Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin officially celebrated its 15th anniversary on 20 April.
After opening in 2007, Black Mountain Golf Club is today recognised as not only one of the best courses in Thailand but also in Asia.
In 2018, it was named by Golf Digest as the 59th best course in the world, making it the first course in Thailand to receive such an accolade.
Black Mountain has also hosted numerous major tour events, including the European Tour and Asian Tour and in March played host to the inaugural International Series Thailand event.
With golf the primary focus, the community at Black Mountain continues to grow.
The site now home to a variety of pool and course side villas, twin houses, four story houses, townhouses and condominiums, as well as a water park which opened in 2011 and the Hua Hin International School which opened in 2016.
You can learn more about the fascinating story of Black Mountain by watching the excellent documentary of the same name which features founder Stig Notlov. The documentary can be viewed at http://storyofblackmountain.com/
Hua Hin Today recently spoke to Harald Elisson, Black Mountain’s managing director about the club’s 15 year history and the plans for the future.
Who was the course designed by and how long did it take to construct and develop?
The original course design was built in just 15 months, but Black Mountain’s success is largely down to its philosophy of continual improvement, meaning that over the years, just about every hole has changed, making the course more playable and enjoyable for the everyday recreational golfer and at the same time, more challenging for the pro golfer.
What have been some of the major changes to the course/club over the past 15 years?
One of the key things with Black Mountain is that from day 1 the ownership side have been willing to invest and identify areas in the golf course that could be improved. We are always striving to do better and find new ways to improve – not only the golf course but the whole area.
The willingness from the investors has alway been there, 100 percent. It’s a cliche but you can not just stay the same, this is especially true with golf courses, so we always find ways to improve.
We actually made a lot of investment during COVID on minor and major changes to the course. We carried out lots of expensive work to redo all the bunkers, which is very good for playability.
In a broader sense the golfing community here has really developed too, especially over the last five years. There is a real community feeling and spirit here now, we have many more member tournaments and there is much more interaction between the members and the club.
There is also a much broader spectrum of people buying properties here too, many of whom are drawn to us by the community that has developed here.
What are some of the standout memories you have of the club of the past 15 years?
There are so many memories that stand out, but a few would be: Hosting the Black Mountain Masters, the first big Asian Tour event to come to Black Mountain in 2009. Then later twice hosting the European Tour in 2015 & 2016.
Being placed No. 59 in Golf Digest’s World Top 100 Golf rankings was also a proud moment for the whole team here, who work so hard to make Black Mountain Thailand’s premiere golfing destination.
But Black Mountain is not all about championship golf, some of the best memories relate to the incredible community of wonderful golfers that we have built up over the years.
What can members and non-members look forward to at Black Mountain in 2022 and beyond?
Black Mountain is always evolving and changing and the future here is always exciting. For example, we have a new executive chef starting soon, bringing new dishes for everyone to be able to try.
We have just successfully hosted the Asian Tour’s inaugural USD$1.5m International Series event. With events in the series being held all around the world, we are looking forward to the Thailand leg being a recurring annual Black Mountain event.
Who are some of the most famous/celebrated players to have played at Black Mountain?
We have had many high profile tour players at Black Mountain over the years. Basically most of the European and Asian Tour players.
Interesting stories are being written by the young Thai stars.
Jazz Janewattananond grew up and honed his skills at Black Mountain, and went on to become an international superstar. Also now regularly playing here we have the incredible 15 yr old “TK” who is destined for great things.
We regularly host the Thai LPGA and have had the pleasure of watching the formidable Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn sisters, plus the incredible 19 yr old Atthaya Thitikul.
It is going to be very exciting watching these home-grown players in the coming months and years.