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Desert Willow Golf Resort

Palm Desert, California

The first golf course featured on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine

Smithsonian Magazine has published over 500-issues in it's 50+ years of journalism, but has featured only one golf course on its cover.  That course, Desert Willow Resort (Palm Desert, CA) was designed by our firm and appeared in the April 1997 issue.  The story examined how our techniques in environmental design could employ a golf course as a vehicle to convert desert into a diverse bio-habitat.  Our approach was rooted in biomimicry, specifically, combining the dynamics of the desert biome and isolated Native American oasis found along the nearby San Andres fault.    Flat desert was shaped into rolling dunes,  stabilized with native plants and plated with a thin layer of decomposed granite, all in an effort to conserve and protect from the drying desert winds the limited resource of effluent water that sustained life in an perpetually hostile environment.