Having played half of the world’s top 100 courses I have a reasonable reference point to make the following bold statement: after more people have played Ballyneal, it deserves to be considered among the top 20 courses in the world. Ballyneal is an absolutely pure golf experience. For starters, Ballyneal enjoys a spectacular, yet impossibly remote setting. Driving through the modest entrance to the property you feel your worries melting away as you can’t help but be awestruck by the view. Tom Doak himself concedes that this is one of the five best sites any architect has been given in the last 75 years. Doak made the most of the opportunity. The routing is a non-stop thrill ride of great variety. Despite its’ great setting and dramatic blowout bunkers, Ballyneal is probably defined most by its’ dramatic greens. The greens are nirvana to golfers with any imagination. The net result is that the golfer finishes the 18th hole and can’t wait to do it again. Beyond the great golf, guests of Ballyneal enjoy comfortable accommodations, great food and genuine hospitality that feels more like being a guest in someone’s home than being at a high end, ultra exclusive club. It is inarguably special.
Date: February 28, 2009