A short history of golf in Idyllwild, Calif.

Idyllwild Master Plan 1928

Anyone up for a bit of golf history in Southern California?

How about if we throw in some vintage inspired, customizable & brandable headcovers that were not… but perhaps should have been available at these golf courses? Stay tuned here to see this week’s series about golfing in the primeval forest village of Idyllwild, high above Palm Springs.

*The full map of Emerson’s 1928 Master Plan for Idyllwild can be found at the Idyllwild Historical Society

Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA
Golf Headcover design by Pixelknit
Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA
Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA
Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA

PIXELKNIT is an independent knitting studio producing small batch custom knitwear and accessories in Southern California. We have recently expanded our production capacity and are welcoming a limited number of new clients for events & ongoing knit goods production.

Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA

Part 1

A few years before Thomas Arthur O’Donnell opened the first golf course in Palm Springs, even before the “Mother of Palm Springs” Nellie Coffman turned a dry desolate desert landscape into the famed Desert Inn, golfers were headed to the small forest village of Idyllwild, just above Palm Springs in the San Jacinto Mountains.

In 1901 the Idyllwild Sanatorium opened as a resort for those suffering from Tuberculosis and other respiratory ailments. It advertised “GOLF LINKS UNEQUALED”

As it turns out, wood burning stoves and an 8 hour ox powered carriage ride up a winding mountain road were not helpful for those with respiratory ailments.  It was quickly transformed into a “Modern Pleasure Resort” and renamed The Strawberry Valley Hotel in 1903.

Sadly, in April of 1904 a fire destroyed the hotel…but golf in Idyllwild did not end there!

STAY TUNED for PART 2.

Custom knit headcovers

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HEADCOVERS FEATURED – 100% American Wool – Knit in Idyllwild, California

  • Single stripe fairway with large pom
  • 2 stripe fairway with medium pom & extra long neck
  • Custom colors, sizing & embroidery available

SCARF FEATURED – Custom design for Idyllwild, California

Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA
Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA
Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA
Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA

PIXELKNIT offers a small yet highly customizable collection of knit accessories with a focus on the golf industry. We produce all goods in California allowing for quick turnaround times and personalized service.

*Black & white photos can be found at the Idyllwild Historical Society

Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA

Part 2

In 1914 Idyllwild got back in the game of golf when the Idyllwild Inn opened a new course. In 1917 new owner Claudius Lee Emerson set out to make it one of the premier resorts in Southern California.  Golf & tennis tournaments brought top players to Idyllwild from all over California.  Emerson also purchased 1000 acres of adjacent land to build his “dream community”.

In 1923 he opened the Country Club Subdivision and began work on a new 9 hole course with Metropolitan Bend Grass Greens & Native Grass Fairways along Strawberry Creek .

The Idyllwild Inn caught the eye of Hollywood executives and film stars.  Douglas Fairbanks, Cecil B. DeMille, Mary Pickford, and many other Hollywood elites spent time here in the early days.  At least 20 feature films were shot in the area in the 1920s alone.

Stay tuned tomorrow for PART 3.

A rival course is coming to Idyllwild!

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HEADCOVERS FEATURED – 100% American Wool – Knit in Idyllwild, California

  • Marquee pattern with hand stitched monogram – fits modern 460cc driver
  • Zig zag pattern fairway
  • Narrow striped neck putter
  • Custom colors, sizing & embroidery available
Pixelknit custom knits
Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA
Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA

PIXELKNIT is an independent knitting studio producing small batch custom knitwear and accessories in Southern California.  We have recently expanded our production capacity and are welcoming a limited number of new clients for ongoing knit goods production.

*Black & white photos & membership card can be found at the Idyllwild Historical Society

Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA

Part 3

      In 1925 competing developers opened the Idyllwild Golf Club, another 9 hole course with life memberships for $250. The membership included a plot of land & access to an elegant new clubhouse & swimming pool which opened in 1927.  Unfortunately, it was the club members wives who were tasked with hosting social activities at the clubhouse.  That was not a long-lasting arrangement for obvious reasons.

Financial difficulties led to the reorganization of the Idyllwild Golf Club and in 1928 it reopened as the new Mount San Jacinto Golf Club. It was also short-lived, closing in 1930.  The club house is still used today.  It is now the dining hall at Astrocamp – Idyllwild’s mountain adventure science summer camp.

More to come tomorrow – Plans for an 18 hole course and more!

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HEADCOVERS FEATURED – 100% American Wool – Knit in Idyllwild, California

  • Mini Checks pattern in Danish Blue/Red/Ash – fits modern hybrid
  • Solid Fairway in Ash/Danish Blue/Red/Forest Green
  • Custom colors, sizing & embroidery available

BEANIE FEATURED – Custom design for Idyllwild, California

Pixelknit Custom Headcovers
Idyllwild Master Plan 1928

Part 4

It was the swimming pool at the Idyllwild Golf Club in the late 1920’s that spurred rival golf course owner CL Emerson at the Idyllwild Inn to build the Idyllwild Plunge as well as announce the expansion of his course to 18 holes. He planned to dam Strawberry Creek for a lake and add an airfield for the Inn’s elite clientele. Give us a follow to find out what happened next.

HEADCOVERS FEATURED –  100% American Wool – Knit in Idyllwild, California

  • Zig Zag pattern fairway wood
  • Mid-stripe neck blade putter
  • Custom colors, sizing & embroidery available

PIXELKNIT takes a fresh view of heritage knitwear classics and customizes them to highlight our client’s branding.  Currently booking wholesale & production knitting clients for 2023 and beyond.

*The full map of Emerson’s 1928 Master Plan for Idyllwild can be found at the Idyllwild Historical Society

Pixelknit custom knit headcover
Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA
Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA

PIXELKNIT offers traditional bespoke knit goods, handmade in America from premium wool & other quality fibers for the discerning private label client.  Every product begins with a strand of yarn. We knit all items in Idyllwild, California.

*Black & white photos & membership card can be found at the Idyllwild Historical Society

Part 5

Emerson’s Idyllwild Inn earned a widespread reputation as “The Mile High Golf Course” attracting California’s best talent. The course thrived through the 1930’s but the Great Depression ultimately led to bankruptcy.
The Idyllwild Inn is still open to this day! Albeit without a golf course, but definitely worth the now short 2 hour trip from Los Angeles or 1 hour trip from Palm Desert.

It isn’t over yet!  Stay tuned tomorrow for Idyllwild’s next golf adventure.

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HEADCOVERS FEATURED –  100% American Wool – Knit in Idyllwild, California

  • 2×2 rib driver cover
  • Thick stripe blade putter cover
  • Custom colors, sizing & embroidery available

BEANIE FEATURED – Custom design for Mile High Idyllwild, California

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Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA
Custom Golf Headcovers by Pixelknit
Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA
Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA

PIXELKNIT offers a small yet highly customizable collection of knit accessories with a focus on the golf industry. We produce all goods in California allowing for quick turnaround times and personalized service.

Part 6

Golf was growing quickly in the late 1950s in Palm Springs.  Idyllwild was again getting back into the game! Plans for the Tahquitz Lake Golf Club were announced in 1960 and the course opened in late 1961. It was a leisurely drive up the Palms to Pines Highway from the sizzling heat of the desert to the pleasant temperatures under the towering pines of Idyllwild.

HEADCOVERS FEATURED –  100% American Wool – Knit in Idyllwild, California

  • Solid short neck fairway in mint
  • Thick striped neck fairway in mint & cream
  • Solid single stripe driver in red
  • Custom colors, sizing & embroidery available

VALUABLES POUCH FEATURED – Pendleton wool plaid & canvas exterior, custom branded lining, antique brass hardware

Pixelknit Custom Knit Beanies - Made in the USA
Pixelknit Headcovers on a Vintage Cushman Sharknose Golf Cart

WHO ARE WE?  Heritage Hand Knits by Pixelknit is an independent knitting studio producing small batch custom knitwear and accessories in Southern California. We have recently expanded our production capacity and are welcoming a limited number of new clients for events & ongoing knit goods production.

Part 7

Alas, golf in Idyllwild was not to be…the Tahquitz Lake Golf Club closed in the mid 1960s. Thankfully, Idyllwild is just a leisurely drive down the hill to Palm Springs.

I hope you enjoyed this mini history of golf in Idyllwild!