FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Industry, Calif., Industry Hills Golf Club At Pacific Palms, The Babe Didrikson Zaharias Course

Feb 1, 2013
2013 / February 2013

Over my career, I have played the Babe course (as it is fondly known) countless times. It is named after Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias, whom ESPN ranks in the list of the top 20 best athletes of all time. The course is part of the Pacific Palms Hotel in the City of Industry, not too far from the hot spots in Los Angeles. The Pacific Palms Hotel is also home to the Ike, or Dwight D. Eisenhower Course (reviewed in Global Traveler, September 2011). While the Ike is fairly open, the Babe is just the opposite; many consider it one of the most challenging courses in Southern California. It used to be more difficult, but it appears a friendly greenskeeper cleared some of the trouble areas.

William F. Bell is the architect of both courses, which is fitting, as Zaharias and Eisenhower became fast golf buddies. The sport does bring people together, often those who just associate over the game.

The day my foursome teed up at the Babe, we played one of our favorite games, “wolf,” which features alternating partners and chance. Joining me were two executives from Singapore Airlines, Ken Bright and Eric Orlanes, and GT’s West Coast Advisory Board member, Frank LoVerme.

Hole 1 | 361 yards, par 4

This course is known to be so difficult and narrow, it really intimidates golfers, and I think we talked our way into disaster. The first hole is one heck of an opening, as you are perched high above the fairway for your drive. This dogleg right runs all the way down the hill with out of bounds on the left and a high slope on the right. I have blown my drive through the turn and left out of bounds many times. This time, my years of course knowledge came into play and I drove my ball to the left and beyond the fairway trap. From here, an easy pitching wedge should have landed me on the green but came up short. It seems the greenskeepers cleared the bramble left and right for a little more opportunity to succeed on the first hole.

Hole 8 | 419 yards, par 4

This hole plays much longer, as you hit off the tee to a slight downhill but turn again, just a little to the right, to an elevated green. The second shot needs more gusto to make the putting surface. Let’s not put the horse before the cart — your tee shot must favor the left side of the fairway, as a tree to the right can block your approach. My partner, Eric, and I slapped each other on the back after our near-perfect, sideby- side drives. Ken and Frank disappeared right and looked like a scouting party foraging for nuts and berries. On my approach shot, I remembered this hole plays long and I took more club than logic told me. I hit a fairway wood perfectly — it was beautiful, and Eric cheered — but landed short of the green by about two feet. An easy chip close to the cup gave me a par opportunity. The rest of the team had to listen to my boasting!

Hole 9 | 308 yards, par 4

The yardage makes you think this is an easy hole to master, but the Babe has a trick up her sleeve at every turn. From the tee box, this hole is so narrow the course long ago installed a series of four nets stretched between high telephone poles on the left. To the right a huge hill can either deflect your ball back into place or hold it high forever. I had an anemic drive to the right in front of an annoying tree, which blocked my shot to the green. Frank killed his drive to the left, and as he was my partner, I gave him an “Atta boy!” Eric and Ken disappeared like billy goats into the hills. Frank and I both bogeyed and won with little opposition.

Hole 11 © Francis X. Gallagher

Hole 11 © Francis X. Gallagher

Hole 11 | 526 yards, par 5

I cannot tell you how many times I made the same mistake on this hole. First, your tee shot has to be straight and accurate. It’s a very narrow hole, and most golfers veer right — this will put you in some lovely pines. I was lucky to land on the fairway, so I was not in harm’s way. The next shot has to be long and hug the right of the fairway so you can make the last-minute left turn to the green. If you come up short, you have to loft a shot over the trees to the green or punch out to the right. Once again, I sent my ball over the trees, clipping a branch and luckily landing still in play but about 20 yards short in the rough. I was happy with this: I chipped short of the two-tiered green while the rest of my group slashed through pinecones and pine needles. I secured the bottom of the cup with a 20-foot putt up the slope for double par, which pleased me to no end.

Hole 17 | 195 yards, par 3

I have to cover this par 3, since I played it so spectacularly. It is a beautifully landscaped hole with a pond in front. On the day we played, there must have been 40 little black ducks foraging between the green and the pond and the yellow flowers blooming at the tee box. Three bunkers guard the green, and golfers often come up short or overshoot. I muscled an iron slightly past the hole and two-putted for par. My partner, Eric, was pleased.

Hole 18 | 564 yards, par 5

The finishing hole ends at the defunct funicular, which used to take golfers (with carts) from the 18th green up the hill to the clubhouse. I think legal minds decided this was a disaster waiting to happen. In all my years of playing the Babe, the “White Elephant Funicular” has been out of operation. The key on 18 is to keep your ball in play. Frank and I were teamed again — I hit a lousy drive, landing just right of the right fairway trap, and Frank landed in the same bunker. Eric and Ken kept in play, raising the ante. I threw caution to the wind and used my 3-wood to thread through the trees to advance down the fairway. Frank did the same with his sand shot, while our foes met dual disasters in the rising hills on the left. We continued to the green and walked away with another bogey to take the championship!

The Babe Didrikson Zaharias Course

Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms
1 Industry Hills Parkway
City of Industry, CA 91744
tel 626 810 4653
ihgolfclub.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jun 21, 2021

The Franklin London Launches Afternoon Tea Inspired by Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”

The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, launched a new afternoon tea inspired by the “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” exhibit at the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum. Diners booking the tea also have the option to book an offer including a pre-reserved ticket to the in-demand exhibition.

LGBTQ+
Jun 18, 2021

Show Your Pride with Essentia Cocktails

Pride Month is in full swing and to celebrate the community, make a colorful cocktail everyone will enjoy. These colorful ingredients will get the party started during Pride or any time of the year. Start this recipe the night before to create the rainbow ice cubes.

Norway
Jun 17, 2021

Up Norway Sustainable Tour: The Discovery Route

Up Norway, Norway’s travel curator, partners with sustainability experts to offer travelers a new tour. The Discovery Route, called the “world’s most sustainable journey,” combines personal wellness with the wellness of the environment.

Sports Industry Awards returns to Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah for 8th Edition

The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.

eFlyer Reviews
Jun 16, 2021

Marriott Dallas Uptown Review

Driving into Dallas during a rainstorm, we were eager to arrive at our destination. The valet parking at Marriott Dallas Uptown is underground and ideal for inclement weather. We took the elevator to the lobby and made our way to the registration desk. The staff wore masks, but still managed to convey a warm greeting. On the wall behind them hung a colorful piece of art made partially from reclaimed wood that depicts neighborhood scenes. The new hotel covers an entire block in a residential area and opened earlier this year.

eFlyer Lead
Jun 16, 2021

Studies Show Business Travel Confidence Returning

Business travel is on the brink of returning, according to three new reports. The latest monthly Traveler Confidence Index developed by Travel Again shows business traveler confidence soared in May, with 42 percent now fully ready to travel, up from just 20 percent in April. An additional 31 percent are planning some type of business travel for summer, with 74 percent willing to travel domestically for business in the next 90 days. However, employers may not be as ready, with only 22 percent of business travel respondents with current business travel plans.

SPIA 2021 Winners Crowned at Gala Ceremony at W Hotel, Palm Jumeirah

The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.

Daily
Jun 16, 2021

Best Cities for a Staycation

Although travel restrictions are beginning to lift, many Americans aren’t ready to travel yet, but still want to get out and explore something new. WalletHub, a personal-finance website, recently conducted a study to find out the best cities for a staycation this summer.