Isleta Eagle Golf Course - Mesa Course Review
Golf - Public Course · 9 Holes · Par 36
Date Last Played: September 13, 2011
Isleta Eagle Golf Course - Mesa Course Review
Isleta Pueblo, which is centrally located in the Río Grande Valley about 13 miles south of Albuquerque owns and operates the Isleta Eagle Golf Course which is home to three very good nine hole courses - Arroyo, Lakes, and Mesa. The course opened in 1996 and has received a four-star rating from Golf Digest and s rated it “Best Places to Play."
Each of the nines is a little different from the others - the Lakes course has plenty of water, the Arroyo has several arroyos that can cause you a problem, and on the Mesa nine you'll encounter forced carries and natural areas crossing the fairways. Each of the nines is a modified Parkland course, meaning they have an open links feel, a scattering of trees, natural areas that can result in extra strokes, and contoured and rolling fairways.
Although each nine has its own characteristics and personality, but common to all three of the Isleta Eagle Golf Courses are:
- lush rolling and heavily contoured fairways
- good sized greens that are in excellent condition but a real test of your putting skills
- thick roughs that can devour you ball
- panoramic vistas of the valley, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Albuquerque, the mountains, mesas, and the Rio Grande Bosque which is an oasis-like ribbon of green vegetation
- bunkers that were challenging because the sand was thin, hard, and gritty
- affordable rates
The Mesa nine at Isleta Eagle Golf Course plays atop the mesa and is the longest (+280 yards from the tips) and probably the hardest of the three nines thanks to water on 3 holes, some strategically placed bunkers, 3 natural areas that cross the fairway, elevation changes, heavily contoured fairways, some dog legs, and a couple blind shots. Playing the Mesa and Lakes nine together has the highest slope (134 and rating 75.1) from each of the four tee boxes.
The par 3s and both par 5s are fantastic and help define this nine. For example,
- #1 is a 500 yard dog leg left with an dramatic elevated tee box (and panoramic view of the Rio Grande Bosque, the mountains, desert, and mesas) that demands a precise drive to hit the narrow fairway (lined by a steep hill along the left side, deep rough on both sides, and is a heavily contoured roller coaster ride) and an accurate shot to a raised green with a bunker, swales, and two deep grass bunker – par this one and you’re going to love this nine.
- #6 is a 212 yard shot down a roller coaster fairway to a downhill green with a huge bunker on the right front and a pot bunker in back of the green
- The #1 handicap 8th hole is a looming 635 yard shot down a heavily contoured and sloping fairway with a lake and bunker on each side of the landing zone followed by a thick rough crossing the fairway leading to a well guarded green
Like the Arroya and Lakes nines, the fairways were in excellent condition (lush and plush – I felt guilty taking a divot!) All of the fairways have plenty of contour and lots of desert must have been moved to create some of the roller coaster fairways. When we played the rough was cut very thick making it very difficult to recover with any distance. Miss the rough and you're in the desert. Stay in the fairway if you want to score well.
The bent grass greens on Mesa were also in near perfect condition and very challenging thanks to slope, speed, and undulation.
The bunkers were a disappointment - thin gritty sand that was hard to get under. Turns out that most of the New Mexico courses we played had similar sand - the white light sand tends to blow away. The bunkers ranged in size from small pot bunkers to some huge monsters. We didn't find it that difficult to avoid most of them.
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Albuquerque is across the freeway from Isleta Eagle and it is also owned and operated by the Pueblo. You can read our review of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Albuquerque to learn more. They also have some good stay and play packages.
Head Pro's Corner
Course Slope & Ratings
- Course Architect:
- Bill Phillips
- Greens Type:
- Bent Grass
- Greens Condition
- Greens Difficulty
- Fairway Condition
- Bunker Condition
- Beware of water on 3 holes and the 24 sand traps.
Texas Outside Rating
- Overall Rating:
- 9.0 out of 10
- Fun to Play:
- Front Nine Rating:
- Back Nine Rating:
FEES & AMENITIES
Rates: $30.00 to $65.00
Service is ok, the pro shop is well stocked, and the grill has everything from dogs to Philly Cheesesteaks. The range and putting green are adequate.
Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating
The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this: links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses!
All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course. In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40. We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.