There’s no doubt that my tennis skills will never get me into our legendary Palm Springs Valley tennis championship in Indian Wells—I’m talking about the BNP Paribas Open, taking place from March 4 – 17, 2013, of course. That said, over the years I have improved immensely, thanks in no small party to one man, my amazing coach and tennis instructor Pat Dennehy at Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa. Pat—the director of the Pete Burwash International tennis programs—has done more for my game in the past two years than I did on my own in the past 20.
With better playing abilities came better appreciation for the game of tennis. And few things give me greater pleasure than watching the pros at BNP Paribas. Even though this sporting ground is regarded as one of the best in the world, Larry Ellison (the owner of the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens, who lives right here in Rancho Mirage), recently announced plans to expand it and make it even better.
Construction will begin shortly after this year’s event, adding a second large stadium that will seat 8,000 spectators in a state-of-the-art complex that will house two restaurants that will each overlook the court while offering spectacular views of the Santa Rosa Mountains and the tournament site. A beautiful new entrance to the entire facility will also be created, replete with stately landscaping and four more practice courts. And even more shade coverings will be added, joining the recently constructed 19,000 square-foot sunproof structure. More than 2000 new spaces will provide more than ample parking for the expanded gardens.
Basically, this place just keeps getting better and better. And although I have no grand illusions of ever being good enough to play in this beautiful location, I’ll keep working on my game with Pat Dennehy at Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa, and then heading out to Indian Wells to watch the masters play.