We own a unit in Villa's I and play golf every day when we are there. There are many affordable golf courses in the area, but we try to play in the east part of the Valley - the closer you get to Palm Springs, it tends to be windier - at times it can be a virtual hurricane in Palm Springs and near Indio - not a breeze. The last couple years we have used the recommendations of the web site palmspringsteetimes.com Bob Gibson has a great web site and will make your tee times for you. I have recommended him to friends and they continue to use him as well.
Of course rates go up substancially during the Winter season in the Palm Desert area. At the Desert Springs Marriott you less than a mile from several of the best courses in the Coachella Valley.
Desert Willow, off of Country Club Dr, is probably one of the best - if not the best layout in the Palm Springs area. If you have a chance to go out with a local Palm Desert resident, you usually can get a better rate. Look into their "double eagle" special that allows you to play both of their courses for a reduced rate.
Desert Falls Country Club - also off of Country Club Dr. Another great layout.
Palm Desert Resort Country Club (not to be confused with Palm Desert Country Club) - also off of Country Club Dr. Probably is the best value for the price, especially twilight rates.
Palm Desert Country Club - off of Hovley Lane East, a nice course that has been redesigned within the last few years. Many of the locals like to play this course as they have reasonable rates throughout the year.
Oasis Country Club - off of Country Club Drive - a spectacular Executive Course, beautifully maintained
Classic Club - off of Cook Str, across I-10. They have had quite a bit of trouble with their greens and fairways this summer, but should have everything under control in the near future. Tough, demanding course - especially if it gets windy.
I did a great deal of research last year and played Taquitz Creek Golf Course. I thought the course was great the rates to be very good and with a paid round of golf you also recieved a free breakfast and lunch. My friends and I played the lesser of the two courses and the course was in great shape and the views were awesome. I would highly recommend this course. You can find their specials on line at
This is a great place to play golf although it can be pricey during the late Fall and Winter months. You can get some decent deals at a web site call www.golfnow.com click on the Palm Springs link.
My favorite public courses in order of preference: Desert Willow in Palm Desert; Silver Rock in La Quinta; Desert Falls in Palm Desert; Indian Wells Resort in Indian Wells; Trilogy in La Quinta.
Desert Willow (PDs municipal course) is pricey but very nice--two 18 hole courses. Also the Faldo course at Marriott's Shadow Ridge is nice, but there is only one coursse--also over 150 a round. If you take the tour of the time shares there is a discount for golf.
Don't go in October (you said Winter) because they overseed the courses and they are mostly unplayable. Have fun
Try the Happy Hour at the River in Rancho Mirage--Piero's Acqua Pazzo is excellent!