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Albuquerque: Golf’s Best-Kept Secret

Golf Digest and Golf Magazine have ranked several of Albuquerque golf courses among the best in the country. In 2011, Albuquerque was ranked 3rd in’s “Top 10 Golf Cities.” Our forested mountains, lush river valleys and high desert plains combine to make central New Mexico a dream come true for golf course designers.

From desert /travel-tools/ abq - expertss to parkland to mountain courses, Albuquerque offers arguably the most diverse golf experience available in one area. 

New Mexico has a glorious year-round climate that makes it an ideal location for playing golf. Weather is a key variable for a golf vacation, and Albuquerque has some of the most reliable weather conditions in the country, with 310 days of sunshine and an average annual high temperature of 70 degrees. Prime golf season is April to October, one of the longest playing seasons among major golf destinations. The shoulder months are often outstanding as well, but can be less predictable. With an average winter high near 50 degrees and frequent sunny blue skies, golfers are out on the courses almost every day during the winter off-season. 

Differences in course elevation can affect temperatures and weather conditions, sometimes significantly. Summer highs in Albuquerque, at 5,500 feet in elevation, average near 90 degrees, with very low humidity and cool mornings that start out near 62 degrees. Mountain courses, including Paa-Ko Ridge on the east side of the Sandia Mountains, have a slightly cooler average high temperature of 84 degrees in June, July and August; mornings start out around 50 degrees. 

Combine the mile-high elevation and varied landscape of central New Mexico with warm sun, low humidity and an endless blue sky and the result is an ideal locale for golfers of every skill level. The area’s unique scenery combined with affordability provides unbeatable cost-to-quality value, which draws visitors from across the nation. 

A local organization, Golf on the Santa Fe Trail, arranges custom golf packages featuring eight world-class golf courses nestled along a 100-mile stretch of the Rio Grande Valley. (866) 465-3660 

Just outside Albuquerque are two public golf courses that rank in the nation’s top 50: Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Club and Twin Warriors Golf Club. Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Club was awarded the only five-star rating in the Southwest by readers of Golf Digest in 2006 and it was one of only 25 courses to receive an overall “top-rated” score in the Zagat America’s Top Golf Courses Survey for 2007/2008. Paa-Ko Ridge was ranked No. 3 in the United States for best public golf courses in a Readers Choice Poll by subscribers of Golf World, 2008 and No. 4 on “America’s 100 Best Courses for $100 or Less” by Travel & Leisure Golf Magazine, demonstrating the affordability of world-class golf in Albuquerque. Twin Warriors is consistently recognized with the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa as one of “America’s 75 Best Golf Resorts” by GOLF Magazine and “Top 150 golf courses in the U.S.” by American Golf Resort Guide. ​

Golf Rankings

The Albuquerque region frequently appears in golf magazines and trade publications as a top golf destination. Albuquerque’s recent rankings and news include: 

• Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Course ranked in the “Ultimate Golf Destinations” by Jetset Magazine in 2012. 

• Sandia Golf Club was voted one of the “Best Courses You Can Play in 2012” by Golf Week magazine. 

• Albuquerque was ranked #3 in “Top 10 Golf Cities” by in 2011. 

• Twin Warriors Golf Club was ranked in “Top 150 Golf Courses in the U.S.” by American Golf Resort Guide in 2011. 

• Albuquerque was ranked #3 in’s “Golf’s Best Kept Secrets: 10 Great Golf Cities” in 2010. 

• Conde Nast Traveler magazine ranks Hyatt Regency Tamaya (featuring Twin Warriors Golf Club) one of “Nations Top Resorts” in 2010. 

• Sandia Golf Club ranks “Top 100 Golf Shops” by Golf World, February 2009.

• Santa Ana Golf Club and Twin Warriors Golf Club hosted 42nd PGA Professional National Championship in 2009. 

• Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Club ranked No. 3 in the United States for best public golf courses in a Readers Choice Poll by subscribers of Golf World, October 2008. 

• 2008 Best Modern Courses (No. 43 Paa Ko Ridge, No. 73 Black Mesa Golf Club), by Golfweek, 2008 

For additional information about golfing in Albuquerque, please visit ​

Portrait Albuquerque featured in Delta Sky Magazine:

History Al Fresco

Frederico Vigil’s neck hurts. Yours would, too, if you’d been standing on a scissor lift painting the walls and ceiling of the Torréon—the 45-foot-tall stucco tower at the entrance to Albuquerque’s National Hispanic Cultural Center—for the better part of six years.