Ballyneal Golf and Hunt Club---Holyoke, CO
Rankings as of 8/19/2010---
-5th best modern US course (Golfweek)
-48th best US course; 83rd best course in the world (Golf Magazine)
-5th best course in Colorado (Golf Digest)
Ballyneal is a walking only golf course created by Tom Doak located in the upper northeast corner of Colorado. It is
a throwback type of course that doesn’t overly manicure its fairways and greens, which allows the course to play
very fast and firm in a style reminiscent of links golf.
Being in the middle of nowhere Colorado, you get a sense of seclusion and privacy as soon as turn onto the long
and winding dirt road that leads to the property. This sense of seclusion and privacy continues through much of the
round as the routing of the course leads you up and down the Chop Hills of Colorado from one wildly interesting
green site to another.
In addition to the links style of golf, a defining characteristic of the course is its wildly undulating and dramatic
greens. In fact, I think these greens are best described as a style that would be derived if Alister Mackenzie was
mixed with CB MacDonald. I hope this is taken as a compliment of the highest degree, as it was meant to be.
The sense of drama related to these greens is enhanced and highlighted by the courses routing, but it is the
undulations of these greens that take the course to the next level. Given the routing, green site selection, and
undulations, it is best to play the ground game at Ballyneal when attacking the pins. And, of course, this is made all
the better an option given the fast and firm conditions of the course.
Interestingly enough, these defining characteristics that make the course so highly regarded are the exact same
items which might turn off the average American golfer to the course. If you go to Ballyneal expecting your run of the
mill Championship American golf course, you will be in for a big surprise. Think links golf, crazy greens; with
beautiful views and you’ve got Ballyneal.
As a side note, the 7th at Ballyneal is one of the best golf holes I have ever played. One of my playing partners, who
was a member at Ballyneal, said that if you take a case of beer to the 7th green site you could hit putts all day and
night on that green and have a blast. I agree 100%!!!