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Mark Saltzman

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It has been a couple of years since the most recent photo tour of Ballyneal and I thought I'd do my best to present the golf course with a tour of my own.  There are some spots where I am missing some pictures and I encourage any and all to add their own photos.  Credit to Matt Bosela and Kyle Henderson as I have taken a few pictures from each of their tours in the name of completeness (I hope they don't mind).

Enjoy the pictures and I look forward to discussing one of the great golf courses of the world.





I had difficulty finding a good picture of the routing.  The first picture is taken from the routing hanging in the clubhouse




This routing is from Google Earth.  It appears as though all holes had been laid out, though only about half has been seeded.  
P3 = Yellow
P4 = Blue
P5 = Pink




Hole 1: Par 4, 382 Yards

Approach is much easier from the left, where you can see the green better and you are hitting away from trouble Ö but the left is a hard place to get to, especially from the back tee.





The tee shot on one is arguably the most difficult on the course.  From the back tee, the fairway is at a diagonal - the ideal line is over the left fairway bunker, a carry of 210 yards.  The Line of Charm is in full effect here as one can play safely to the right side of the fairway yet the temptation to challenge the left is overwhelming.






The forward tee, which is commonly used in afternoon rounds as it is literally right out the back-door of the restaurant, straightens out the hole and requires no forced carry.






From start of fairway




A fairly straightforward approach rewarding tee shots that find the fairway.  The green is open in the front with bunkers short-left and long-left of the green and a shallow run-off to the right of the green.


Approach from centre:







Approach from left shows a bunker hidden from view from the tee some 75 yards short of the green.  Not many will reach this bunker, but a fairway undulations can attract long tee balls into the swale short of the bunker leaving a blind approach.  A penal feature on a very strategic golf course.




Bunker short-left of green




Oceans be damned, standing on the 1st green at Ballyneal you are treated to one of the truly great vistas in all of golf




1st Green from right





« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 12:43:10 PM by Mark Saltzman »

JNC Lyon

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2011, 01:24:40 AM »
I heard this course is okay.

I hope you got Ashley as your caddie/bartender when you were there.

In case anyone is wondering, they do serve Patron in the Turtle Bar (which is just steps from the first tee).
"That's why Oscar can't see that!" - Philip E. "Timmy" Thomas

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2011, 01:34:21 AM »
I heard this course is okay.

I hope you got Ashley as your caddie/bartender when you were there.

In case anyone is wondering, they do serve Patron in the Turtle Bar (which is just steps from the first tee).

JNC, all of the staff remembered you when I visited Ballyneal a week after you. Way to make an impression!

JNC Lyon

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2011, 01:34:56 AM »
Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.
"That's why Oscar can't see that!" - Philip E. "Timmy" Thomas

Emile Bonfiglio

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2011, 01:45:08 AM »
I love this thread already, wonderful photos. I really look forward to the day I can play this course. Keep these posts coming.
You can follow me on twitter @luxhomemagpdx or instagram @option720

BCrosby

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2011, 08:30:22 AM »
Very similar to the first hole at Cuscowilla, which Ran correctly called one of the most strategic opening holes in golf.

Bob 

Kyle Henderson

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2011, 12:14:40 PM »
Many of your photos seem awfully familiar...
"I always knew terrorists hated us for our freedom. Now they love us for our bondage." -- Stephen T. Colbert discusses the popularity of '50 Shades of Grey' at Gitmo

Sean Leary

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2011, 12:25:49 PM »
Kyle,

He gives you credit in his first post.

Jim Colton

Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2011, 12:49:17 PM »
To those who have a lot of rounds in at Ballyneal, would you say that the 1st green is the most often 3-putted green on the course? It's not a wild green by BN standards but there's a pretty good tilt down to front left. You see a lot more putts run out (or off) going that direction or putts left woefully short coming up and over the ridges back and right. Plus it's obviously early in the round and that usually is enough to claim a few victims.

The only other green that comes to mind for lots of 3-putts might be #13. Any other contenders?

Chris Johnston

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2011, 01:09:21 PM »
Beautiful hole! 

Very Doakish.

Kyle Henderson

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2011, 01:22:41 PM »
Kyle,

He gives you credit in his first post.

I saw that, Sir Leary. I think some Dick Durrance photography was also employed.

Just playing heckler.
"I always knew terrorists hated us for our freedom. Now they love us for our bondage." -- Stephen T. Colbert discusses the popularity of '50 Shades of Grey' at Gitmo

Kyle Henderson

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2011, 01:25:51 PM »
Mark,

Did you get to play the course under a few different wind conditions?
"I always knew terrorists hated us for our freedom. Now they love us for our bondage." -- Stephen T. Colbert discusses the popularity of '50 Shades of Grey' at Gitmo

Bart Bradley

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2011, 02:50:00 PM »
To those who have a lot of rounds in at Ballyneal, would you say that the 1st green is the most often 3-putted green on the course? It's not a wild green by BN standards but there's a pretty good tilt down to front left. You see a lot more putts run out (or off) going that direction or putts left woefully short coming up and over the ridges back and right. Plus it's obviously early in the round and that usually is enough to claim a few victims.

The only other green that comes to mind for lots of 3-putts might be #13. Any other contenders?

Eight especially when the pin is on the shelf back right.

Bart

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2011, 06:11:57 PM »
Mark,

Did you get to play the course under a few different wind conditions?

Kyle,

First, I hope you don't mind my using your pictures.

Second, I didn't really get to experience BN in different winds. They range from pretty much still to about a one club wind, with hole 2 being pretty much straight downwind. Why do you ask?

Jim,

Based on my limited time at Ballyneal I would bce expected any of 7, 8, or 9 to yield the most three putts. As you say,  1 green is fairly tame.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2011, 06:20:01 PM »
Stuff you wouldn't notice:  Hole 1

The green had to be cut down significantly from its original grade.  If you look at the straight-on picture of the approach, you'll notice that the grass runs several feet up the bank at the rear ... up to original grade.  All of that cut material was placed in the bowl to the right of the green, to soften the recovery shot from there and make an easier transition up to the second tee.  The bowl was filled eight or ten feet in one spot.

Jim Colton

Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2011, 06:22:59 PM »
Mark,

 #9 is a good answer, that is a tough green to lag putt. #7 & #8 are pretty wild, but because the breaks are more obvious and you may have multiple options to get your putt to the hole, I think they are easier to two-putt.

 I think I three-jacked #1 at least 6 out of 9 times in the marathon, so maybe that is skewing my view.

Tim Bert

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2011, 06:45:25 PM »
Jim - I have probably three putted #1 as much as any green out there in my limited play. It doesn't help that I don't recall ever playing a round there where I practiced putting before the round started.

Much like at Kingsley, I prefer to spend my time at Ballyneal playing rather than warming up or practicing even if it comes at the expense of a few strokes.

Seems like I have also had my share of three putts at 13 and 15.

Bill_McBride

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2011, 06:59:04 PM »
Very similar to the first hole at Cuscowilla, which Ran correctly called one of the most strategic opening holes in golf.

Bob 

This hole is uphill so plays longer and there's not quite as much emphasis on keeping the tee shot left.   The green is a whole lot bigger.  Both excellent starting holes. 

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2011, 07:39:50 PM »
Mark,

 #9 is a good answer, that is a tough green to lag putt. #7 & #8 are pretty wild, but because the breaks are more obvious and you may have multiple options to get your putt to the hole, I think they are easier to two-putt.

 I think I three-jacked #1 at least 6 out of 9 times in the marathon, so maybe that is skewing my view.

Everything, of course, is flag dependent (and I've only seen a couple of flags on each green).  A front pin on 7 is easy to get to, but a middle pin harder and back pin really hard.  I drove the green on 7 a few times (front edge) and three-putted each time trying to get to a middle pin.  I have no idea how you get from the front of the green to a back pin.  Is that doable with a putter?  I didn't get to try it.

Though as I think about it more, I would bet that a front-right pin on 9 gets three-putted as much as any other pin position on the golf course.  

Doug Wright

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2011, 08:14:54 PM »
Although I think #1 is a fine introduction to the course, I wouldn't say it's a challenging hole. Once you've seen how wide the fairway is, the tee shot from the back tee isn't as daunting; and the tee shot from the Turtle Bar tees is pretty benign. I'd say it's  appropriate--gentle openers are commonplace on a number of outstanding courses. But I wouldn't gush about #1. I have a different view about #2-#18. Bring 'em on Mark...
Twitter: @Deneuchre

Kalen Braley

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2011, 08:51:32 PM »
My recollection of this hole is......you can play to the right, and miss to the right..

...but if you play left and miss left on various parts of the hole, it very much potentially brings bogeys and doubles into play.


Mark Saltzman

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2011, 08:54:04 PM »
Hole 2: Par 4, 490 Yards

This hole will play 100 yards shorter downwind than into the wind, when itís a three-shotter for many players. Try to drive to the left-center. For the approach, the right distance is paramount, as the green is very deep.




A wonderful hole, probably my favorite on the course.  The tee shot is very inviting with a tremendously wide fairway that slopes noticeably from left to right.  Staggered bunkers flank the fairway at about 240 yards out on the left and 250 on the right.  At about 250 yards from the back tee there is a massive speed slot that will feed balls forward and right, inside the 200 yard marker.  One will gain the most yardage by using the speed slot on the left side of the fairway, but the approach is certainly easier from the right.






A look at the beautifully undulating 2nd fairway (this is around where tee shots will end up if one is unlucky enough to catch #2 on an into the wind day):




The approach on 2 begs for the ground game.  Fairway undulations are gentle and the green wide open but for a single bunker short-left of the green.  Each round my favorite shot was trying to hit a low draw from ~200 yards, landing it 50 yards short and watching it roll.

Approach from centre:







The approach from the left side of the fairway is far less inviting (though with the slope of the fairway it is awfully difficult to get a ball in this position): 






I will leave the green details to those that know the course better, but to me the most important feature of the 2nd green was a medium sized ridge that bisected the left and right portions of the green.  With left pin positions being protected by the fronting bunker, this ridge makes left pin positions very difficult.

Green from 3 tee:




Green from right:




From behind:




Steve Kline

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 2 Posted
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2011, 09:10:00 PM »
First time I played this hole I hit driver wedge. Next time it was into the wind and I was hitting a long iron. It is a really cool hole when played from just right of the first green.

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 2 Posted
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2011, 09:16:35 PM »
First time I played this hole I hit driver wedge. Next time it was into the wind and I was hitting a long iron. It is a really cool hole when played from just right of the first green.

Steve,

My caddie showed me some pretty cool alternate teeing locations for other holes, but he didn't show me that one.  Is the tee shot blind from there?

Brad Isaacs

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC - Tom Doak, A Photo Tour - Hole 1 Posted
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2011, 01:12:51 AM »
To those who have a lot of rounds in at Ballyneal, would you say that the 1st green is the most often 3-putted green on the course? It's not a wild green by BN standards but there's a pretty good tilt down to front left. You see a lot more putts run out (or off) going that direction or putts left woefully short coming up and over the ridges back and right. Plus it's obviously early in the round and that usually is enough to claim a few victims.

The only other green that comes to mind for lots of 3-putts might be #13. Any other contenders?


Hole number 6. More 3 putts than any other hole and on a long par 4. Always into the wind for me.

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