Review & Rating of The Links at Sierra Blanca in Ruidoso, New Mexico
It was a pleasant surprise to find a Scottish links style course in the Sierra Blanca mountains surrounding Ruidoso. In 1991 senior tour star Jim Colbert carved and sculptured a links front nine with wide sweeping and forgiving fairways lined with tall berms on both sides and a back nine that plays like a links style course but with towering pines (plus some berms) lining one or both sides of the fairways. In addition to the berms and trees you'll need to avoid water on 3 holes and 23 bunkers.
When we played The Links at Sierra Blanca in August, the fairways were in near perfect condition as was the rough which was cut thin and playable. The fairways are rolling and contoured and firm giving you some extra roll. Miss the fairways and rough and you're likely on the side or top of a berm - some of which are over 15 feet tall - with a very challenging lie.
The greens at The Links at Sierra Blanca were also in near perfect condition. They are big, a variety of sizes, fast, and challenging thanks to plenty of slope and some contour. Study the greens before putting and you might be able to read some of the subtle breaks.
The bunkers were in ok condition with firm, thin, and somewhat gritty sand. They are about average size and the lips are small and sloping which means you might get lucky and hit in but roll out of the bunker.
Some of the holes that we liked at The Links at Sierra Blanca included:
The Links at Sierra Blanca is well worth playing if you're in Ruidoso - good conditions, reasonable rates and a stay and play next door, and some fun holes.
Rates: $49.00 to $79.00
Service is very good and friendly. The pro shop is well stocked, the practice facilites are very good, and the grill has dogs, sandwiches, and more. Pace of play is good.
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.