Discover the joys of Twin Warriors and Paa-Ko Ridge
As a kid, one of my favorite pastimes was playing golf in New Mexico—especially in the spring. Colorado’s lower-altitude, high-desert neighbor almost always enjoyed an early get-outside season, and it wasn’t unusual to start fine-tuning the game as early as February.
This year has been no exception. Courses throughout the state are boasting sublime shirt-sleeve weather, lush green conditions, surreal landscapes in full Kodacolor bloom, and bentgrass fairways brimming with Titleists and Callaways.
New Mexico beckons: Time for a little R&R in the Land of Enchantment.
Among my favorite golf destinations is the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa. Located just north of Albuquerque in Bernalillo, Tamaya Resort is the ideal base camp for exploring the region’s amazing wineries, fine art studios, events, cuisines, casinos and outdoor recreation.
That said, you might never have cause to leave the serene, 500-acre surrounds of Tamaya. The 350-room property offers what many call “cowboy luxe”—that leisurely, laid-back panache where Levis, Lucchese and Stetson are fitting attire for a resort steeped in lavish, tasteful appointments. The Southwestern-style décor is grounded in Native American heritage: leather couches mix with woven baskets, tribal jugs and museum-quality portraits and bronzes.
At select times, guests even enjoy Native dancers and musicians who perform in full regalia.
Tamaya’s guest amenities include swimming, horseback riding, spa, fine dining, kids programs and plush accommodations, but it’s the resort’s Twin Warriors Golf Club that compels. Set amid a heaving desert landscape punctuated by buttes, arroyos, sacred mines, a dormant volcano and the panoramic Sandia Mountains, this 7,736-yard Gary Panks design is a fun-to-play whopper ranked among the Southwest’s top public courses.
If you make it out of Tamaya’s magical confines, direct yourself to 27-hole Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Club, which earns the state’s No. 1 ranking for a tumbling, multi-elevation track that was brilliantly orchestrated by architect Ken Dye.
Located at an elevation of 6,500 feet just 20 minutes from Albuquerque on the eastern side of the Sandia Mountains, Paa-Ko is a shotmaker’s delight. Holes are framed by forests of piñon and juniper, with ragged rock outcroppings and ball-swallowing arroyos at every turn. The far-away views of five mountain ranges are just sweet icing on the cake.
Durango resident Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.