Paako Ridge Golf Club Eyes Fourth Nine 0

Hole No. 12 at PaaKo Ridge Golf Club, as NM courses reopen

The owners of Paako Ridge Golf Club continue to pour money into renovations and upgrades as part of a plan to make the Top 50 course a national destination.

In a March 10 piece in the Tennessee golf-industry publication Golf Course Trades, a Minnesota golf design company engaged last November by Paako Ridge  revealed its understanding of Paako’s short- and long-term strategies.

Paako Ridge intends to build a fourth nine nine-hole course and a “Himalayas putting course,” wrote Kevin Norby of Norby Golf Design of Chaska, Minnesota.

The property currently has 27 holes – the original Ken Dye-designed 18, which is No. 50 on Golf Digest’s list of the “Top 100 You Can Play” list – and a third nine added in 2006 called No. 19-27 to preserve the branding of the awarding-winning original 18.

In the last year, Paako Ridge has dramatically expanded its dining and patio facilities and invested in a new fleet of golf carts.

Coming Soon: On-site Lodging for Paako Ridge

Also on the horizon is the start of construction of on-site lodging.

When they bought the course in 2018 from its builder, Roger Cox & Associates, owners Tony Alvarez and Bryan Marsal, principals of the Manhattan consulting firm of Alvarez & Marsal, told Paako homeowners they planned to build a 62-room central lodge and 18 guest cottages to attract tourists.

Paako currently has no on-site lodging, and the nearest accommodations are in Santa Fe or Albuquerque. Paako has previously said work on the lodging is likely to begin in 2022.

Designs for a 62-room lodge and casitas were drawn up around 2006 by the Albuquerque architecture firm Dale Dekker & Associates but were shelved when the great recession hit.

Paako Ridge intends to offer concierge services, including transportation of guests to and from the Albuquerque International Sunport.

Tyler Kirsch, a spokesman for Paako Ridge, confirmed that Norby is currently involved in renovating Paako’s 21-year-old irrigation system and its tee boxes, and the firm is adding a new set of forward tees.

“We have not decided on an additional nine holes or putting green, but as Kevin mentions, those are broad and long-term goals for the property,” Kirsch wrote in an email to New Mexico Golf News.

From the New Mexico Golf Notebook …

Lobo Men 5th in UT Invitational in Austin

The University of New Mexico men’s golf team wrapped up the George Hannon Invitational hosted by the University of Texas at Austin this week in fifth place overall in a field of stacked squads. Finishing ahead of the Lobos were four teams ranked in the top 20 nationally.

No. 27-ranked New Mexico was tied for eighth after the first round but jumped up three spots after Day 2, cutting nine strokes off the team score to finish 2-under in the second round. In round three on Tuesday, the Lobos shot a 295 (11-over) to finish at 16-over for the event.

No. 12 Texas took first, finishing 17-under over three rounds, followed by No. 19 Texas Tech and No. 2 Oklahoma, which tied for second with a final score of of 9-under.

After carding a one-under 70 in the first two rounds, junior Sam Choi shot a 72 on Day 3 to finish -1-underfor the 54-hole event.

The George Hannon Invitational was played at the University of Texas Golf Club and Academy.

Dan Vukelich is editor of New Mexico Golf News

Featured image: Dan Vukelich

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Dan Vukelich, former editor of ABQ Free Press and Sun Country Golf magazine, is editor of He's a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and the Golf Travel Writers of America. Reach him at

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