By Mike Stinton
At over 5,000 feet above sea level, itís easy to find yourself just a little short of breath. But when you gaze out upon a golf course just north of Santa Fe, NM nestled among the mountains with lush green fairways climbing up and through the sandstone bluffs of this hilly range, your breath is immediately taken away.
Fear not, you have just fallen under the spell of the magic that is the Black Mesa Golf Club. This spectacular piece of real estate has been transformed on the Santa Clara Indian Pueblo into a golferís paradise, where 18 great holes are only interrupted by the awe inspiring views that will turn a day of golf into something much more.
Eddie Peck, who grew up in nearby Santa Fe and dabbled in real estate and a golf driving range prior to building Black Mesa, had always dreamed of creating a place where golf could be played among this areaís natural beauty.
Peck has done so in a big, big way. Teaming with golf course designed Baxter Spann, the area just north of a huge rock formation known as Black Mesa, they meticulously carved out a golf course among the arroyos and sandstone that feature holes that climb and dive among the native hills and offer spectacular views from every tee box and undulating green.
While some desert courses, may keep you out of the natural areas alongside the wider fairways, Black Mesa not only uses the native arroyos but they become part of what could makes the course difficult for the wayward hitter. Not only are some of these areas rattlesnake habitats but the soft soil, left behind from long ago desert washes could swallow the leading edge of your club, making a clean strike a challenging effort.
The 7,307-yard course may seem long, but so will your shots as the thin air of New Mexico helps well struck drives go longer than you think.
Although you would be tempted to bring Velarde along with you for the ride, the GPS system on every cart also includes his tips on how to play each hole. Donít even think about putting a peg into the ground without first consulting his words of wisdom.
For more on this spectacular course, visit their website at www.blackmesagolf.com and for more on this course and others, including where to stay in Santa Fe, Please visit our website at www.GolfingMagazineOnline.com