Marty Sanchez Links de Sante Fe is a Great, Affordable, Desert Golf Course

Santa Fe Marty Sanchez: 4th hole

The 4th hole is a long downhill par 3. Water on left side of fairway and green, favor right side. You might want to use an extra club.

On a recent trip to Sante Fe, New Mexico, a friend of mine and I had a chance to take our golf clubs and get in a couple of rounds.  I was looking forward to playing on a desert course, an experience I had not had yet.  We looked online before we traveled to see what courses might be near downtown Sante Fe where we were staying.  The pickings were a little slim with many courses listed as private or only nine holes, but we thought the municipal Mary Sanchez Links de Santa Fe looked promising. 

It turned out that the course was located about 20 minutes from our hotel.  Although we were warned that GSP systems don’t work well in Santa Fe, we navigated safely with our trusty Garmin.  The price was $34 with an additional $14 for a cart and once we were on-site we noticed that most people were walking.  However, when we called to get our starting time, the gentleman in the Pro Shop asked if  we were from the area,  and on hearing we were from Florida, he suggested we use a cart due to the altitude  (7000 feet).  This turned out to be great advice as we did notice the effects of altitude during the round especially since we were coming from sea level.  In addition, Tom in the pro shop gave us some tips on what tees to play from providing yardage estimates taking into account the altitude.  An example he provided was that if you hit a 7 or 8 iron from 150 you will hit a 9 iron from 150 here as you get a little more distance playing in the thin air.  They also gave me a good yardage book which was helpful.

The course is set in the vastness of the high desert landscape although there wasn’t much that was flat on this course.    The rolling fairways require a lot of uphill and downhill shot-making that will leave you some awkward lies depending on your tee selection.   These angles can also be taken advantage of to avoid trouble or gain extra yardage if you know where to hit.  Read your yardage book carefully as it contains some hints.  Another challenge is the sand.  If you aren’t careful, you could find yourself in the well positioned and Links-style deep fairway and green-side bunkers.  The rough was desert scrub that wasn’t too bad to hit out of, but watch out for the cacti!  They will jump out and attack you if you’re not looking. 

We were paired with golfers that have played the course several times which was helpful as they gave us advice on where to aim and what type of shot you need play.  There are 5 sets of tees to choose ranging from 7400 yards to just over 5000.  Taking into account the altitude and skill levels of the group, we played the black tees at just over 6700 yards. The condition of the course was good.  When I commented on this to our playing partners, they said that it’s always that way.  The tee boxes and fairways where well maintained as were the undulating mid-sized greens.

If you want to warm up before the round, practice facilities consist of a large driving range and two putting greens, one larger by the range with several pins to choose from, and a smaller green behind the Pro Shop by the tenth tee.    The mid-sized Pro Shop was well stocked and located in a Clubhouse that includes a restaurant and bar.  For those who can’t bring their clubs, there are clubs for rent.

I thought playing the Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe was an unbelievable experience.  I don’t know how often you might get to Sante Fe but this is one course to put on the list. For more information see www.linksdesantafe.com

2 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks so much for write up about your great experience at Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe. Hope our altitude gave you some extra yardage on your drive. Come back and visit us again soon!

    Reply

    • Posted by ericrodgers on August 19, 2011 at 11:35 am

      Thanks for your comment. It was a great course and your staff was very helpful and friendly. My drive did benefit from the altitude allowing me to hit it over 300 yards on the 9th hole. I definitely hope to play there again.

      Reply

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