Affordability, charm and challenge make Black Mountain Golf and Country Club a Las Vegas must-play

By Bill Bowman, Contributor

Psst, hey buddy, looking for a great round of golf at an affordable price? And at a 27-hole golf facility in Vegas? That's right, in Vegas.

Black Mountain Golf & Country Club in Henderson
The Desert nine at Black Mountain Golf & Country Club is a shot-makers dream.
Black Mountain Golf & Country Club in HendersonBlack Mountain golf course - Founders - No. 7Black Mountain Golf & C.C. - Founders

Then Black Mountain Golf and Country Club should be on your upcoming play list.

The original 18 holes on this layout - one of the older golf courses in Las Vegas - is tree-lined and very playable at just 6,550 yards from the tips.

The Founders Nine, built back in 1957, features a pair of go-for-broke par 5s - 502 yards on the fourth and 480 yards on the ninth. Two good shots on each of these holes will give players a pair of chances to be putting for eagle. Wide fairways are inviting, but approach shots will definitely need to be pinpoint in accuracy with mounding and perfectly placed bunkers providing protection to the greens.

Over on Black Mountain Golf and Country Club's Horizon Nine, opened in 1963, it's a different story. The par 5s reach more than 500 yards, and players will also notice narrower fairways with the presence of overhanging trees and devilish ponds that add to the challenges.

The new nine on the block is the Desert Nine, opened in 2002. And this nine certainly lives up to its name. Routed in the middle of the Horizon Nine, the Desert Nine is a shot-makers dream and can be a big-hitters nightmare. Driver off the tee isn't always the right choice, and players must position tee shots to set up approaches to smallish and undulating greens.

The first time players tee it up on the Desert Nine, it's probably a good thing to play it with someone who has played it before or make sure you have a yardage book. There are quite a few shots - both off the tee and from the fairways - where players will need to know precise yardages to avoid trouble spots including bunkers and arroyos. Be careful and you'll play a tight nine-hole layout that will test your distance control.

The featured hole on this nine is the ninth, a par 5 reaching 530 yards. An arroyo off the green will force all but the biggest of hitters to take less than a driver off the tee as the arroyo slices through the fairway some 260 yards away.

Going for the green in two is a risky proposition as a pond juts out into the fairway just short of the green and will definitely come into play with a back-left pin. Lay up short with your second shot, and leave yourself a wedge into this elevated green that slopes to the back.

Black Mountain Golf and Country Club: The verdict

Joan Phillips, director of golf at Black Mountain, says the course provides great golf at a great price. "Black Mountain has a long heritage of providing great value to golfers," she told earlier this year. "Each of the three nines offers a unique challenge."

Phillips also admits there aren't a lot of bells and whistles on the course - just golf.

"We'll let The Strip-area courses have all the glam and glitz," she said. "We'll just be a good, old-fashioned golf course and a place that you will love to come back and play again."

Overall, the golf course is a solid test of golf but also very player-friendly. None of the par 3s measure more than 188 yards from the tips, and the longest of the par 4s is just 430 yards so a premium isn't placed on distance - it's on accuracy.

Before or after your round, the Chase Lounge offers a tasty variety of menu options. Or there are plenty of ice cold libations for those talking about the round that was - or the one that could have been.

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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