I discovered Camelot for golfers. 

Ike hole #2.

Only 23 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, I found my dream weekend for “happily ever aftering” at the Pacific Palms Resort in Industry Hills California   Perched high on a hill surrounded by the San Gabriel Mountains and the Anaheim Hills, this 650-acre kingdom is misted in Merlin’s magic.   And I have the score card to prove it!

The architect, William Bell must have been a former knight of the Round Table. His exceptional ability to design two world renowned champion golf courses is legendary.   The Eisenhower (Ike
) and the Zaharias (Babe ) courses are the most prestigious on the West Coast. (Call 626/810-4653 to book a tee time.)

Ike hole #18.

Hitting my drives onto the long and gracious fairways where Tiger Woods trained to become a champion was intoxicating.  The  lush green carpet fairways were fairy tale perfect.  Maybe it’s because “the rain may never fall till after sundown and by eight the morning dew must disappear” that transformed my golf swing.  I was finally able to consistently accelerate through the ball and finish high.

Did past golfers leave their golf wisdom in the cool California air?  Or was it the Pacific Palms Resort’s multi-million dollar renovations that made my short chip shots land on the undulating greens, past the softened bunkers? 

It was as if the legendary pro’s collaborated to guide my ball in a perfect trajectory towards every  hole.  Was it the cool California breeze that relaxed my swing?   How did I manage to miss all but one of the 160 sand traps? 

But that’s only the half the story.

The Pacific Palms pool is pacific and sunny.

If I hadn’t landed in that one trap I wouldn’t have been able dig my heels into the sand, or hit the high arced swing that scooped my ball up and out.  I watched the pearly white sphere float effortlessly through a shower of sand granules and land a foot away from the hole. 

Was it the eight lakes and numerous waterfalls that inspired my Zen like focus or was it Camelot?  I hummed with King Arthur arrogance as I marked down my fourth par score.  This resort was a precious gem that made my golf game shine brighter than ever!

The first course we played was the Eisenhower which is affectionately called “The Ike”.  President Eisenhower was a golf enthusiast who played more than 800 rounds  during his presidency. 

No wonder we yearn for the simplicity of the ‘50s.

Celebrate at Celebration Lake,
a great venue for weddings.

This course has a slope rating from 130-145.  It stretches from 5,662 yards from the forward tees to 7,221 yards from the championship tees.  It has been the host of quite a few U.S. Open Qualifying tournaments as well as LPGA tour events.  It just hosted the ESPY Golf championship this July.  So no matter if you’re a scratch golfer or an amateur enthusiast, Ike is something to more than like!

Like a true golfer who constantly needs to prove themselves, I had to play another round to make sure my first round at The Ike wasn’t just a fluke.  The Camelot magic continued into the second day on the Zaharias course.  

Resort treasures are found
at Crystal Palms Boutique.

But today Lady Guinevere was my Muse as the course was narrower and gentler than the Ike.  It was named after Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias, who is considered to be one of the greatest athletes of all time. An Olympic gold medalist in track and field, she was the first woman to compete in a PGA Tournament in the 1938 Los Angeles Open.  She won 17 straight amateur tournaments (more than Tiger Woods), 10 majors and was a founding member of the LPGA.  

In fact, in a poll that the Associated Press conducted, Americans voted Babe as the world’s greatest woman athlete of the first half of the 20th Century.

Make your next agenda, golf.

The course, being true to her name, is award winning.   It winds around the hilltop resort as if Babe’s spirit intentionally guided the design to be narrow and long.  The course ranges from 5,363 yards from the forward tees to 6,821 yards from the championship tees.  It’s a par 71 with slope ratings ranging from 126 to 138.

I don’t know if it was the spirit of Merlin, or the sheer inspiration of Babe’s athletic prowess, but my second round of golf was even more enjoyable than my first.  The course tested both my long and short game.  Pin placement rewarded the three foot putts and the narrowness of the course challenged my slice.  Yet, every shot felt like a treasured moment in time.  I wondered if I had known about Babe when I was in grade school if I would have pursued a career with the LPGA.

The Pacific Palms boasts a great Golf Academy program for both Juniors, (Tiger Woods used the course as a Junior) and Adults.  They have a magnificent driving range that’s lit until 11 p.m.  The golf directors pride themselves in running world class tournaments.  I got to meet the Pro Dave Youpa.  His easy smile and warmth exuded a genuine passion for the game and his facility.  “We want to promote the game of golf and this is a great place to do it.”

Relax like Ike in the Presidential Suite.

Golf is not for the faint of heart and the meticulous care and attention to detail is what makes Pacific Palms Golf experience so extraordinarily challenging and athletically rewarding.

The spacious rooms at the resort are elegantly designed to be artfully interesting and cozy.  I loved the luxurious comforting feel of the duvet cover that was etched in a delicate celery green thread that matched the walls.  The lighting was warm and inviting. 

After a round, it's time for sound slumber.

Floor to ceiling glass doors to the spacious patio were housed in white plantation shutters that slid open to reveal the most magnificent water fall display.  

After playing 18 holes of golf, it was a pleasure to kick off my soggy socks and pour myself a glass of wine and watch the California sunset mesmerize the San Gabriel Mountains.  A flourish of colors lit up the sky as shades of crimson cascaded into hues of pink that gently formed shades of dusky grays outlining the evening mist of the 18th fairway below me.

Golf isn’t the only claim to fame for this resort oasis. 

Pampering palms treatment room.

I had the amazing pleasure of experiencing the “pampering palms” of the most skilled Spa masseuse in the world.  The minute I relaxed on her table my spirit soared.  Her therapeutic touch was nurturing and her healing  hands soothed my cramped muscles, released hidden golf tensions, and those aggravating kinks that creep into my body. 

An hour of pampering was the penultimate experience.  I extended my Spa feeling by enjoying their pristine whirlpool.  I gazed at the colorful muraled walls and relaxed deeper into the swirling warm waters.

The spa relaxation room.

The staff at the Spa showed every client that walked through their doors a reverence and respect in every detail.  Their luxurious robe caressed and comforted my tired body.  The shower walls glittered in opalescent excitement that washed away the day’s toxins.  The spa products had a luxurious feel that left my skin smooth and glowing.

What I loved about this 11,000-square-foot  facility was the décor.  I felt renewed and beautified the minute I stepped into this soothing sanctuary.  The watermarked paper wall coverings with the bamboo flooring gave it an organic feeling.  The crystal lighting and imported art from Bali were a glamorous and exotic surprise.  The beauty, elegance, art, and healing touch  etched the spa’s signature on my soul left me  floating on clouds.

The restaurants at the Pacific Palms Resort are outstanding. 

The Red Bar.

I loved the earth, wind and fire décor at CIMA’s.  The Pacific Fusion Cuisine was sumptuous.  The service was friendly and impeccable.  The new RED restaurant was chic and  lively with an upscale LA feel.  The lobster bisque was tasty, my steak juicy and the wine list extensive.  We enjoyed after dinner drinks around their magnificent fire pit on the patio. 

Pacific Palms Resort
One Industry Hills Parkway
Industry Hills, CA 91744
800-524-4557 - Reservations
626-854-2315 - Sales
626-810-4455 - Guest Services
626-810-4653 - Tee Times
626-854-2351 - Tournaments

I looked up to the star studded sky and like the ending of a Hollywood movie a flourish of glittering fire works exploded in bursts of colorful phosphorescence. 

What a perfect ending to my Camelot weekend of “happily ever aftering". 

— Feature by Janice Wilson, Jetsetters Magazine Golf and Tennis Editor; phptps courtesy of Pacific Palms Resort..