The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands Golf Course, Rancho Mirage, CA
The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands Golf Course, Rancho Mirage, CA

Rancho Mirage,


United States

The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands Golf Course

Opened in 1965, this nine-hole private golf course was part of the 200-acre Sunnylands estate, the winter home of Ambassador Walter and Leonore Annenberg. The 3385-yard course was designed by Dick Wilson on the western half of the estate. Set within a desert environment against the backdrop of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains, the course is integrated with the larger garden landscape’s olive and eucalyptus trees and eleven man-made lakes connected by streams. Additions were made after Wilson’s design, including a Chinese pavilion and 200 yards of cart paths with bridges. In the 1980s the course was altered to accommodate additional tees of varying lengths, making it possible to play 18 holes and accommodate different skill levels. In 2011 a restoration was completed based on aerial photographs from August of 1965 and 1974, original plans and design drawings, analysis of subsurface conditions, and interviews with Wilson associates and the original course superintendent. The original sizes and shapes of greens, tees, fairways, bunkers, water bodies, and their relationship to each other was identified and restored. As the private course of a U.S. Ambassador, frequented regularly by sitting and former U.S. presidents, dignitaries and public figures, and designed by one of the two most highly regarded golf architects working in the U.S. at that time, it is a significant and highly ranked nine-hole course.


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