Ballyneal at Sunrise

5/24/2010 2 comments
I probably have a thousand Ballyneal pictures in my library, but most of the good ones are from the late afternoon.  I don't have any from the early sunrise hours, simply because it's gets light out so ridiculously early out there in the summer.  I'll never forget my maiden voyage to Ballyneal with Jefe, when we woke up (in separate beds...that time) at 6:00 a.m. to full blazing sun shining through the windows.  Our first thought, of course, was "why in the heck aren't we on the 6th hole already?"  The wait until first tee times at 7:30 was (and still is) an excruciating one.

This past week I had reeled off a series of 4:00 a.m. wake up calls to catch 6:00 a.m. flights.  Combine that with the Christmas-morning anticipation of the first rounds at Ballyneal in 2010, I was wide awake at 5:15 a.m. and ready to go.  Instead of laying in bed until the alarm went off an hour later, I found my shoes in the dark, stumbled down the stairs and walked the course in basketball shorts and cut-off t-shirt.  The first five pictures were from that morning.  The last three were from the next day when I did the exact same thing.  Enjoy!

p.s. Ballyneezie is off da heezie!

10th Hole

Another view of #10, quickly becoming my favorite hole on the back nine

12th Hole

12th Hole looking back

13th Hole

3rd Green

2nd Hole Looking Back

2nd Hole

Another view of the 2nd Hole

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Behold Ballyneo

5/17/2010 1 comments
Yours truly has dipped his toe back into the shark-infested waters of (fake) golf-course architecture with an entry in the 2nd Annual Armchair Architect Contest on GolfClubAtlas. Similar to last year (see Ballysnoop here), I had a strong showing but fell a bit short. Unfortunately, one of the three judges inexplicably had me 9th on his ballot, which sunk my overall average. I was thrilled to get a first place vote from designer Mike Nuzzo, one of the most respected designers on the site.

The contestants had a square-mile topographical map to work with, and had free reign to do whatever they wanted within that space, whether it be 45 holes of tree-lined terror or 18 holes of sprawling prairie golf. I envisioned a wide-open treeless sight with varied wind conditions and tried to build a fun, wide links course with lots of strategic interest. Any idea where I got my inspiration?

Check out the design and some 3-D pictures from Google SketchUp below. Always interested in hearing feedback on my amateur design effort.

12th Hole Approach:

Overlooking 9th & 18th

3rd Green

11th Hole

14th Hole

7th Hole

9th Hole

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