From Golf Digest Architecture Editor emeritus Ron Whitten:
Ballymeade Country Club on Cape Cod was an amateur design, laid out and built in 1989 by owner Steve Harrison after both his original architect, Pete Dye, and his second choice, Brian Silva, dropped out of the project. The result was a low-budget layout with narrow, tree-lined fairways and a considerable number of blind spots—the kind of course that definitely rewarded local knowledge.
Five years after it opened, Jim Fazio (older brother of Tom Fazio) was hired to redesign the course, with veteran pro golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez paid as a “design consultant” for whatever marketing value that provided. Fazio was able to address bunkers and greens but could do little about its billy-goat topography. For the next 20 years. Ballymeade suffered a lot of bad press. One writer called it “infamously quirky and difficult.” Another described it as “much maligned.”
In 2015, Troon Golf took over its management, and Ron Despain, Troon’s in-house vice president of golf course development, tackled an extensive remodeling. Under his direction, 200,000 cubic yards of earth was moved, cutting hills and raising and lowering fairways to remove blind spots off tees and into greens. Trees were cleared out to widen landing areas and expose corridors. A penal pond on the fourth hole was filled in. All greens and bunkers were rebuilt, with the eighth green relocated to eliminate a blind approach shot, shortening it to a par 4. The change also allowed the ninth to be extended from a par 4 to a par 5, far fairer given the kettle pond that’s always guarded the green.
To brand the transformation, the course, which was opened to public play in 2016, was renamed The Cape Club. This may or may not explain why the private Golf Club of Cape Cod, right across the road, soon changed its name to Sacconnessett Golf Club.