Pinon Hills Golf Course in Farmington, New Mexico still shines as one of country's best munis

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.

Aug 25, 2015

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Mike Bailey

Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.