Nice course with a mix of yardage and challenges. Nothing over the top difficult though so it is good for all skill levels. I'd give the course itself 4 stars.
I've golfed this course about ten times and taken a group of 10-12 employees here four years in a row. Usually a great experience. This year my group met Curtis the neurotic starter/ranger. First of all we were told that the day we booked was pretty open. We arrived to find the place near capacity (or over). The starter (Curtis) sent us off to the first hole where we waited behind two groups - one in the fairway and one waiting for the tee. We had three groups with us (ten golfers this year) and the second of the two groups drove inside one of the ropes at number 1 (yes the driver rarely golfs and made an error). Curtis came out to yell at our entire group and threaten to kick us out, then he said we needed to pick up the pace as it had been 22 minutes since he checked us in, He would not listen to anything we had to say regarding there being two groups on the hole already when he "sent us up". Throughout the day he drove out to tell us three more times that we needed to keep pace, which everyone was doing, we were even playing best ball for each pair. We pointed to the groups ahead of us and asked if he wanted us to hit into them. We even timed our round from #3 on. We were under 15 minutes per hole and had people in front of us so that we had to wait for the tee and people waiting for the tee after us. The course played the same amount of time as every full course I've ever golfed (4hr 28 minutes). I think they overbooked their course! But it sure made the day less enjoyable to deal with this uptight ranger who would not listen to reason or accept reality.
The other big turn off is that they don't have much of a club house, no pro shop, and no dining or banquet facilities.
And they would not let me run a beverage tab on the course for the group so I could pay at day's end on credit. They have done this in the past. We usually spend $300-$400 on beer and food. With no open tab my group only spent about $80 this year.
Due to this last experience I will likely not be back, definitely not with a group. So many other nice courses to play where the staff is nice and courteous to the players and appreciative for the business.
For just golf, this is the best value in the area I think. Well maintained course that's interesting enough. I played really early morning, so not sure what the pace of play really is during peak hours. Just considering the quality of holes and the maintenance, this is a very good course for the $ (I paid $22 for 18 for 6:54am tee time on Tuesday)
We made a reservation on a Friday morning for two groups. One a threesome and one a foursome. They messed up the reservation and ended up combining all seven of us into one tee time?!? We obliged to get going and divided the groups to keep our pace up. We were doing a mini-scramble/playing best ball to be sure we didn't hold any groups behind us. Despite this, the course ranger couldn't have been more rude. Between our two smaller groups, we both shot even and in theory, couldn't have gone any faster without shooting an eagle on every hole.
Through the first nine, we kept running into the group ahead of us. It wasn't a big deal and it didn't really bother us too much (it happens when golfing). At times, though, the ranger asked us to tee off with the group ahead of us only 150yds down the fairway and pretty much hit right into them. We tried to give them a little bit more room, and then teed off as demanded by the ranger. The group ahead of us didn't seem very pleased.
After the first 9, we got to 10 and got a tongue lashing from the course ranger yet again. At that time, the harassment was pretty ridiculous and so unfounded that our group decided to call it quits before it really ruined our day. We didn't attempt to continue a pointless argument with the general manager in the club house to get our money back. I would be completely understanding had we been a group of inexperienced golfers or abunch of kids just looking to wreck a golf cart, but with us being crammed into one tee-time (unlike our reservation) and playing best ball I don't think we could have done much more to accommodate the course and the extremely rude staff.
All said and done, I've read the course plays slow and I've realized that with the tee time intervals so short, it's obvious this course is just looking to get as many golfers onto the course as possible and the only way to keep the players going and (hitting into one another) is to accompany that approach with rude course rangers. All in all, I'm happy that the round was only $40. I would have had a much harder time giving up half of a paid round of golf had it been a respectable course and a much more costly round of golf. This a great example of getting what you pay for. This experience makes me feel that those $80-125/round courses are worth it.
I would recommend trying a different place before you head to this course. The rude staff and slow rounds of golf don't make the cheap round worth it.
I've played Blackheath since it opened, and am currently on a golf league here, and it's gone through some transformations. While the look and feel of the course is great, and somehow it's in good condition, the maintenance here seems to be minimal. The golf carts are a near death trap. NO KIDDING. If you play here, bring a bungee cord to secure your bag, otherwise you have about a 20% chance of it falling off when you're driving. The steering on half the carts are REALLY loose. They needs to spend some bucks to upgrade.
**Summer 2013 Update** Hey, they got some "new" carts. Well, they aren't BRAND new, but we haven't had any bags fall off, and the steering wheels don't feel like they'll pop off in your hands. We did have one that had a stuck accelerator, so hopefully they'll fix that.
The range balls are equally as bad, so it's not going to be a place to come and practice, but for pre-round warmup it's adequate.
That said, the course is fun and different to play. Not exactly links conditions usually a little too wet, and the fairways aren't cut low enough, especially in front of the greens, but some easy and challenging holes. The two nines are very different. The front is very short, and the back much longer.
The main problem with the course is pace of play, and that's due to the layout. When the course first opened, they had long heather off of almost every fairway. But that created 6 hour rounds. So then they cut it down, and now the holes don't play the way they were designed. For example, the 11th is a dogleg right par 5. Without the heather, you can aim almost into the #8 fairway. So now you have people crossing each other, having to wait for other groups to hit, and that slows play down, and for #11, you can hit a drive that puts you 200 or less out, so now that creates a backup because a good percentage of people are trying to go for it in two, and hitting to a near blind green.
The other problem is the way the course starts: Two easy par 4s then a difficult par 3. It ALWAYS backs on the 3rd and 11th tee boxes.
While the holes are fun, the layout is not conducive to a good pace of play, and I'm not sure there's anything they can do about it now.
Not a bad course at all for the price. I can usually get a deal on golfnow.com for $25-35 for 18 and cart. The pace of place can be really bad here sometimes. They squeeze walk ins with the pre-scheduled tee times and it causes a mess. I just was there on Sunday with a 4:00pm tee time and they let 3 4-somes in between the 3:50 tee time and myself. Other than that, its a good course for the price.