Over the past six decades, the NMSU Golf Course has gone from a barren desert layout to park-like links that draw thousands of golfers a year. The granddaddy of Las Cruces golf courses offers a fun but challenging championship track nestled between “A” (Tortugas) Mountain and the Organ Mountains. It is located on the New Mexico State University campus roughly a half mile east of Interstate 25 and just south of E. University Blvd. In a land of plentiful sunshine and hot summers, the many trees that have been planted over the years provide blessed shade and impart a verdant feel to the enjoyable desert course.
WHO CAN PLAY THE NMSU COURSE?
The 18-hole, 7,000-yard, par 72 course is open to the public. As a university golf course and home to the Aggies’ men’s and women’s golf teams, it sees plenty of play from students and faculty, retirees, and other members of the community. “We want to be the community golf course,” says Jason White, general manager and director of the NMSU Golf Club. “We strive to elevate the image of the university by what we do at the golf course.”
REASONABLE FEES AND AMENITIES RULE THE DAY
The course offers tee times seven days in advance and features a pro shop open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. stocked with a variety of golf merchandise, including Aggie-themed sportswear and other products. Weekday greens fees run $48 for a round of 18 holes and a golf cart; weekend rates are $57. Special sundown rates take effect after 4 p.m. And from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. you can take advantage of “Tee It Up Thursdays” featuring 9 holes and a cart, plus lunch (two sliders) and one beverage from the Player’s Grill overlooking the course and mountains.
“We’re a public course, but we have a lot of private club amenities and offer top customer service,” White says. The golf club features a spacious driving range, putting greens, and an area to practice your short game and sand shots. Atop a hill, the 20,000-square-foot clubhouse houses the popular Player’s Grill for pub food and libations, the pro shop, and a community meeting room for banquets, receptions, and special events.
A GOLF COURSE TAILORED TO VARIOUS SKILL LEVELS
Golfers can tee off from one of five tee boxes – from the Junior Tees playing to 4,513 yards to the championship Crimson Tees stretching the course to 7,228 yards. Each year the golf club hosts collegiate golf tournaments and PGA and USGA qualifiers.
The White Tees cater to the median skill level and offer a 6,148-yard contest with a 69.4-course rating. The front nine rates by men’s handicap as the tougher of the two nine holes with the par 7th hole ranked the golf course’s most difficult hole. The greens can be tricky with few flat putts to be found on the mostly flat course. “There are some water hazards and sand traps and other obstacles to navigate, but it is a fair and walkable golf course,” the head of the golf club points out.
A GREAT PLACE TO TEE IT UP IN LAS CRUCES
White describes the golf course as having a “desert parkland” feel with lots of mature trees that is “fair but challenging.” He says it can play quite difficult from the back tees but is very forgiving from the forward tee boxes. The course dazzles with scenic views of the nearby sunlit Organ Mountains and the sprawling city at its doorstep.
A new irrigation system installed in 2014 and a dedicated maintenance crew keep the course consistently in fine condition. Suffice it to say, you will find the NMSU golf course meets your needs as a golfer just passing through Southern New Mexico or a hometown sportsman looking for a relaxing outing on a quality golf course.
Story by Rob McCorkle • Photos by Andrew Taylor
Story sponsored by NMSU GOLF COURSE
Posted by LasCruces.com