Garganta Del Muerto (CC Design Contest Entry) May 29, 2020 22:16:10 GMT -5 mayday91283, katana22, and 4 more like this
Post by jeachus on May 29, 2020 22:16:10 GMT -5
In 2017, road-trippers and golf course design enthusiasts stumbled onto a remote area along Highway 9 outside of scarcely inhabited Hachita, New Mexico. Hiking the desert, the crew came across an abandoned railway line built in 1901-02 by El Paso & South Western and followed it to its ultimate end at a large canyon. At the basin of this canyon was a smaller gulch, an arroyo and eventual lake supplying moisture for to the only green plant life between that canyon and Gila National Forest to the north. Realizing proximity to I-10 and an hour's drive from El Paso, Texas or Tuscon, Arizona, the designers saw another kind of green. After successfully politicking for highway dollars to be spent on roadway access to this remote location with the promise of tourism income, the designers got started. Midway through the challenging excavation during the summer of 2018, crews came across centuries old human and animal remains in one of the low points of the gulch. With respect to deceased and proud Hispanic heritage nearby, inspiration for a name was found.
Welcome to Garganta Del Muerto (Deadman's Gulch), completed in May 2020! This fourth course from Dr. Josh Eachus (The Rouxgaroux, Alluvial '82 Golf Club, Rock Creek Country Club) is his first desert design and contest entry. The course is set in canyon land of Grant County, New Mexico. The front 9 circles its way around Deadman's Gulch, an obvious "out-of-bounds" for any shot and only raises elevation at a weakness in the canyon allowing a cart drive to take golfers to the 7th hole and back down toward the gulch after the 8th tee shot. The back 9 begins after crossing the large lake which supplies life to natural plants in the area. This second half is cut around sharply eroded terrain and rock formations and offers a number of risk/reward opportunities including the driveable 12th and 18th holes.
(Note: don't view the "B" version, that was an initial test version and is much different from the final)
#1 - An easy par 4 to begin... 3-wood is advised with any helping wind for a short wedge to a small green. No time is wasted in introducing players to Deadman's Gulch as O.B. for most of the front 9.
#3 - This former par 5 was shortened to become a long and tight par 4. Get ready for a careful long-iron or hybrid into the slightly elevated green. Par is a great score.
#4 - The first par 3 on the course is at the saddle of the canyon. A well managed middle iron could lead to birdie but don't tempt a right pin in wind.
#9 - The final hole on the front requires a smart tee shot aimed over the rock formation in the middle of the fairway. Set up nicely off of the tee for a short iron into a small green. Birdie can be had here with discipline.
#13 - What fun is building a golf course around canyon lands if you don't use some of the natural rock formations for play? This short but deceptively tricky par 3 required some clever engineering to become a reality.
#14 - After the par 3 you find a long, nearly 90-degree dog-leg left par 5. Cutting the corner is an extremely risky option, especially since a 3-wood can still get a player on in two if the wind is cooperative.
#15 - This long par 4 is one of two such holes on the back that does not offer many creative options. However, that does not mean it plays easy. Two precision strikes are needed for a birdie chance. From the green, enjoy the panoramic of the clubhouse, Deadman's Gulch and the front 9.
#18 - If you are in a competitive round, the closing hole could not offer much more excitement. Send a perfect driver to a small green for an eagle opportunity. Or, play it safe and snag one of the easiest birdies on the course.
Thanks to anyone that takes time to play and offers feedback. This is my first effort at a design competition so I look forward to any advice that can improve my abilities!