Golf in the Land of Enchantment
Through the ruggedly desiccated beauty of New Mexico weave a surprisingly high number of challenging layouts. Worthy of a few divots are Black Mesa Golf Club near Santa Fe; Paa-Ko Ridge, east of Albuquerque; and Isleta Eagle and the Championship Golf Course at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
But they’re far from the only courses in the Land of Enchantment.
Before arriving in Santa Fe, hit all 27 holes at Towa Golf Club, just north of the capital and part of Buffalo Thunder Resort. Designed by Hale Irwin, the Piñon and Valley nines each rumble about 3,600 testing yards, while the William Phillips-designed 3,640-yard Boulder Nine boasts the only island green—on the 185-yard fourth hole—in New Mexico.
Heading towards Albuquerque, you’ll find Sandia Golf Club, a picturesque Scott Miller course affiliated with the resort of the same name. Serving up awesome mountain views, Sandia stretches 7,772 yards from the tips, more than any course in New Mexico. It’s forgiving off the tee but the bunkering and green complexes put your short game to the test.
Those same Sandia Mountains frame Twin Warriors Golf Club, a 7,284-yard Gary Panks test threading through 20 ancient cultural sites, grassy knolls, arroyos and ridges dotted with juniper and piñon. Affiliated with the Santa Ana Pueblo’s Hyatt Tamaya, Twin Warriors hosted the PGA Professional National Championship in 2003 and in 2009 shared the duties with its sister course, the 27-hole Santa Ana Golf Club.
If the two-hour drive from Albuquerque didn’t keep Natalie Gulbis away, what’s stopping you from heading to Sierra Del Rio, the 7,331-yard course at Turtleback Mountain Resort? Gulbis, Nancy Lopez and Rosie Jones have all competed in the New Mexico shootout on this 2008 layout by Colorado’s own Phelps-Atkinson Course Design.