Not Kicking the Bucket List – The Dinah Shore

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This is the second blog in a series of four about playing all my top Bucket List courses in 2015.

The Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills, Palm Springs, CA. 

I don’t know if there’s a golf tournament I love as much as the LPGA ANA Inspiration, once known as the Kraft Nabisco Championship, once known as the Nabisco Dinah Shore, once known as, well, many other names.  But it’ll always be The Dinah to me.

Oh wait, it has one other name.  About 25 years ago some entrepreneurs created an annual lesbian weekend extravaganza in Palm Springs to coincide with the tournament.  Every year, tens of thousands of lesbians attend pool parties, events and shows during The Dinah weekend.  So, many attendees know it by its nickname:  The Vagina Shore.

Younger people may know about the tournament, but not so much about the history.  When I mentioned something about Dinah Shore to my favorite young lesbian (she’s 29) she said “wait, it’s a person?  I thought it was a shore, you know, on a lake.”

I’ve flown cross-country three times for The Dinah and never miss it on TV.  So, it’s always been very high on my bucket list.   I asked many friends (some in pretty high golf places) to get me out, but no luck.

Then, one wonderful day while playing Torrey Pines (#4 on the Bucket List – see my last blog), I serendipitously got paired with Dr. Alwin, who told me he was a member there.  What?!  He promised – possibly a mistake on his part – that when I came back to California he’d get me out.   So back to CA I went (what a surprise) and Dr. Alwin took me to play The Dinah.

I chipped on #14 where Dottie Pepper intentionally bladed a sand wedge into the cup on her road to victory in 1999.  I made my approach shot on 18 where Karrie Webb holed out for eagle on her way to winning in 2006.  I stood near the statue of Dinah waving, right where the real Dinah waved for years.

18 holes of pure joy.  I’ll never forget it, nor your graciousness and generosity, Dr. Alwin.



  1. Mike November 30, 2015 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    So good!!!! Awesome!

  2. martha December 1, 2015 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Thanks for a great year of funny, charming stories, Patty. Loooking forward to 2016s installments.

  3. Anne December 1, 2015 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    How could I have lived my whole life and never heard of the Vagina Shore? That really made me laugh. Glad you got to play the course!

    • Patty Ellis December 1, 2015 at 4:36 pm - Reply

      You’re not gay, that’s how! This is why you keep me around, Anne, so you can learn these things.

  4. Teri December 1, 2015 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    I can’t trump you on too many things golf related, but I do have pictures with Dinah at the Dinah. The Wednesday of the tournament week was the Celebrity-Pro round, and Dinah always played. The farther you walked from the clubhouse, the thinner the crowds got and it was pretty easy to have a conversation with her. Thanks for bringing back a great memory!

    • Patty Ellis December 2, 2015 at 7:43 am - Reply

      Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, how cool is that???? I want to see them, Teri. So funny that I used to love her as a kid, then she ends up hosting such a huge tournament. And she was a tennis player at the time! She learned to play golf so she could be a better LPGA ambassador.

  5. Margo December 3, 2015 at 9:51 am - Reply

    I never heard of the Vagina Shore either! We need to go back and read The Lesbian Book.

    • Patty Ellis December 3, 2015 at 1:54 pm - Reply

      Well you sure don’t need to read how to pick football games!! Great week last week, Margo – WOW, 14 out of 16, hard to do.

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