Ever play golf down the side of a Mountain with a four-wheel drive vehicle as your golf cart? Well that is how it’s done on the first day of the Pioneer Pass Golf Challenge.

This super fun, sporting event continues a tradition that started in 1959. The event was originally organized to raise funds to build a paved road between two towns. The pioneers of this extreme golf event, assisted by Marines from the Twentynine Palms base, met on the mountain in the 1950’s with shovels and other equipment to carve out the proposed road. The golf challenge was created as a promotional event to draw attention to the road concept. The back-road between the towns is still unpaved, but the Pioneer Pass Golf Challenge continues 62 years later (2021). Your 2nd round is a little easier the following day, with an 18 stroke play at The Hawk’s Landing Golf Course in Yucca Valley.

The Pioneer Pass Challenge begins at Hawk’s Landing Golf Course in Yucca Valley where the vehicles caravan up the mountain to Big Bear. Each hole is set up at different spots along Pioneer Pass – the four wheel drive vehicles are the golf carts for this 30 mile challenge. After playing each hole, golfers pile into trucks for the drive to the next “tee.”

Golfers are required to bring their own “spotters.” These good sports stake out a place somewhere down the “fairway,” and watch for flying golf balls. Not an easy job, as virtually the entire course is played in the rough and takes players through rugged mountain terrain before dropping down into Yucca Valley. Your ball lands in a shrub? No problem, you get a 6 club length drop, no closer to the 20’ chalked circle around the pins, located near the dirt road that brings you down the mountain.

So once this pandemic is over and 2021 is well under way, look for this event, pack your four-wheel drive vehicle, grab a spotter with a good pair of binoculars and hit the dessert for a lot of Extreme Golf enjoyment at the Pioneer Pass Golf Challenge. They will have your “bright” high visibility Chromax® Golf balls waiting for you. For your planning and more information on the September 2021 Pioneer Golf Challenge, please email cmelland@hidesertstar.com or call Hawk’s Landing at 760-365-0033.