Golf Courses in New Mexico
The growth of popularity of golf in the southwest is due in part to those wishing to escape the frigid cold of the northland. Baby-boomers and those who want to enjoy the beauty of the southwest are flocking even now to New Mexico.
One of the courses is the Chamisa Hills Country Club. The 27-hole facility is located in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Desmond Muirhead and Gene Sarazen designed the original 18-hole course that opened in 1970. Each man took credit for nine holes. Muirhead designed the West nine. Sarazen designed the East nine. It is located on 280 acres. It features rolling hills and spectacular views of the Sandia Mountain Range. It has been known to have strong crosswinds so be prepared for them to come into play. Also note that the tree placement challenges the thought of an easy shot! The fairways are mostly Bluegrass with Seaside bent used on the greens. Lee Trevino designed the third nine holes on the North nine. This nine opened in 1988. The three sections together challenge the complete game of any golfer.
The Desert Greens Golf Course is in the west side of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is one of the oldest courses. It opened in 1962. It started with 6808-yard length, but is set to expand to over 7000 yards. With one of the most complete pro-shops in the area, it offers up to date practice facilities. A new chipping area is set to open. There are four sets of tees. Each hole has tree-lined fairways with bunkers positioned around greens to insure good shot management. The course rating 72.1 with a slope of 129.This is subject to be altered by the new improvements that are being done.
The Ladera Golf Course is also located on the west side of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a 27-hole facility. It consists of a nine hole Executive Course and the eighteen-hole Championship Course. Richard M. Phelps designed them. The longer course opened in 1980, followed in 1981, by the Executive Course. The Sandia Mountains on the west and volcanic features on the east surround the courses. The courses feature wide fairways and spacious greens flanked by bunker. From the championship tees the length is 7107 yards with a rating of 73 and a slope of 123.
The other area that has grown as a golfing destination is northern New Mexico. The Las Alamos Golf Club is the second oldest golf course in New Mexico. It opened in 1947 to provide a stress relief for the staff at the Atomic Energy Commission. The course has rolling fairways lined with a multitude of ponderosa pines and cottonwood trees, and small greens. At an altitude of 7300 feet, the views are breathtaking! The course sits on mesas in the Jemez Mountains. The length is 6496 yards with a slope of 120 with a rating of 70.1.
The Pinon Hills Golf Course is located in Farmington, New Mexico. From its opening in1989, it has been recognized as one of the best desert golf courses by Golf World Magazine. In 2002, Golf Digest rated it as the # 1 municipal course in the nation. It features deep arroyos and wide fairways displaying fantastic desert views. The course is extremely challenging because of limited landing points for the ball. Shots from the tee must be fairly long and accurate. Kenneth Dye designed the course that plays at a length of 7249 yards from the back tees. The course rating is 74 with a slope of 140.
When playing golf in New Mexico's high country, take awhile to adjust yourself to the altitude or you may feel light-headed and winded. Outside of Albuquerque, some of the best golf in New Mexico is in Rancho De Taos at the Taos Country Club. It is an 18-hole public course. Then go over to Las Cruces at the University Course where they hold many NCAA Tournaments. The course offers large greens and wide fairways. Take time to enjoy the atmosphere found only in New Mexico!!!
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