Industry News

Desert Willow Golf Resort named 2023 California Golf Course Owners Association Course of the Year

CGCOA honors city of Palm Desert-owned facility with most prestigious annual award

Sacramento, Calif., Dec. 12, 2023 – Desert Willow Golf Resort, proudly owned by the City of Palm Desert and managed by leading sports, entertainment and hospitality company KemperSports, has been honored with the prestigious 2023 California Golf Course Owners Association (CGCOA) Course of the Year Award. The announcement was recently made during the CGCOA annual conference in Trabuco Hills, Calif., where outstanding golf facilities across the Golden State were acknowledged for their unwavering commitment to golf instruction and the advancement of the game.

The CGCOA’s annual Course of the Year Award honors a member of the CGCOA demonstrating excellence in five key areas:

  • Exceptional Quality of the Course
  • Exemplary Water Stewardship Practices
  • Exceptional Quality of Ownership and Management
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Community
  • Significant Contributions to the Game
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"Dedication to excellence is at the heart of Desert Willow Golf Resort,” said Derek White, KemperSports general manager at Desert Willow. “We are honored to receive the prestigious Course of the Year Award from the CGCOA. This recognition reflects our unwavering commitment to delivering an exceptional golf experience and inspires us to continue raising the bar for golf enthusiasts near and far, reinforcing Desert Willow as a premier destination for golfers worldwide."

“Desert Willow represents the very best and has earned the reputation as one of the country’s premier golf resorts,” said KemperSports CEO Steve Skinner. “This award is a testament to the Desert Willow team’s willingness to go above and beyond for its guests day in and day out, and we couldn’t be more proud of them for earning this respected recognition.”

As the 2023 CGCOA Course of the Year, Desert Willow will be submitted as the CGCOA’s nomination for next year’s National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) Jemsek National Course of the Year Award, which marks a significant milestone for Desert Willow to position itself on the national stage alongside the country’s other top golf courses.

Desert Willow Golf Resort also joins the ranks of other distinguished California courses that have earned this coveted award in recent years, including the renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links, Poppy Hills, Indian Wells Golf Resort, Presidio Golf Club and Silverado Resort, further solidifying its commitment to excellence in golf and proving its significant impact on the greater golfing community.


About Desert Willow Golf Resort:

Desert Willow Golf Resort is a world-class public golf resort with nationally ranked courses, Firecliff and Mountain View.  Both the Mountain View and Firecliff golf courses provide two very different, yet exceptional desert golf experiences. Desert Willow Golf Resort will continue to deliver an upscale “country club for a day” experience and be a must play for domestic and international visitors, corporate and association groups, and men’s and ladies golf clubs from across the country and world. For more info on Desert Willow Golf Resort, visit

About KemperSports:

Desert Willow Golf Resort is managed by KemperSports on behalf of the City of Palm Desert. KemperSports is a leading sports, entertainment and hospitality company that delivers operational excellence in property and experience management. Headquartered in Chicago with regional offices throughout the U.S., KemperSports manages more than 140 golf courses, private clubs, sports venues, and destination resorts nationwide. It has more golf properties named among the top 100 U.S. public and resort courses as rated by GOLF Magazine, Golf Digest and Golfweek than any other management company. For more information about KemperSports, visit

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Media Contact:
Gehrig Parker, KemperSports | (847) 977-3400