Ballyneal: A Golf Addict's Guide (6th Hole)


6th Hole - 480 Yards, Par 4
The key to scoring well on the 6th hole is to skip it altogether -- just write down a bogey 5 and move on to the 7th tee. But where's the fun in that? The sixth is the toughest hole at Ballyneal, a double-bogey waiting to happen.

The photo above shows the sixth from the dune adjacent to the back tee box. It's a lovely view, especially because you can see how the fairway ripples melt into surrounding landscape. Most architects would probably give you the elevated tee to see the fairway. But not Tommy Deez. He gives you a view of deathly bunkers and native vegetation with a hint of the fairway and the green in the distance. It adds some mental intimidation for us weak-minded fools. It does the trick as my tee-shot dispersion is even larger than normal on this hole.

[Insider tip: This is one hole where mixing up the tee boxes over the course of a weekend really makes a difference, not only in yardage but more importantly angles. Jefe and I discovered a 'tee box' about 20 yards in front of the 5th green, which makes the hole play as more of a dogleg. I like it from there for two reasons a) because I feel like Magellan for 'discovering' it and b) you get a slightly larger hint of the left bunker and the fairway. Check it out!]

The key, in theory, is to flirt with the two large bunkers down the left side of the hole, first off the tee then on the approach. Bailing out right on the tee will leave a very-long approach at best; yuccafication at worst. Bailing out right into the green brings a large collection area into play. In fact, anything leaking even a little bit right will probably end up there. Good luck getting up and down.

You'll see below that the green is small and severe, especially for a hole of this length. Your best bet if avoiding trouble and getting somewhere close to the green in two, then letting the short game take over. Jefe and I both parred this hole the first time we played it. Ignorance is bliss. It's been a steady stream of '6's,'7's and 'others' ever since.


  1. Scott S. said...:

    This hole is a BEAST. By far and away the toughest hole at Ballyneal. It takes four well executed shots, anything less simply will not do. The green itself has about as much contour as any of Ballyneal's greens, and that's at the end of a 490 yard hole! Many times I've seen the golfer take more putts to hole out once on the green than it did to cover the previous 490 yards!

  1. Jimbo said...:

    As JC says, the 6th is the hardest hole on the course. From the back tee, the drive is extremely demanding. The landing area is blind and picking the correct line is still a mystery to me. The hole narrows as you go, and it plays uphill. The key to a solid front nine is playing this hole well.

  1. Jefe said...:

    The length and angle makes this hole tough but it doesn't get any easier once you reach the green. For a hole of this length the green is extremely difficult, espeically if the hole is cut on the right side of the green where your second (or a chip) could roll off the green off the right side. A good contrast to the hole about to come, #7.

  1. Anonymous said...:

    The line of charm is just rammed down your throat on this one--my ball seemed to be magnetically attracted to the left side. My first couple of plays were from Colton's tee, which made it even harder.

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