The Land of Enchantment, as it’s state nickname aptly describes it, is one of the Mountain States of the US and it makes up part of the southern border of the country with Mexico. Alaska is the only state that has more Native American people as residents and, as a result, some of the names of the local golf courses are incredibly evocative. World Golf Hall of Fame inductee and three-time major championship winner Nancy Lopez was born in New Mexico, as was Notah Begay III the four-time PGA Tour winner and Golf Channel analyst.
Are you ready to boom some long drives with some high-altitude golf? Well at over 7,000 feet above sea level, The Club at Las Campanas is a Jack Nicklaus-design with two courses and a very welcoming clubhouse. The Sunrise and Sunset courses were both built in the 90s and with the exquisite backdrop of the Jemez Mountains, sunlit meadows and abundant wildlife, this is a special place to play some golf. Another great resort for views and, of course, great golf is Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Club. This 27-hole complex sits between Santa Fe and Albuquerque in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. The bentgrass greens and Kentucky bluegrass fairways are nestled between native trees and vegetation whilst the views on offer are enough to make you forget that you’re there to play golf!
As mentioned in the introduction, the strong links to Native American culture make for some strong and evocative course names in New Mexico. The Golf Club at Rainmakers is a fine example of this. This Robert Trent Jones Jr. creation is carved into high mountain walls producing a wonderful place to play golf with rock outcrops and native plant life framing the course. This course is the only one in the state to be awarded the coveted Audubon International Signature Sanctuary status for its outstanding work in conservation and protection of the local environment. Another course with a great name is Twin Warriors Golf Club. This course sits in the high desert and meanders its way around twenty sites of cultural significance, including areas of habitation and activity of the Tamayame people. It is believed that the Twin Warriors lead the people of Santa Ana to the Upper World along the Rio Grande and this course is a fitting tribute to that story.
This is a state with a very strong cultural history and one that very much influences the golf in the region. If you are a fan of golf courses with an interesting backstory, then New Mexico is the state for you!