A couple of names familiar to readers of this site popped up in si.com’s roundup “Dishing Out Awards for Incredible Renovations, Restorations and New Golf Courses for 2022.” The entry for “Best New Private Course” reveals that industry titans Irving Azoff and Eddy Cue, accurately described as “passionate golfers,” have collaborated on the creation of “something different and unique, a very special, private, traditional golf club in the Coachella Valley.” That would be Ladera Golf Club, designed by architect Gil Hanse and partner Jim Wagner and located in Thermal, 40 minutes southeast of Palm Springs.

“Perhaps the most exclusive, mysterious American golf course project since Steve Wynn and Tom Fazio created Shadow Creek in 1989, Ladera flies so far under the radar that even with a search engine, it’s hard to find any references,” the piece notes. “Yet, several insiders who educated us about Ladera’s merits were so enthusiastic in their reviews, it’s an easy choice as Best New Private Course in the world…

“What is of concern to Azoff and Cue, and their golfing sons, is that Ladera appeal to traditionalists, players who take the values and virtues of golf seriously… Its exclusivity will guarantee that its mystique will only grow. In fact, Ladera is so low-key that... it’s also possible that there will never be an official opening date—or any members. As private playgrounds go, Ladera is world-class—and in a class by itself.”

The item, which is crammed with technical details about the course’s layout, foliage and topography, can be read in full here.

Photo by Channing Benjamin for si.com