Towa Golf Club is part of the Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino which is about 15 minutes from Santa Fe. Towa Golf Club is home to 27 holes which are a modified desert links style that run along ridges against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, overlook the Posjoaque Valley, and are studded with boulders, pinons and Cholla Cactus.
Towa takes advantage of the natural topography, unique rock formations and natural vegetation indigenous to the region – all of which provides scenic beauty that can grab your attention as well as challenges that require you to focus on club selection and course management.
Each of the three nines has it's own unique personality and characteristics, for example:
Pinon has lots of dog legs as it plays through the Pinon trees and club selection is critical off the tee box
Valley is the shortest and probably the easiest of the nines thanks to bigger greens and wider fairways
Boulder offers the most variety and some dramatic vistas as well as the only island green in New Mexico
Common to all three courses are extraordinary vistas from every tee, stunning southwestern high desert terrain, rambling fairways, some fun as well as challenging holes, five sets of tee boxes, dramatic elevation changes, and large greens averaging 6,500 square feet, which is slightly larger than the national average of 6,300 square feet.
When we played in late September 2011, Towa was still trying to recover from some harsh winter conditions that had virtually destroyed the greens as well as done a lot of damage to the fairways. As such the conditions were not the best but very playable.
The Valley Nine at Towa Golf Club is the shortest from all tee boxes, except the the forward tees, with yardages ranging from 2397 to 3377 yards. But it's no walk in the park and seems to be a lot tricker off the tee box thanks to forced carries, blind shots, gentle ups and downs, and more. Club selection and course management are critical to score well on this nine. The Valley Nine comes close to being a shot makers and risk takers nine. For example:
#3 is a short 318 yard par 4 from a slightly elevated tee box to a sharp dog leg right green – you will be tempted to go for the green but miss and you're in the desert
#5 is a 357 yard blind downhill shot with water that comes into play on the left side near the green
#9 is a great finishing hole with a blind shot off the tee box then down and across an arroyo to the green
This nine plays through the valley and the fairways seem a little flatter offering more roll, making club selection even more important. The fairways are ample but blind shots and most are fairly straight.
The greens were recently aerated so it was hard to judge how they rolled – we didn't find them that challenging.
The Valley Nine also seemed to be in the best condition of all three nines. It's short but fun and no walk in the park.
The rating and slope are based on playing the Pinonand Boulder courses together.
Here is a link to the review of Towa'sPinon and Boulder nines