Breathtaking Views, Challenging Course at the Black Mesa Golf Club

Santa Fe: Black Mesa Golf Club

A rainbow greeted us as we unloaded our clubs.

The second course we played on our recent trip to Santa Fe was the Black Mesa Golf Club.   This is by far the most beautiful golf course I have ever  played and it was in great shape.  Stunning views of desert valleys rising to meet the walls of  box canyons greeted you on every hole.  The dirt cart path climbs up and down the sometimes rocky terrain revealing even more spectacular views highlighting the stark contrast between patches of green marking the golf course and the arid scrub surrounding them.  The cart paths themselves added to the fun as they were steep and windy making for an interesting four-wheel golf cart experience.

This is a challenging course with much of the challenge coming from the desert itself.  Our first taste of how the landscape comes in to play was on the first tee when we couldn’t find the fairway.  After finding the pair in front of us, we got our bearings and found a directional flag planted to help us out.  The course has several blind tee shots over ridges and mounds that leave you trusting your swing.  From the longer tees this can be a bit intimidating.  

Once on the fairways you have to make sure you leave yourself  accurate approach shots or you will be penalized by the heavily guarded greens with deep bunkers.  This can be challenging if you leave yourself hitting from a side-hill stance.  If you don’t make the fairway this will leave you hitting from desert rough and just trying to get your ball in place for a more manageable 2nd or 3rd shot.  Once you make it on the greens, they are characterized by undulating ridges and levels that makes your putts difficult from almost anywhere.  They run true, but they are also fast.

We played on a Thursday morning, teeing off at 7:00 am.  The round took about four hours, but that was due to us trying to find our way around the course, not because we encountered slow play.  We arrived early to check out the practice facilities and found a putting green next to a large driving range with balls already set out for you.  The range also has a chipping and bunker area for you to test out your deep bunker shots.  At the Pro Shop I picked up a yardage book and the carts had a GPS system which turned out to be quite helpful.  The price for the round was $82 which is a little high, but after playing the course, it seems like a bargain.  The experience was well worth the cost. 

This course is about a half hour north of Santa Fe, which explains why it didn’t come up when we were searching the Internet for local courses.   The staff at Marty Sanchez were kind enough to provide this referral.  Another invaluable tool for finding good courses we found was the 2011 Northern New Mexico Golfing publication put out by The Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper.  This publication can be found online at www.santafenewmexian/magazines.  If you ever yourself in Santa Fe, this course should definitely be on your bucket list.  For more information visit www.blackmesagolfclub.com.

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