The Beginning of Tradition

Tradition’s rich history is characterized by pioneers and trailblazers who over decades shaped and strengthened this impressively distinct community. We continue today as a place of storied significance, filled with the hallmarks of the charm and character of yesterday, as we attract a new era of icons and leaders.

before 1902

The Cahuilla people were the first to discover the land Tradition Golf Club now sits, settling at a lake that existed in prehistory.

Time and geography took away the lake but left flowing springs capable of sustaining a community...drawing people here across centuries and cultures. The arrowheads that can still be found on the grounds here are testament to those who came before.

the homestead

The estate that became Tradition Golf Club was originally homesteaded in 1902 by John Marshall, who obtained 160 acres from the Southern Pacific Railroad. This was also when the original home — now known as the Eisenhower Cottage — was built.

Notably, Washington Street was originally named Marshall Road, and La Quinta Cove was known as Marshall Cove.

Video: Original Ranch Gates

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The main ranch house, the Hacienda, was built by female Architect, Helen Douglass French. Cactus and specialty gardens were also planted around the Hacienda — previewing the thousands of flowers planted here every year.

Video: Hacienda Del Gato

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Hacienda Del gato

Marshall Ranch was sold to William and Elizabeth Rosecrans. William was the grandson of Civil War General Willian Starke Rosecrans.

The main ranch home was renamed “Hacienda del Gato” in honor of the family cat that alerted Mrs. Rosecrans of a rattlesnake outside the kitchen doorway.

The Rosecrans name is still well-known around Southern California for the family’s civic, cultural, and political legacies.

celebrity retreat

Hacienda del Gato became a private retreat for leaders including Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, and stars such as Rudolph Valentino, Clark Gable, and Katharine Hepburn.

It was held in high esteem by those who enjoyed this exclusive retreat, a private sanctuary from the world at large.


The Rosecrans family sold the property to the citrus farmers James and Esther Holmes. Citrus cultivation here included Seville oranges, pink grapefruit, Ponderosa lemons, and Algerian tangerines to name a few.


After the Holmes family, the property was owned by several developers, Fritz Burns, Bill Young, and then Landmark Land Company.


The property was then sold to Sienna Corporation, which partnered with Arnold Palmer and his design company to begin construction of Tradition Golf Course.

Video: Arnold Palmer at Tradition

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The Tradition Golf Course and Clubhouse opened.


Tradition Golf Club formally transitions from developer-owned to a Member-Owned Equity Club.


Tradition Golf Club is distinguished as a Platinum Club of America, regarded by many as the most respected recognition in the private club industry.


The iconic Arnold Palmer statue — capturing his distinctive follow-through for posterity — is unveiled at Tradition during the CareerBuilder Challenge week. In attendance at the ceremony is Palmer’s grandson and PGA Tour member Sam Saunders.


Tradition Golf Club celebrates its 120th and 25th anniversaries, beginning with a commemoration during the Opening Party.

The Tradition Continues...