Golf - Public Course · 27 Holes · Par 36
Sandia Park, NM
Review of Paako Ridge Golf Club Holes 1 to 9
Wow, Paako o Ridge Golf Club is one of those must play courses and what every golf course should aspire to be when it grows up. It was carved out of the rugged foothills of the eastern side of the Sandia Mountains and offers scenic vistas, serenity, lots of variety, elevation changes, and some outstanding holes - all at a very reasonable rate for such a quality course. Paako Ridge is home to 27 holes, each of which has it's own unique personality and characteristics:
We've played a number of courses in the United State and we have given less than a handful a 10 - Paa-Ko Ridge 10 to 18 got a 10 and the other two nines area about as close as you can get to a perfect 10! Read our review of Paako Ridge 10 to 18 and 19 to 27 to learn more about these two nines. And after playing all 27 holes it is not surprising that Paako Ridge Golf Club is the most highly acclaimed course in New Mexico and it is well deserving of all of the awards, some of which include:
Holes 1 to 9 are a typical Ken Dye design and this nine is characterized by severe mounding, rolling and heavily contoured fairways, and very challenging green complexes. In addition to all of that you'll encounter elevation changes that require you to club up as well as club down, scenic views, lots of forced carries some of which are very intimidating, several places where you can risk going for it or take the safer choice and layup, bunkers of all shapes and sizes, challenging green complexes, and peace and quiet except for a few swear words or shouts of "go in the hole" as well as golf balls ricocheting off rocks and trees.
Every hole on 1 to 9 is different, fun, and will throw something at you to keep you focused on your game and not the scenic vistas. All of the holes have names and some that we really liked included:
New Mexico has been suffering from a multi-year drought and the lack of rain has impacted the conditions of the rough and fairway - what would normally by lush and plush and perfect was a little dry, thin, and had a few brown spots. None of which impacted play and still the conditions were very good and we rated the fairways and rough a 8.75.
Like most Dye courses, Paako Ridge's 1 to 9 fairways have lots of mounding, treacherous and numerous bunkers, slope, and undulation. Dye did an excellent job of carving some very fun and scenic holes out of some rugged mountain terrain. He leveraged the natural terrain to create fairways that are both a blast to play yet challenging with forced carries, elevation changes, slope, and plenty of contour - expect some uneven lies!
The greens on 1 to 9 at Paako Ridge were in near perfect condition - little to no damage, fast, true, and they held the ball well. The fringe was puttable and the majority of the greens were huge and a variety of shapes. Ken Dye also sculptured the greens with lots of slope, tiers, contour, and subtle breaks. Make sure you practice putting before you head out.
The bunkers ranged is shape and size from some deep pot bunkers to some huge multi-fingered monsters. The sand was a little disappointing because it was a little gritty and firm - which may be necessary to keep it from blowing out of the bunkers thanks to the wind.
Bottom line - all 3 nines at Paako Ridge are a must play - fun, demanding but fair, scenic, lots of variety, and an excellent value.
The slope and rating are based on playing the first nine and 10 through 18
Read all about this fun trip to Southern Colorado/Northern New Mexico where this is one of the courses we played.
Since we last played Paako Ridge, the course and facilities have undergone improvements that now include concierge service upon arrival and departure, new electric golf carts, an all-inclusive rate structure that includes all of your food and non-alcoholic beverages, and a new luxury clubhouse is under construction and scheduled for completion in Spring 2020.
Rates: $59.00 to $114.00
The pro shop is well stocked, the practice facilities are good, the service is excellent, and the food in the grill is great (the green chili cheeseburger was excellent) and you can't beat the view on the patio.
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.