The Takeaway: Rams Hill surfaces on various lists featuring the Top 100 public golf in America and it is worthy of that distinction. If you like Tom Fazio designs, you’ll be happy you made the trip. Grade B+
Designer: Tom Fazio in 2007
Cost: $130 - $205 (includes cart) Click for current rates
Phone Number: (760) 767-3500
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Rams Hill Golf Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 1881 Rams Hill Rd, Borrego Springs, California 92004 – UNITED STATES
Photos: See additional photos of Rams Hill Golf Club
What to Expect: Rams Hill is another well executed Tom Fazio design located in the desert of California but removed from the hub of courses in the immediate Palm Springs area. Fazio takes advantage of the expansive views afforded at the property and pairs that with a wide variety of hole lengths, shapes, and elevations to enjoy. The short par fours are of particular high quality while the par fives compliment that with memorable, well executed offerings; all with commendable turf conditions. That is complimented with a routing that does a great job of getting holes to feel connected while having some isolation on each hole. As is typical of Fazio, the closing hole provides a dramatic finish and sends players home with a smile on their face. With all of the courses to play in the desert around Palm Springs, it is well worth the drive to Rams Hill for one of the best courses in the region.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 11th Hole – 556 Yard Par 5 – Following back to back par threes, players are greeted with a stunning downhill par five that descends nearly 100 feet in elevation from tee to green. A tee shot that stays left of the fairway bunker on the right will give players the green light to take a rip at getting home in two. The ideal approach shot stays up the right side and uses the slope to work the ball back towards the green and sets up a great chance to take a stroke back from Old Man Par. Whatever you do on the 11th, make sure you don't go left where a creek meanders down that side going through a pair of ponds before terminating in a lake that rests greenside. Beautiful, fun, and strategic; everything you want in a golf hole.
Best Par 3: 9th Hole – 151 Yards – The downhill 9th is a short but picturesque offering that offers views for miles and miles across the desert to the towering mountains. In one of the most disproportionate ratios you'll ever see, the green is five times longer than it is wide with the putting surface stretching out over 185 feet long. A trio of bunkers follow the left side of the green but it is the confounding undulations in the putting surface that can create the most havoc with your short game. This shouldn't be a difficult green to hit in regulation, but par is no gimmie once you are on board.
Best Par 4: 17th Hole – 331 Yards – The back nine at Rams Hill is loaded with great holes, but the driveable 12th and 17th might be the most enjoyable of the bunch. The penultimate hole at Rams Hill tips out at 331 yards but a tee shot that flies 275 yards straight at the green will find the putting surface and yield an eagle putt which is an exciting proposition late in the round. But the green is one of the most undulated and challenging on the course so you'll still need a deft short game to go under par once aboard the putting surface. Players that decide to layup have a large fairway on the right side with a 200 yard shot staying short of the octet of bunkers that need to be avoided on the approach shot. A wide range of scores are possible here and it is a perfect match play hole late in the round.
Best Par 5: 18th Hole – 577 Yards – If there is a consistent theme with Tom Fazio it is that you can virtually bank on the finishing hole having a water hazard up the right side, and Rams Hill is no different. The par five finisher features a collection of bunkers in the driving zone, three of which will help you stay out of the lake if your ball is tumbling to the right. Players laying up need to be cautious of the center bunker 75 yards from the green while players going for it in two will surely have their eyes drawn to the bunkers and waterfall that frame the right side of the green. There is plenty of green grass to play from on this hole so don't let the sand or water get to you and finish your day off with a birdie.
Birdie Time: 12th Hole – 333 Yard Par 4 – The four hole stretch of 9-12 is an extremely memorable and engaging run of holes to enjoy and finishes at a short two-shotter that you can take advantage of. On a straight line to the green it takes less than 300 yards to reach the green and is the most rewarding play to make if you are capable of it with the ideal line being the left edge of the putting surface. The fairway slopes from left to right which is why a large bunker is found on the left side 50 yards short of the front edge of the green and will catch balls that don't have enough juice to get to the putting surface. Players looking to layup should simply strike a 200 yard tee shot and take a wedge into the green in an effort to knock an approach shot stiff. There are scoring opportunities on the back nine, and this is certainly a major one.
Bogey Beware: 8th Hole – 498 Yard Par 4 – Measuring a mere six feet shy of 500 yards, the 8th is an absolute brute to take on for a two-shotter. The three fairway bunkers on the right will encourage players to keep their tee shot up the left side which will also help shorten the hole a bit. The approach shot plays slowly but steadily uphill to a green that is twice as wide as it is deep, so distance control is paramount for any chance of success. Players that stay up the right side can use the bowl effect to work their ball onto the putting surface while balls sailing left into the deep greenside bunker will end most player's hope of saving par.