When you think of La Quinta, Calif., you probably think of the abundance of world-class golf courses it has to offer, including PGA WEST, which plays host to this week's Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation, where Mark Wilson is the defending champion.
While there's plenty of great golf to be played in this desert oasis, it could also make for a great family destination.
Before the start of the Humana Challenge we tracked down Jerry Eye, the PGA Senior Director of Golf Operations at PGA WEST, for a little Q&A.
Eye offered up some great options for things to do off the course and also told us where to stay, play and dine.
PGA.com: We appreciate you joining us, Jerry. Where you're located at PGA West offers some of the best views players will see all year on the PGA Tour. Can you tell our readers a little about the surroundings that make the courses used for the Humana Challenge so special?
Eye:The Santa Rosa mountain range offers spectacular views for both players and spectators. Often during the Humana Challenge you will see Big Horn sheep that come down from the mountains to eat the grass around the edge of the golf course. The courses are always in pristine condition and offer perfect playing and scoring conditions for the professionals.
PGA.com: La Quinta and the surrounding area is a fantastic vacation destination. If a family were going there and wanted to do something aside from golf, can you tell us about some of the attractions the area has to offer? Also, what's the best place for a family to stay?
Eye:There are many things aside from golf for a family to do while staying in the La Quinta area; the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is near the top of the list as well as the PS Air Museum. There are numerous hiking trails throughout the Coachella Valley that offer spectacular scenery for novice hikers up to experts. The almost constant sunshine allows visitors to relax by the pool most days. The best place for relaxing is by one of the 56 pools located at The La Quinta Resort.
PGA.com: If my travels find me in the La Quinta area, where do I need to go for the best dinner and what do I need to order?
Eye:The best dinner in the desert in my opinion is Morgan's in the desert located at the La Quinta Resort. If you eat at Morgan's I strongly recommend the filet but they offer a large selection of dishes.
PGA.com: With so many great courses in such a close vicinity, which ones are the "must play" courses for a buddy golf trip and why?
Eye:If you are on a golf trip to the desert there is a definite must play and that is the Stadium at PGA WEST. La Quinta Resort & PGA WEST offer many other great courses as well, including The Jack Nicklaus Tournament course, The Norman Course and The Mountain Course.
PGA.com: Final question for you, Jerry. What's the highlight of tournment week for you?
Eye:The highlight of tournament week for me is watching the tour stars battle it out on Sunday for the title. I must say meeting President Clinton isn't bad either.