Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Day at the Raton CC and Golf Course

The closest golf course to our campground located at the top of Raton Pass is the Raton Country Club and Golf Course.  Raton's only golf course is a nine hole course which plays to 6081 yards from the longest tees if you play eighteen holes.  The only information I have on the rating/slope is 68.6/120 for the men's tees and 69.4/113 for the women's tees.  There are four sets of tees to vary the length of the front nine and back nine.  There was a gentleman who was apparently playing eighteen holes who was walking the golf course but since it sits at about 6600 feet of elevation I would suggest making sure you are used to that before you take off.  I have to admit that walking up slopes on the course made us huff and puff a bit and we've been camping in higher elevations for the past six weeks or so.  

The normal price for a senior and an adult player who wish to play 18 holes using a riding cart would be $66, but I went online to the golf course's website and found a Golf18 deal for a 10:30AM tee time for $44.24.  It turns out we were the first people to actually take advantage of that special price too.  The manager then walked us outside and showed us where to hit our first shot, explaining that there was water about 172 yards out and down the hill.  He also told us how far out the dogleg was on the third hole which was helpful also, and explained a bit about the set up of the holes and how to get around the course.  That is always nice the first time you are stepping onto a new course.

As Mr. Rogers would say, it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  There were only a few of us on the golf course, so Denny and I were able to take our time and enjoy the scenery.  One young man we allowed to play through had driven 60 miles one way to play here as it was the closest affordable golf course to his home.  Ouch!
Like so many areas of the west, New Mexico has been suffering drought conditions and so the golf course has some rough patches but it is in much better condition than several of the golf courses we've played in California and Nevada recently.  They had just aerated a couple of the greens and the greens keeper actually apologized to us for that.  Wow!  We have played on greens much, much worse than that in the last few weeks, for sure.

The next two photographs are of the eighth hole; the first is taken from the women's tees and the second from the men's tees.  It is a par 3 hole and while the distance isn't long, the fast greens make it tricky.  Denny and I had gotten used to very slow greens lately and having much faster greens meant we had to adjust our thinking and out putting quite a bit.
You won't find a snack bar here, or any hot food although there is a cooler with energy drinks and soda at the pro shop.  What you will find is a nice little course with a friendly staff, great weather and nice mountain views while you play your round.  Just the kind of place we enjoy although we normally prefer a regular eighteen hole golf course over a nine hole course.  We'd play this one again.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Late Afternoon at Fox Run Golf Course

If you want to play golf in the Gallup, New Mexico area, you have the choice of Fox Run or Fox Run.  So we played at Fox Run.  Built in 1965 the course was formerly known as the Gallup Municipal Golf Course.  Fox Run seems appropriate as we saw several large fox holes on the golf course.  

The price to play a round of golf depends on whether or not you sign up online for an email account; Denny and I each paid $20 after noon to play eighteen holes with a riding cart.  The next morning I received a notice by email of a variety of discounts including a tee time at 11:20 AM at a cost of $15.20 per person for eighteen holes and a riding cart.  So there are some good bargains.

The golf course itself is apparently recovering from mismanagement and lack of proper care so it is rough.  Two greens were lost and a couple others are a little dicey.  But the new course supervisor is working hard to get the golf course back in shape.  The day we played golf the rule was cart path only; I don't know if this is standard until the golf course recovers a bit or not.  But it was a beautiful breezy day that was in the mid 80s so the extra walking didn't bother us, although we're still adjusting to the elevation here.

Denny played from the black tees which were the longest at 6634 yards with a slope of 121 and a rating of 71.05.  The distance from the blue tees is 6203 yards with a slope of 114/134 and a rating of 69.1/74.6.  The white tees have a yardage of 5879 with a slope of 104/128 and a rating of 67.62/72.8 and the red tees are set at 5029 yards with a slope of 118 and a rating of 68.  In good condition, this is a links style course, complete with the mandatory southwestern rattlesnakes, I'm sure.  At this time the course is pretty open and there is ongoing construction/earth moving going on as you play.

The first tee.
The par 3 eighth hole.
The par 3 eleventh hole.
The thirteen hole. 
The course is flat enough to be walkable if you are used to the higher elevation. The layout is fun, the distant mountains provide a nice backdrop and the employees are helpful and friendly.  Denny and I would come back and play this again, even in rough condition.  The employees seem to be working hard to bring this golf course back and we hope they are successful because it's worth it.