FARMINGTON, N.M. -- As far as municipal golf goes, Pinon Hills Golf Course has legendary status.
For years, it was the $15 muni in the northwest corner of New Mexico, often ranked among the top five munis in the country, up against the likes of Bethpage State Park and Torrey Pines, just to name a couple. Pinon Hills may be difficult to get to, but it's well worth it considering the paltry green fee for a course that could command a $200 fee in other parts of the country.
Designed by Ken Dye (no relation to Pete) of Finger, Dye and Spann, it's a championship golf course in championship condition, yet it still remains one of the country's most affordable golf experiences. Sure, it's close to $40 for outsiders to play, but that's still a bargain, and locals can play it on the cheap, especially seniors.
Better yet, this thoughtful design, meant to test skilled players from the tips at 7,000 yards, is surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. There's a signature boulder behind the green on the par-3 sixth and perfect undulating greens guarded by PGA Tour-like bunkers throughout.
And though it may be hard to get to, you might be surprised to learn that Farmington is a city of 100,000 with plenty of hotels, restaurants and a few other things to do.