Black Mountain Golf and Country Club near Las Vegas: Take a trip back in time

By Bill Bowman, Contributor

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Next time you want to tee it up in Las Vegas, take a little trip back in time and play one of the area's oldest golf courses, Black Mountain Golf and Country Club.

Black Mountain Golf and Country Club in Henderson
Featuring beautiful, tree-lined fairways and smooth-rolling, undulating greens Black Mountain Golf and Country Club has an old-time feel you must see to believe.
Black Mountain Golf and Country Club in HendersonBlack Mountain Golf and C.C. - Desert Course - hole 4Black Mountain Golf and C.C. - Founders Course - hole 9

This 27-hole design features an original 18-hole layout that has grown into a lush track. Black Mountain's Founders nine opened in 1957, and the Horizon nine debuted in 1963. At 6,550 yards, it's playable for everyone and features more than enough challenge to keep players on their toes.

Add the latest creation -- the Desert nine -- and you've got two new options, the Founders-Desert and the Desert-Horizon. The three layouts allow players the variety they love.

Beautiful, tree-lined fairways fill the Founders and Horizon nines, to go with smooth-rolling, undulating greens and an old-time feel you must see to believe. It's a trip back in time that gives golfers a four-hour experience to simultaneously calm and thrill.

"Each of the nine-hole layouts is a different golf course," said Keith Josey, general manager and director of golf. "They all offer different perspectives, and you'll get a different feel on each of the three."

The Founders nine features a pair of par 5s that leave players salivating. Playing 502 and 480 yards, both offer green-light specials to take a rip at getting home in two. But beware of the second shots, as strategically placed bunkers grab all but the perfect shots. Still, they're gambles well worth taking. And hey, we are in Vegas, so give it your best shot.

Black Mountain Golf and Country Club's Horizon nine places a premium on accuracy. It plays just 3,261 yards from the tips, with several par 4s at less than 400 yards. But bunkers and those beautiful -- and treacherous -- trees cause more than their share of troubles if tee shots don't find the fairway.

Unlike the original 18 holes, no trees cause worry on the Desert nine -- the new kid on the block that opened in 2002. The layout weaves its way inside the Horizon nine and lives up to its name as players face waste areas on every hole.

The ninth hole, a 530-yard, par 5, provides a prime example. A desert wash cuts through the fairway about 250 yards off the tee, so something in the range of 235 yards is ideal. Big hitters -- and we mean really, big hitters -- can carry the waste area and play a long iron to the green. But for most players, it's a three-shot hole.

And even then, No. 9 is no gimme. The second shot must stay to the right to avoid a pond that juts into the fairway just short of the green. Shots that look great from the fairway can get wet after straying just a few feet too far left.

The elevated green is large and rolling, and getting down in two putts provides quite the challenge, depending on the pin placement. It's a great finishing hole. In fact, two women who participated in the Golf Channel's "Big Break" struggled to master this hole.

"They played it seven times," Josey said, "and it took them until the fifth or sixth time to even make a par."

At Black Mountain Golf and Country Club, players must think before they grab a club. Driver isn't always the choice. Often, it will only serve to create trouble. Play for position, and you'll be rewarded with short- to mid-irons into large greens. The greens may not look undulating, but most putts break. If you can read these babies, you can putt anywhere.

"We're probably one of the best values in Las Vegas," Josey said. "We run email specials all the time, and we're growing every day."

Josey said the club offered a $25 special for July, August and September.

"It just doesn't get any better than that," he said.

Black Mountain Golf and Country Club: In the clubhouse

The Chase Lounge is a local favorite. Hear many a tall tale here and find great food selections. Add a cold beverage or two, and check out games on their TVs for a relaxing time after your round of golf. And if you're looking for a place to hold that special occasion -- a wedding, anniversary or office party -- Black Mountain offers a beautiful and huge banquet facility.

On the range

Josey holds clinics for Black Mountain Golf and Country Club members every Tuesday and Thursday. About 15 to 25 members usually show up. Now, he wants to educate the general public as well. Short-game clinics are held on Tuesdays and long-game clinics on Thursdays. Any golfer attend each clinic once for free. Check with the pro shop for details. Free lessons? See you there.

Black Mountain Golf and Country Club: The verdict

Variety and value rank atop nearly all want lists when it comes to golf. Black Mountain Golf and Country Club delivers both and so much more.

"Our name keeps getting out there," Josey added. "We had people come in to play the other day who have lived around here for 10 years and didn't know we were here. Now, they keep seeing the name and hearing about us, and they came out to play. That's what we want -- people to come out and check us out. They'll like what they see. And they'll come back."

Bill BowmanBill Bowman, Contributor

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 16-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas and has teed it up for magazine profiles with celebrities including comedian Bill Engvall, actor Jeffrey Donovan (USA's Burn Notice), ESPN personality Colin Cowherd, NASCAR's Kurt Busch, Collective Soul's Ed Roland, the Baltimore Ravens' Jonathan Ogden and many others.

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