Unfortunately I’ve returned from my Labor Day weekend HOG World Tour stop at Black Mesa Golf Club in New Mexico. I had a fantastic time as always at what is possibly my favorite course on this planet. This time I stayed in the new Santa Claran hotel which is associated with the course. I’ll be posting a review of the Santa Claran soon so stay tuned. It was hard to leave the Mesa. In fact on the way home we stopped by there for lunch just to soak it in for a few more minutes before driving the 9.5 hours it takes to get from there to my garage.
My shot of the week happened Sunday on the 14th hole while playing with club director of golf, head pro and good friend Tom Velarde, as well as his daughter and son-in-law. I was playing quite well, in the middle of the best round I’ve ever played there. My shots were under control for the most part, including a perfectly executed “punch driver” into a gale force wind to pin high on the par-3 8th. After three solid shots I made birdie on the par-5 13th just before 14 to get to +2 on the round.
My granny over-the-top dual chicken wing 4 plane swing takes on hole 14 at Black Mesa. Click to enlarge, if you dare.
14 (above) is a short uphill risk/reward par-4 which long players could possibly drive. The hole was playing about 340. I was short left of the green on an up slope. My drive had bounced through a bunker about 30-40 yards from the green, and ended up in grass so long that I found a brand new ProV1 one foot from my ball. I opened up my 60 degree wedge and made perfect contact. The ball was on a good line, but I couldn’t see it finish because I was so far below the green. I could only see the top half of the stick. I saw it bounce and then heard a clank, then a scream from Tom’s daughter saying it had gone in. I’d one-hopped it in for eagle!
I ended up shooting 37/37 for a very rewarding 74 on a very tough course which I typically “hope” to break 80 on. That 74 broke my previous low score at Black Mesa by four shots.
The red at the top of the scorecard is Tom Velarde’s blood… click to enlarge
I’d heard many stories about the legendary Sunday Black Mesa skins game and finally had the opportunity to participate. The players are tough and the birdies many. In fact, my two birdies were tied. The eagle however, did hold up for a skin. I was happy to win a skin and not simply donate to the retirement funds of the other competitors as I’d expected to at the beginning of the round.
The Mesa is a special place which every golfer should experience. I’ll be back to Black Mesa sooner than the previous two year drought. Even though it is a 9.5 hour drive each way, it is worth every second.
Hooked On Golf Blog Black Mesa Golf Club review from 2007.
Hooked On Golf Blog Black Mesa image gallery, now over 300 images and counting!
2011 Fantasy Golf - Week 30 Winner