West for under $60. You can play world class courses for $19. There is only one reason for this price break- In Palm Springs in the summer THE TEMPERATURE IS 258 DEGREES!
How can you play in this heat? Here are the things to keep in mind when golfing in Palm Springs:
1. Drink lots of water. Each golf cart comes with a thermos jug of ice water. I always ask for two. Then I drink a glass after almost every shot. Unfortunately, I drink water faster than my body can absorb it. My stomach balloons to 10 times its size and you can hear the water sloshing around in there. It is so bloated that when I stand up my stomach hangs down on the ground. I could sit on it and bounce around on it if I wanted to. I can barely squeeze behind the golf cart wheel at this point so I sort of lay on my side and push the gas pedal with the shaft of my putter.
2. Wear a hat. I take this a step further. I take an extra golf towel and lay it on my head and then put the cap down on top of that. The towel flows out the back and covers my neck and ears. I look like Lawrence of Arabia. The only other thing I need is a camel with my golf bag hung over one of the humps.
3. Wear Sunscreen. The sun is extra hard on me because I am 3/4 German and 1/4 Irish. What this means is my skin is so white it is see-through. In high school biology the teacher brought me to the front of the class to demonstrate the digestive system. I would eat a hot dog from the cafeteria and the class would watch it go though my body.
So I have to wear special prescription sunscreen- SPF 5000. I fill up my bathtub with the lotion. The night before golfing in Palm Springs, I sleep in the bathtub and in the morning I wipe off the excess. After 9 holes I need a re-application so I spray myself down with the SPF 5000 loaded in a fire extinguisher.