DESTINATION DESERT

La Quinta, Indian Wells and parts of Palm Desert are the most attractive parts of the California Desert area, featuring plush country clubs, resorts and great shopping. One place that combines those luxuries with the convenience of not having to buy a second home is the Residence Club. It’s there that members have playing privileges at five courses: the Greg Norman Course, TPC Stadium Course, The Nicklaus Tournament Course, La Quinta Resort Mountain and Dunes courses. If that’s not enough, they even have their own putting green.

The Residence Club is located just in from the main entrance to PGA West, less than five minutes from any of the PGA West courses and less than 10 minutes from La Quinta Resort courses. Private clubs such as The Palms, Plantation or La Quinta Country Club and other hubs like Quarry, Tradition and Hideaway are all within a short drive as well.

At the Residence, the villas are well-designed and luxuriously appointed with Spanish Colonial architecture and 3,300-square-foot of living space. The layout includes dual master suites as well as a private casita suite. A large gourmet kitchen flows into the living and dining room. Out back is a dining courtyard and spa and pool with a fire pit.

For more info visit www.residenceclubpgawest.com or call 800-650-9200.

MAW Tournament

The 13th annual Santa Barbara Golf Invitational, sponsored by the Music Academy of the West, will be held on October 16 at Birnam Wood Golf Club. This event raises more money than any other golf benefit in the Santa Barbara area. All money generated goes to the Music Academy’s full scholarship fund.

This year’s event will be co-chaired by Lachlan Hough, former head for Asia at Security Pacific Bank and an avid golfer; James Shattuck, also an avid golfer and the recently retired vice chairman of Union Pacific Railroad; and Diane Pace Sullivan, who has been a member of the Music Academy’s Board since 2004 and is also involved with Girls Inc., Cottage Hospital and the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara.

This is the only outside tournament played at Birnam Wood. Players will be treated to golf, tee prizes, buffet lunch, on-course contests, cocktail reception, live auction, awards and a three-course dinner. The evening will be highlighted by a performance from Rena Harms, a Music Academy alumna who in October will make her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

The live auction will include some unusual gifts, including a private tour of Venoco’s Platform Gail. A party of eight will take a 12-mile boat ride from Carpinteria to the Gail platform with lunch included.

Other members of the tournament committee include: Kent N. Allebrand, Rosalind R. Amorteguy, Lee A. Asseo, Kathleen Bielen, John C. Bishop, Richard C. Blake, Barbara Briggs-Anderson, Charles de L’Arbre, John S. DeGroot, Douglas Hampson, Beverly Hardin, Victoria Hough, Lucy Hromadka, Nancy Hunter, Fritz R. Huntsinger, Elizabeth R. Leddy, Betty Meyer, Max E. Meyer, Steven W. Oliver, Royal E. Peterson III, Richard and Robin Schutte, Ingrid Shattuck, J. Wesley St. Clair, William S. Thomas, Jr., and W. Pendleton Tudor.

For more information visit www.musicacademyofthewest.org or call 695-7917 and ask for Christina Criswell.

First Tee Golf Tournament

The First Tee Classic will be held October 23 at La Cumbre Country Club. The format will be Two Best Ball of Foursome, which gives the participant a chance to play his own ball unlike most scramble formats. Kevin Marsh, who won the 2005 USGA Mid-Am, will be on hand to describe his Masters experience. The tournament offers an opportunity to win $50,000 on the putting green.

Several years ago, the USGA started a program called The First Tee to provide affordable access to golf for youngsters. The Central Coast chapter of that program is run by Butch Breeden, an avid golfer who plays at Montecito Country Club and spent most of his career coaching basketball and golf at Carpinteria High School.

In addition to giving kids golf course access, The First Tee strives to impact the lives of those young people by providing educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.

This year’s tournament sponsors include Bank of Santa Barbara, Northern Trust, Mid State Bank, J Staal Storage and The Habit. For more information visit www.TheFirstTeeCentralCoast.org or call 684-2184.