Tom Doak (2006)
If Sand Hills Golf Club stands for the notion that there's nothing more glorious than a round of golf beyond the range of cell phone reception, then Ballyneal (Tom Doak's answer to No. 9 Sand Hills) proves that isolated golf is even better when Spartan in nature. With no carts and with dry, tan fescue turf on fairways and greens, Ballyneal is even more austere than Sand Hills. It provides absolutely firm and fast conditions, and with many greens perched on hilltops, the effect of wind on putts must be considered.
100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2011. Highest ranking: Current ranking. Previous ranking: 54
“Great club, great vibe, and great course. Such a dramatic piece of land with choppy dunes, even more abrupt than those in the nearby sand hills region of Nebraska. Driving in the land is so flat, and when you turn up to the course and see the landscape change it is amazing.”
“Doak's holes flow beautifully down into, along, and up and over these large, tall and steep sand dunes that separate one hole from the next. You rarely see another hole than the one you are playing.”
“It is quite similar to a links course, demanding the golfer to play the ball on the ground. Doak always gives you a safe side to hit toward, which is away from most of the trouble, but it's the longer route to the hole. The greens are massive in size with a dozen pin positions each. ”
“This is what future new courses should be about. The variety of shots that can be played here is tremendous, making the fun factor off the charts. This place, although new, it exudes tradition.”
“A Tom Doak gem in the middle of northeast Colorado, where you would never expect a golf course of this magnitude. It fits the terrain so naturally, you'd think it's been there for 100 years. The variety of holes, alternative ways to play each hole and each shot is a fun challenge for all levels.”