Golf Vacations Magazine


PGA Tour Event Turns into Desert Festival


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 four-hole 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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