191. Ballyhack Golf Club
Lester George (2009)
After architect Lester George completed his design of No. 66 Kinloch, with its dual fairways, optional routes and triple-fairway ninth, he relished the opportunity to do it again on a site that might give him even more flexibility. He got that chance in hills outside Roanoke, and his Ballyhack design is Kinloch on steroids, with vast landing areas, joined fairways, center bunkers, double greens and a plethora of choices off the tees and into the greens. Call Ballyhack a pluperfect blend of challenging shots, rugged terrain and nasty native roughs, The Ballybunion of southern Virginia.
Second 100 Greatest History: Ranked 2017 to current. Previous ranking: No. 183 (highest)
Panelist comments, Ballyhack Golf Club:
"What a property! The scale of the place is breathtaking. The course does a great job utilizing width and angles including one of my favorite features, the double fairway on 2. The green complexes were very interesting, giving players many options in how to get the ball close to the hole. The direct route isn't always the best way, and really makes you think strategically instead of just firing at flags."
"The rhythm of the course is a joy, there are birdie opportunities if you are smart and skillful, and the variety of holes will keep you interested throughout the round. If you are thrilled by forced carries, play from one of the back tee boxes and enjoy the ride."
"Great, unique course without being contrived. The use of the existing land was superb, with holes seemingly dropped in over the slopes and ridges that already were there."
"Vast and enormous property provides a very spread out “links” style layout with elevation changes on most every hole. Sloping fairways that can produce unique bounces and rolling balls. Many shots ended 60 or more yards from where I thought they were going to end up."
Photos: Courtesy of Jon Cavalier