A few months ago, I visited a half dozen of the newer golf courses in Palm Springs. It must be an uncomfortable time for golf course designers in Palm Springs because the current Mid-Atlantic steampunk (or whatever) look is so antithetical to the natural blank slate phoniness of Palm Springs. Southern California's low desert is a sprawling monument to post-War notions of design Modernism, now carefully tended to by a huge number of aging gay men formerly employed in Hollywood. It's about as far from the current aesthetic in golf design as is possible.
But, the most interesting development from an aesthetic standpoint was the newest, Escena, where Nicklaus, post-Crash, embraced the flatness and boringness of the desert in a tribute to Rat Pack-era modernism. (The steel and glass clubhouse appears to be a tribute to Frank Sinatra's house in Palm Springs.) I wouldn't be surprised that Nicklaus was originally intending to push around great piles of dirt, but then the developer suffered reverses in 2008, forcing a more modest, more old fashioned Modernist design philosophy.