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Doug Sobieski

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 14 Posted
« Reply #175 on: September 25, 2011, 05:41:49 PM »
The discussion of the toughest hole came up and many thought 14 was right up there with 6 and 17.

Wow, I don't get that at all. I look at 14 as a scoring opportunity on the back. It's one of the most simple tee shots on the back nine, and if it's a good number on your 2nd it's green light all the way. Even to back right hole locations, you can shape it close off the slope. What am I missing?

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 14 Posted
« Reply #176 on: September 25, 2011, 10:25:38 PM »
The discussion of the toughest hole came up and many thought 14 was right up there with 6 and 17.

Wow, I don't get that at all. I look at 14 as a scoring opportunity on the back. It's one of the most simple tee shots on the back nine, and if it's a good number on your 2nd it's green light all the way. Even to back right hole locations, you can shape it close off the slope. What am I missing?

Doug,

I too was surprised to hear that 14 was in the discussion for toughest at Ballyneal.

I wonder if it's one of those holes that is easy until it isn't.  You talk about how easy it is to hit that green.  I felt the same, it's a 7-9 iron, no reason to miss the green, and I didn't.  But if I go back to BN and push my approach I'll see how bad it is to be right.  Then the next time I play it, maybe I'll go long left in reaction to my previous.  The next time I'll miss a bit short right and watch the ball be rejected by the green again.  Now this easy hole isn't so easy anymore.

Jim Colton

Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 14 Posted
« Reply #177 on: September 25, 2011, 11:56:58 PM »
Well, most of the field weren't as good as Doug and Mark, plus the pin was right and back right two of the days with relatively slick greens. Plus as i mentioned, many were playing for the first time. I usually aim for the centerline bunker with 3-wood or 4-iron and go from there.

Doug Sobieski

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 14 Posted
« Reply #178 on: September 26, 2011, 07:53:07 AM »
Well, most of the field weren't as good as Doug and Mark, plus the pin was right and back right two of the days with relatively slick greens. Plus as i mentioned, many were playing for the first time. I usually aim for the centerline bunker with 3-wood or 4-iron and go from there.

That makes sense. In retrospect, like #12, I struggled to come up with a strategy the first few times I played the hole. I did a lot of thinking about it, and since then I've rarely deviated from my strategy. For me, the shorter the shot into that green, i.e. really anything inside 120 yards (the centerline bunker), the greater the scoring variance. I think it's one of the more brilliant holes at the club because of the thought required every step of the way on a hole that should seemingly be relatively simple based on yardage.

Hope the weather was better for you guys than it was the weekend prior! It was the worst weather I've had to deal with out there. Day 1 was 40*, 25mph, and rain. As expected, loading up for the airport the weather was PERFECT.   ::)

Jeff Tang

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 14 Posted
« Reply #179 on: September 26, 2011, 11:00:00 AM »
I've always thought the 14th to be tricky for me but never considered it one of the more difficult holes on the course.  It prompted me to take a look at all of my past BN scores to see how the 14th stacked up.  What I found surprised me.  Relative to par my personal top 5 toughest holes from most difficult to least difficult are:  6th, 2nd, 18th, 14th, 10th.  None of these five surprise me except for the 14th, guess it's a bit of a sleeper.  I would have never guessed that the 14th was more difficult for me than #'s 17 and 10.

So bad it's good!

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 14 Posted
« Reply #180 on: October 06, 2011, 09:11:48 AM »
Hole 15: Par 3, 237 Yards

A big par-3 in a big setting.  The saddle of fairway between the bunkers is deceptively about forty yards short of the green Ö if you carry just past that, the ball will usually scoot down to the front part of the green, effectively reducing the length of the hole.  Or, you can just try to hit a hybrid club into the back of the green, where most shots will feed to the left unless you hold up on the right-hand plateau.





There are many tee boxes available to the player on the 15th, ranging from about 150-240 yards.  The first picture is taken from the first tee the player gets to, which is about 195 yards.  One tee up would play about 170 yards and would be lower and to the right.   The 240 yard tee is much farther to the right, providing the player with a clearer view of the green.

The bunkers left and right 'should' never be in play as they are both well short of the green, though they are very intimidating and I think recovery from either would be very difficult.  Glad to say I didn't get to try a shot from either.




After cresting the hill, the player is presented with a wonderful punchbowl green.  Shots carrying the hill but landing short of the green should bound down somewhere onto the front portion of the green.  Shots landing green-high left will be subject to the will of the golfing gods and the ball will carom significantly, likely off of the green.  Getting close to the pin on 15 requires both a well-executed, well-thought out shot, and just a little bit of luck.

From short-right of the green.




From behind (taken from Ballyneal website)




Scott Szabo

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #181 on: October 06, 2011, 10:22:08 AM »
As you say, the bunkers short right and left should not be in play.  However, they are when the hole plays dramatically downwind as the approach should be played into the hillside short to allow the ball to feed down onto the putting surface.  Unfortunately, I've found myself in the bunker on the left on more than one occasion, and it can be ugly from there.

Great hole.  Front pin has to be the most difficult, but I've seen more birdies made there than at any other hole location.
"So your man hit it into a fairway bunker, hit the wrong side of the green, and couldn't hit a hybrid off a sidehill lie to take advantage of his length? We apologize for testing him so thoroughly." - Tom Doak, 6/29/10

John Penny

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #182 on: October 06, 2011, 11:04:06 AM »
As my first post (long time lurker), I might as well contribute to a subject I can add a sliver of intelligent (debatable) banter. 

The 15th is probably my least favorite hole at Ballyneal, I don't really get the tee shot.  Nearly all shots, whether well struck or lost slightly left/right, end up in a similar spot.  I also think it would be more fun if the front slope was mowed fairway height, allowing for a kick in the pants ground game shot.  I realize those statements might be contradictory, but the suspense waiting for a punched shot to crest over the top of the hill with the proper pace would be much more fun than watching a shot lost right/left catch the slope and funnel.  While the tee shot doesn't provide much differentiation, the green is very fun and a stern test.  A fun hole, just not my favorite.

Re: 14.  One visit this summer had nightly showers, the stickiness made 14 a scoring hole.  On my second visit, the greens were much firmer and 14 was everything you can handle.  The back right pin, in the firmer conditions, is one of the only pin placements I've ever played where there was really no way to be below the hole (and still on the green), while still remaining fair/fun.  One of my favorite holes.

John



     

Adam Clayman

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #183 on: October 06, 2011, 05:23:29 PM »
John, Welcome to the fray.
Funny you mentioned 15 as least favorite. When Ran visited, about a week before we officially opened, he caught me off guard by asking me my least favorite hole. I probably had two rounds under my belt, at that point, and was really thrown by the question. I answered 15. The reason I gave was different then yours though. It was because if I were to walk the property, sans golf course, I doubt I would've turned back in that direction. But, they may have been because you can see glimpses of 16 fairway as you exit 14 green site. So, my eye was drawn in that direction. But, I still doubt I would've turned that way, unless it was to look at how deep the hole was that is now the 15th green.

14 is a beast, with a south wind. Today, the wind is blowing about 35-40 mph out of the south, and I'll bet anyone who played there today would say 14 is tough. But, as has been agreed above, with a right pin and the steep fall off, that pin is one of BN's few sucker pins. I had the great pleasure to watch Bill Coore hole a putt from above the hole to the lower right pin. I'd guess it was somewhere in the 20 foot range. A great par since he had snapped his drive left and short of the left bunker, well into the native. As we joked about it this weekend, Bill is likely the first to admit that his prolific short game begins at the tee.
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Jim Colton

Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #184 on: October 06, 2011, 06:05:11 PM »
I don't really agree with John that different shots end up in the same place, though the 15th seems to be more about distance control than directional control. To that end, I agree that the run up short of the ridge would be a pretty cool option if it was cut lower. I've often thought about that as well. I wonder who would really try that shot other than just for kicks - maybe into or with a 30+ mph wind.

Kalen Braley

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #185 on: October 06, 2011, 06:10:02 PM »
I guess i'll be the 1st one to go on record and state that the 15th was my favorite par 3 on the course.

I really loved its semi-blind nature and the unsurety one faces on the tee over where to hit it.  Add in the suspense when you walk over the hill to see where you ended up and the potential recovery shot or not and its pretty neat.  The day I was there, we played it from about 200 yards which worked well as you have extra room around the green to still get the ball close with its semi-bowled nature.  Give me quirk like this anytime on the course!

John Penny

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #186 on: October 06, 2011, 06:43:07 PM »
Jim - I actually had that it is all about distance and less about accuracy in my original post, but I deleted as I felt long winded.  I am in complete agreement on that point.  With that said, I really enjoy the back pin placements as the distance control is much more important.

Kalen - the suspense walking over the hill is definitely fun.  My groups always had a shot or two that had a chance to be close (although most ended up very near each other ;D).  I think that is where the fun starts, as, in my opinion, the tee shot doesn't require the most thought (which isn't always a bad thing).

John

Brandon Urban

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #187 on: October 06, 2011, 10:31:53 PM »
I'm with Kalen on this one. I really liked 15 and depending on the day you ask me, I might tell you it's my favorite par 3 on the course. I think I liked the fact that precision from the tee is not needed as much as it is on 5 or 11, or 3 for that matter. You can hit the green relatively easily (depending on the wind, I'm sure) but the fun just begins from there. Two putts from the front of that green to a back pin is no guarantee.
I also love the walk up the hill to 16 tee.
181 holes at Ballyneal on June, 19th, 2017. What a day and why I love golf - http://www.hundredholehike.com/blogs/181-little-help-my-friends

John Kirk

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #188 on: October 07, 2011, 03:04:48 AM »
I like playing #15 from the back tees.  It offers a wide variety of challenges, based on pin placement.  Fades will hold better, and draws that clear the ridge will kick down onto the green.  Bouncing it down onto the green from the left side is much less reliable.

If you like long putts, with the difficulty based on pin location on a big, sloped green, then you will find this appealing.  I think it's so cool.




Ben Sims

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #189 on: October 07, 2011, 10:35:58 AM »
I can't believe that on a website where we continually praise "quirk and circumstance", that #15 at Ballyneal isn't getting more love.  All hail the Dell!

In actuality, I think I'd rank it third among the four par three's at BN.  Every time I play from the longish tees 180 and back, I end up in the back left no matter how I hit it.  And if you play it up--way up--the short iron/wedge is fairly unexciting compared to #3 or the short flip on #11. 

The strength of the hole comes in match play when played from 180+.  If someone hit a great shot, they have a shot at 2.  If both of you hit a good shot, best short game wins.  Two of five matches came down to this hole in the matches I played at The 'Nizzle Cup. 

Steve Kline

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #190 on: October 07, 2011, 10:45:59 AM »
My least favorite of the par 3s and close to my least favorite hole on the course. I can't pinpoint why, but it is definitely not a hole that drives me to come back to Ballyneal again.

Kalen Braley

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #191 on: October 07, 2011, 10:51:08 AM »
I must admit, I'm a bit surprised.  I wouldn't have guessed 15 would be on of those love/hate holes....in a gentle kind of way.

I think Ben makes a terrific point though.  I would think holes like this would be more widely accepted/sought after amongst this group for thier quirkyness.  But perhaps "new" quirk remains a dying concept in GCA land, even if old quirk still seems to be admired.

Doug Sobieski

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #192 on: October 07, 2011, 05:01:58 PM »
On 15, the ball does more on the ground than any of the par 3 holes at Ballyneal. Even with the gathering nature of the green site, shot shape must be considered if you are to hit it close (I probably vary my shot shape on 15 more than any par 3 on the course). You can have putts with options that could vary by 45 degrees. The green can demand as much thought/strategy on long putts as any at Ballyneal. Seems like a lot going on that this group would love.

Ross Harmon

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #193 on: October 07, 2011, 10:45:53 PM »
John - You'd like 15 more if you hit the green a little more often!  ;D ;D ;D j/k buddy...

I agree with Jim. My first time to the 15th we played from about 200 out and a crushed a 5 iron (usually 190) for me to the way back of the green, which is almost a guaranteed bogey when the pin is up front. Almost every time after that I was short, sometimes right on the ridge.

The suspense of the hole is fun all around when balls funnel towards the hole and then you can't see just how close they are until you get right up there. That's fun! 

Brian Joines

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #194 on: October 08, 2011, 12:31:05 AM »
Jim,

That right pin on 14 was really tough. 3 people in my groups putted from the left side of the green, off the green and 30 yards down into the hollow right of the green. One guy did it twice. The greens were definitely rolling faster than the year before and you had to really control your speed with that pin.

Its definitely not in the same league, difficulty wise, as 2, 6, 10 or 17. However, it was a lot of fun. Schulte even teed off with his putter from the way up tees. While creative, I don't think that is the play on this hole!


Mark Saltzman

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #195 on: October 09, 2011, 10:31:26 PM »
Hole 16: Par 5, 546 Yards

A hole with two different strategies depending on the wind and the tee youíre playing.  From the back itís usually a three-shotter, and the key is picking the right line for your second shot over the big ridge on the inside left of the dogleg.  If youíre playing up a tee, the hole can be very reachable in two, but a bold drive down the left side makes all the difference.




The hole may read 546 yards on the scorecard, but I was told by my caddie that at least 90% of players have no interest in trekking back to play that tee and instead play the hole around 490 yards.

The fairway forms two small bowls which will collect most well-struck tee shots up the left side.  The first is 230-250 yards out from the green, the other about 200 yards out.  Each ensures that the next shot will require the player's interest.





After a well-struck tee shot.  This picture is taken from between the two fairway bowls, about 220 yards from the green.  From here the play here has all kinds of options, each one with its own risks and rewards.  Go for it in two; lay-up to just short of the greenside bunker, leave a full wedge?

A really interesting shot is played to the lay-up landing area when playing from the back tees into the wind.  From there the question is whether or not to challenge the massive blowout right to even get to the landing area?







The green has fairly subtle contouring.  The largest contours feed from the left and right edges toward the centre of the green.  These contours provide options for the creative player who is stymied by the bunker short of the green and without the cajones/skill level to hit an L-wedge off Ballyneal's tight turf.






Scott Szabo

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 16 Posted
« Reply #196 on: October 09, 2011, 10:38:02 PM »
Ben, two of my three wins at the inaugural Yucca came on the 15th as well.  The 16th is a wonderful par five, with a very demanding second shot if attempting to reach in two.  I don't think I've ever actually had a putt for eagle on this hole, as I'm routinely just short or just long.  Over the back of this green isn't the place to miss, as there's just enough of a rise to reach the green, then it all runs away toward the front gathering bunker.  One of the scariest shots I've encountered at BN.
"So your man hit it into a fairway bunker, hit the wrong side of the green, and couldn't hit a hybrid off a sidehill lie to take advantage of his length? We apologize for testing him so thoroughly." - Tom Doak, 6/29/10

Matthew Schulte

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 15 Posted
« Reply #197 on: October 09, 2011, 11:54:35 PM »
Schulte even teed off with his putter from the way up tees. While creative, I don't think that is the play on this hole!

Brian:

OK. So I can't even hit my putter straight!  However, I still maintain that regardless of where you tee off from, your scoring average will be better on 14 when you are playing your 2nd shot from near the center bunker.  I have seen many, many more big numbers made than birdies by blasting driver to just right of the green. 

Steve Kline

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 16 Posted
« Reply #198 on: October 10, 2011, 08:10:46 AM »
Fun hole. I usually play it pretty far back so I have never reached the bowl of accomplishment (or is it achievement?). The left dune makes it difficult going for the green in two because it makes the shot blind. You need to go farther left than you think. I also like the hole because I have made about 6-8 footer for eagle here.  ;D

The first few times I played it I found the lay up challenging due to picking the right line. Also, hit a bad tee shot here and the lay up can be a lot more difficult.

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Ballyneal G&HC, Holyoke, CO (Doak) - A Photo Tour - Hole 16 Posted
« Reply #199 on: November 12, 2011, 12:42:47 PM »
Apologies for the delay in completing this tour...  :-\


Hole 17: Par 4, 481 Yards

"My other favorite hole on the course, this is just a glorious long two-shotter. The fairway has an upper deck on the left and a valley on the right side...the ideal tee shot will split the difference and get around the corner. The approach shot should be played to the left front, so it can take the slope at the front of the green just as it expires."




One of my favorite tee shots on the course -- and despite 5 rounds I still am not sure of the best line.  A huge ridge runs down the centre of the fairway and is the focal point of decision-making from the tee.  Play to the left and you have lots and lots of width and a downhill approach from a level lie, but a very long way into the green.  Play to the right and you will find the speed-slot, leaving a shorter approach, but you run the risk of running all the way into the fairway bunkers guarding the inside of the dogleg 280 yards from the tee.






Kyle's picture shows the width of the left part of the fairway.  What is amazing is that there is another half of the fairway that you can't see.




The view from the upper fairway.




The view from the lower fairway.  Notice the depth of the fairway bunkers - finding them leaves almost no chance of reaching the green in regulation.




The view after a perfect tee shot that finds the speed-slot.  Notice the deep bunkers on the right.  An absolutely terrible spot to be.




Taken from the 11th tee.  There is so much room to left of the green and the bunkers greenside are so deep, the prudent play is often to play to the left and try to make 4 by getting up and down.  Over the green is no bargain either and if the hole is playing downwind it is difficult to land the ball on the green and have it stay on.




A closer look at the greenside bunker.




Awesome.


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