Traversing Vista Hills Country Club's 18-hole golf course puts you in contact with an array of geographical features. Grisly dessert conditions characterize much of the course, which hangs in the shadows of El Paso's neighboring mountains. The appearance of multiple water hazards, however, belies that generalization, adding another dimension of scenery and on-course challenges. Sculpted into the West Texas countryside by prolific course designer Robert Von Hagge, the layout plays to an imposing 7,051 yards from the tips, with five tee options to make it surmountable for golfers of all abilities.
Course at a Glance:
Sculpted through the rising red crags surrounding the Chihuahuan Desert, Painted Dunes Desert Golf Course’s 27-hole course layout challenges golfers with rolling terrain and treacherously sloped greens. Those hoping to groom their golf swing can do so with one, three, or five driving-range buckets—which brim with approximately 50 balls each—to use at the adjacent driving range, which cushions practice balls atop overseeded natural grass that emulates course conditions and tempts hungry golfers to graze indulgently . A more trying golf odyssey awaits at the course, where twosomes traverse two of three pristine nine-hole courses, each one billed by Texas Outside as a scenic labyrinth of native cacti, mesquite, creosote bushes, and mormon tea plants. After the round, players can replenish at the Diecinueve Bar & Grill with a meal of classic fare such as the Dunes burger or chicken tenders, all served with fries and a drink. The grill is designed with indoor seating for post-round relaxation as well as an outdoor patio, which overlooks the course and choreographed tumbleweed performances once an hour.
Dos Lagos Golf Course or, "The Dos" to regulars, has provided year-round golfing for more than 50 years. Sidled next to the Franklin Mountains between Las Cruces and El Paso, the venerable 18-hole course—under new management—both challenges visitors and spoils them with its magnificent views. Instead of replacing their 9-irons with katanas, players can sharpen their games more efficiently at Dos Lagos' driving range, putting green, and chipping area. They can also pick up tips from the course's pair of resident PGA professionals, and re-energize at the full-service restaurant serving burgers and Mexican food.
Course at a Glance
The professionals at Honors Golf Academy take into account the fact that players gravitate to the greens for different reasons, and so they cater to both the casual swinger and the scratch golfer during private and group lessons. Drawing on more than a decade of experience with teaching golf, the academy’s certified instructor—who has a handicap of zero himself—employs video analysis to break down the elements of students’ swings. Lessons can focus on anything from driving form to putting endgame, and take place in the academy’s enclosed hitting area or out on the fairways, where students tackle a nine-hole course under the guidance of their mentor. Honors Golf Academy also pairs clients with custom Acer and Power Play clubs, ensuring that each new acquisition is the right fit.
Open since 1955 and named one of the Best Things to Do in El Paso in 2009 by UpTake, Ascarate Golf Course combines a challenging course with a recently remodeled clubhouse where patrons can unwind at the end of clubbing adventures. The par 71, 6,579-yard course boasts verdant tifdwarf bermuda greens, 18 bunkers, and caretakers carefully pushing each jostled blade of grass back into place. An included cart helps club-wielders conserve energy for putting balls successfully down the fairway, enjoying picturesque views of Franklin Mountain, or chasing away tag-along sand traps.
The peaks of the Organ Mountains rise above the Mesilla Valley, framing the immaculate greenery of Sonoma Ranch Golf Course's 18-hole, 7,028-yard layout. Designed by internationally renowned course architect Cal Olson, the course unfurls across the valley floor with undulating fairways, encroaching water hazards, and sprawling bunkers that force players to build sandcastle trebuchets to rescue errant golf balls. A lengthy course when played from the back tees, the grassy monolith also challenges players' short game with massive, bentgrass greens peppered with hard-to-read breaks. Clubbers can prepare for their pin-hunting voyage with a stint at the driving range or practice green, or stare down the treacherous fairways over a tasty nosh at the Sunset Grill, which overlooks the scenic expanse.
Course at a Glance: