Shadow Mountain Club was the vision of developer Cliff Henderson, known as the “Father of Palm Desert”. Started with the purchase of 620 acres in 1946, the Club was originally conceived as a planned community for those wanting to enjoy the club’s planned tennis, golf, swimming, horseback riding, dinner and dancing amenities.
The Historic Shadow Mountain Golf Club was incorporated in 1958, and by the end of the year 1960 the Club had over 270 members. Shadow Mountain’s Palm Desert golf course was designed by Grand Slam Winner, Gene Sarazen, known as “The Squire” for his dapper dress and the ever-present two-tone wing tipped shoes. Summarizing the layout of the course, he stated: “The new modern course of this type is shorter than most, but is not easier to play. It will give the golfer who uses his brain a chance against the competitor who hits with power, and I think it will be one of the sportiest and most challenging courses in the entire area”. Sarazen was the first to accomplish the Professional Grand Slam with the US Open in 1922, the PGA in 1923, the British Open in 1932, and then the Masters. At age 33 he became the first player to win all four majors. Only Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods have matched his record.
In 2010 the City of Palm Desert proclaimed Shadow Mountain Golf Club as a Historic Landmark as the first golf course in the City of Palm Desert.