In 1960, the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic arrived in Palm Springs. Shortly thereafter, the world would not only realize the wonders of golf, but the sheer excellence of golf in Palm Springs. The landscape provided unique conditions along with spectacular weather and minimal rain. It was like a golfers dream escape, and it still is.
Originally the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic was know as the Palm Springs Golf Classic, but as word took wing and celebrities were drawn to the ultimate desert golf experience, it became one of the main golfing events in the entire Palm Springs desert. Amazingly, the tournament includes five-days of play, extending over four brilliantly manicured courses.
Through the Years
In 1961, the tournament was publicized for the very first time. Everyone wanted a piece of the action, including Bing Crosby, Kirk Douglas and even President Eisenhower. As popularity grew and grew and grew and grew, celebrities were drawn closer to the Palm Springs for this incredible golfing event.
By the time the 1970's rolled around, the Rat Pack was big into the scene, as well as President Ford. It was in the 1980's that the Palm Springs Golf Classic was renamed the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. After all it was mostly a celebrity-president tournament, but what was more incredible was the public interest and fan felt appreciation of this now historic golfing event.
The 90's brought even more historic times as Tom Kite set a course record that wouldn't be broken for the next few years. No one could have ever imagined that Kite would finish 35 under par - but he did. What happened in the early 2000's when Joe Durant starting swinging away, was even more astonishing. Durant would go on to barely beat Kite's record, by only one stroke.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic goes beyond the celebrities and the incredible golf. Over $42 million dollars has been donated to charities within the Palm Springs-Coachella Valley since the tournament began. Each January, fans from across the globe travel to Palm Springs to see this entertaining golf extravaganza.