finger dye spann

golf course architects

black mesa golf clubla mesilla, new mexico, usa Black Mesa Review

Desert golf has become popular and its treeless environment open to the wind shares key elements with the game's origins of links golf. Tom Doak's Apache Stronghold, Gil Hanse's Rustic Canyon and Coore & Crenshaw's Talking Stick are perfect examples of classic architectural features being applied in a desert setting.

And in the spring of 2003, another sterling example opened in the New Mexico high desert. Once again an architect, in this case Baxter Spann of Houston-based Finger Dye Spann Golf Course Architects, has transposed an appreciation of classic architectural concepts upon the altogether unique and striking New Mexico landscape...

FULL ARTICLE > Baxter Spann Interview

I was bowled over by the huge sandstone formations and also by the softer folds and undulations in the topography in between the large ridges. It really struck me immediately that I was looking at an inland Irish Links setting with the waving native grasses and treeless land forms that were all around us. Two of the holes jumped out almost at once...


Jay Flemma from Golf Observer

Make no mistake, the opening of Black Mesa is a watershed moment in the battle for mainstream acceptance of the neoclassical, strategic courses blossoming around the country. It up-ends the homogenized, flavorless "waterfalls and real estate," "harder is better" penal designs that blighted the landscape from 1960-1990. We now can clearly see the high water mark of the golf design craft...

FULL ARTICLE > Black Mesa Review

Black Mesa, held sacred by the tribe, is framed perfectly down the 10th fairway. Sandstone spires rise from the green fairways, deep bunkers tantalize you, native arroyos funnel your ball to their depths, and the nature of the land is the layout's best feature....


Golf Digest

  • #1 Best New Public Course in America – 2003
  • Best in State Rankings - #3 in New Mexico
  • 100 Greatest Public Courses in America

GOLF Magazine

  • Top Ten New Courses You Can Play in America – 2003
  • Top 100 You Can Play in America
  • Top Thrifty 50 - #11


  • Top 100 Modern Courses in America (built since 1960)
  • America's Best, State by State Public Access Courses, #2 in New Mexico

Forbes Traveler

  • America's Ten Most Beautiful Golf Courses