Here is the continuation post on the best Hua Hin golf course, Black Mountain. It covers Chiang Rai based PGA teaching professional Graham Sampson’s favorite 3 holes.
Each of the eighteen holes is unique and interesting. Three of the holes I found most memorable were 4, 6 & 15.
Hole # 4 is a beautiful downhill par 4 measuring 432 yards from the black tees and 396 from the blue. The elevation drop is dramatic, requiring a precise tee shot that feels slightly ‘blind’ the first time you play it. There’s a small structure in the horizon that makes for a great target. An easy thai expression to learn is ‘bai nai?” (go where?). Your caddie will not only appreciate your attempt at thai—but will point you in the right direction. I always advocate picking a target in the horizon when available and this hole presents the perfect opportunity to apply this visual tip. When the wind conditions are favorable some long hitters may even be tempted to drive the green. Because of the steep elevation drop a shot of 220 yards from the blue tee will leave the player about 150 yards to the pin. .The island green has a steep front to back elevation change – with varying degrees of difficulty.
Hole #6 a challenging par 5 measuring 639 yards from the black tees, 569 from the blue. The tee shot plays to the end of a plateau, before descending to a green protected on the front and left side by a kidney shaped water feature. The professional will be tempted to play aggressively and carry the hazard with his second shot, deceptive in that it plays into the prevailing wind. Again, the beauty of this Phil Ryan designed (potential signature hole) is a bountiful lay-up area to the right and short, albeit leaving you a longer approach to a sloping, well bunkered green.
Hole # 15 an uphill par 4 playing at 466 from the black tees and 371 from the blue. The slight dogleg left hole visually teases you into cutting off some yardage and attempting to carry the two strategically placed bunkers on the left. Phil Ryan’ design strategy is evident as the landing area is increasingly narrow for the long hitter while offering more generous fairway width for the shorter hitter. The approach shot plays uphill and one more club is needed than the yardage indicates. There’s a false front on the right, swallowing up wayward shots, short of the green. This green is one of the highest points on the golf course. Enjoy the view.
Black Mountain recently announced it will host an Asian Tour Event in March 2008, just nine months after its grand opening—a testament to the quality of its construction and turf conditions.. In preparation additional tee boxes are being added, and a tournament quality, championship-caliber practice facility is under construction. The owner’s commitment to quality is apparent everywhere you look at Black Mountain Golf Club—from the state-of-the-art greens maintenance equipment to a computer controlled irrigation system linked to a weather station.
After completing 18 holes our foursome talked about how much we looked forward to playing Black Mountain again, and how fair, playable and challenging it was for each of us—the true test of a great golf course. The player assistants on the golf course had ensured a comfortable pace of play and from start to finish we had a memorable experience.
Enjoy your golf in the land-of-smiles. Best wishes from Chiangrai, Thailand,
U.S. PGA Member