View of the bunkered 15th green at Ballyowen Golf Club
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Rating Index Rating
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4.5
258 Reviews (258)
5 Stars
158
4 Stars
70
3 Stars
15
2 Stars
8
1 Stars
7
Conditions
4.5
Value
4.0
Layout
4.8
Friendliness
4.6
Pace
3.8
Amenities
4.3
88.3%
Recommend this course
229 out of 258 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.6
22 Reviews (22)
5 Stars
17
4 Stars
3
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
1
Conditions
4.7
Value
4.2
Layout
4.9
Pace
3.9
Amenities
4.4
StaffFriendliness
4.8
90.9%
Recommend this course
20 out of 22 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.6
25 Reviews (25)
5 Stars
19
4 Stars
4
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
1
Conditions
4.7
Value
4.2
Layout
4.9
Pace
4.0
Amenities
4.5
StaffFriendliness
4.8
92.0%
Recommend this course
23 out of 25 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Type Semi-Private/Resort
Style Links
Par 72
Length 7094 yards
Slope 134
Rating 74.1

Ballyowen Golf Club is an homage to the great Scottish links courses, the place where golf originated. The course sprawls across 250 acres of rolling farmland that overlooks the Walkill River. The layout tumbles through valleys and hills, staying as true as possible to the natural contours of the land. Much like a traditional links golf course, the virtually treeless landscape is accented with craggy knolls. The challenging layout features lush green fairways that contrast beautifully with the pristine white sand bunkers and golden patches of rough that border the greensides. There are also water hazards that come into play on five holes. Ballyowen has earned the title of New Jersey's top public course and Golfweek has even ranked it as one of the top 50 courses in the country.

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Course Details

Year Built 1998
Fairways Bent Grass
Greens Bent Grass
Golf Season Year round
Architect Roger Rulewich (1998) A. John Harvey

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes - included in green fees
Clubs Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Caddies Yes
Golf School Academy Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard, Amex Welcomed
Metal Spikes Allowed No

Food & Beverage

Bar, Snacks, Restaurant, Beverage Carts

Lodging

Lodging Available

Available Facilities

Clubhouse, Spa, Showers, Lockers

Accolades

Reviews

4.5
258 Reviews (258)

What Golfers Are Saying

The 19th Hole is Great For:
Drinks 24
19th Hole Scenic Views 21
Dinner 13
Course Challenges Include:
Thick Rough 43
Bunkers 42
Undulating Greens 36
This course/club is great for:
Advanced Golfers 42
Wildlife/ Scenic Views 32
A Bucket list/Top 100 Pick 29
This Course's Location is:
Worth the Drive 47
In the 'Burbs 17
At a Resort 15

Numbers based on reviews tagged with attribute.

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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 5
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Always a pleasure

The course is always nice, bunkers are what they are during pandemic so no fault of the course there. Overall a round worth the money a couple times a year!

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 2
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Great place! Worth the trip

First time playing this course today. Made the 2hr trip from L.I (Bethpage greater area) Glad I was finally able to get an early enough tee time to finish all 18! Pulled up to the course and my first impression was “Wow!”while entering and driving up the hill. Pro shop, cart guy and the starter all very nice people! I was warming up at the range and lost track of time. Hurried to the starter area and apologized for the tardiness and told him it was my first time playing the course and I was a little lost. Starter assured me everything was fine and that we were up next. Starter welcomed me and thanked me for coming out and choosing to play with them today. It’s little things like that, that will resonate with customers/patrons like myself and we don’t forget them. Word of mouth travels fast especially when you live on an Island. Customer service these days gets overlooked. This place is top notch when it comes to that. Hard course if your putting isn’t on point and you’re not consistent with your approach shots. Only gave the course conditions a 4/5 bc the greens have seen better days. Way too many bumps and dead spots for my liking. But I’m sure it’s just your usual end of the season wear and tear. Greens also have different elevations depending on the pin placement. There’s no easy putts on this course(Maybe the 1st & 10th holes?lol). Played with 3 gentleman. Great guys and good golfers. Beautiful warm fall day, great service and great golf. Chris, John & Trevor. Thank you for making today’s round worth the trip! I hope to come back next year in 2021 and I’ll be bringing friends.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Played On
Reviews 33
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Shankapottomus

This much hearlded course has seen better days. Blame it on CIVID19 or whatever but Ballyowen is a shadow of it's former self. Course condition was as poor as I ever saw it. I look forward to fall golf since the course is usually in great shape. Greens were horrible Tees were okay and fairways decent. Pace of play was y joke. Was able to get 3/4 of a round in 4.5 hours. I drove 1.5 hours for a crummy experience. Not what I expected.

Conditions Average
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Played On
Reviews 5
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing

Hot Deal

Got a Hot Deal and saved a lot of money on one of the best courses around. I was a single but the threesome I was supposed to play with canceled so they put me out with another group of very friendly guys. The course did not disappoint. Greens, tees, fairways and manicuring Was very nice.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Cold weather
Used cart

One of NJs best public courses

This course is and absolute blast! We were worried about a first delay as temperatures at tee off at 7:10am were 34 degrees but we got off right on time.

The grounds were a little wet but other than that the conditions were absolutely amazing! This is a great course for skilled golfers. Played the round in just over 4 hours with three guys with handicaps of 20+

Can't wait to be back in 2021

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 11
Skill Beginner
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Great Track

Great course. Very challenging. You get your money’s worth.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 8
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Windy weather
Used cart

Challenging Course but very slow pace of play

Started at 2:40 pm which should have been OK to get 18 holes in but only played 16. Very slow 4-some a few groups ahead of us but staff didn't address issue when phoned in. Had 3 4-somes backed up at the 7th hole.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Fair
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 6
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 3
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

#1 Course in NJ

First time playing at Ballyowen golf course. The course was in pristine condition the staff was very welcoming and helpful. Will Definitely go back and play again

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 10
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart
Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 19
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 5
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Excellent Track

Challenging course with lots of terrain changes. Pace of play today was excellent, in part because a “helper” located errant shots on several of the holes.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 4
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Awesome Course

It’s a great round of golf. Greens are near pro-status!! Lightning fast. Course is immaculate.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 5
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Great Course

Ballyowen is a very nice course. Conditioning was good and the design was well thought out with a variety of challenging and diverse holes. Some good risk reward opportunities and nice green complexes. It is a great public course. If you are a public golfer in the New York area who enjoys a real test this is a must-play.

Someone below said it one of the top 3 public courses in the NY metro area. I don’t agree with that, and would put this behind Bethpage Black, Pound Ridge, and Ferry Point. It probably is in the top 5 or certainly top 10 though, which says a lot in a place like New York.

Which brings us to the negative. Pace of play can be slow, and sometimes even brutally slow. Let’s spend a few sentences talking about why this is.

One of the fundamental problems with public golf is that most golfers just aren’t that good. I say this as one of them. They also don’t tend to be very accurate.

With the “average” American public course, if you hit the ball well off line you just drive over to the next fairway and hit it. With harder courses maybe your ball goes into the woods. Most people know that their ball is gone when you hit it into the woods and don’t spend much time looking for it.

Which brings us to links golf. A type of golf which puts a great premium on accuracy and is incredibly difficult if you tend to spray the ball off line. If you hit it offline your ball goes into fescue. Now, even if the average golfer won’t be able to hit it out of there, because the grass is only knee high they think they can find their ball. Which means they look for their ball. For what seems like hours. every. single. hole.

We need to be fair here. Bethpage and Ferry Point can both be very slow as well, along with just about every other public in the New York area. This is a major issue across all of public golf.

So what can Ballyowen due? Just about nothing. They could have their rangers be aggressive, which will anger golfers and give the course a reputation for being only for good golfers or an unfriendly/intimidating place. This isn’t Whistling Straits or the Ocean Course... that reputation would hurt them. They could spread out tee times more. That would help, but golf course economics aren’t great anyways, and they would probably have to raise the price to do this, which would also drive golfers away.

So in short, there’s just about nothing they can do about pace. Pace-sensitive golfers should be careful about when they play, and be prepared that this might take a little while longer than average. Ballyowen is not a course to rush through while trying to get to a dinner reservation. So take your time, enjoy the views, and recognize that at busy times your round might take a little longer than normal.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 3
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked

Still early season conditions but will be pefect by June. Styrofoam in cups make it a must-play

I have previously reviewed this course, so I'll limit this to two key points:

Conditions - They seemed to have delayed greens aeration until they were sure the lockdown was over (likely to due to inability to get crews working). As of 5/22 the greens still showed some aeration marks, but were 90% of the way there. In another week with some nice weather, they will be perfect as usual. Fairways were top notch. Rough still has to grow in a bit, but typical of mid May.

2) They don't use raised cups, but instead put styrofoam inside which stops the ball from falling more than 1/2" down (everyone knows coronavirus lives in the bottom of golf cups). This has no impact on play and is much much much more enjoyable than raised cups. It's an hour drive for me, but worth it and I have a hard time imagining playing anywhere else until we're back to normal.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 1
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Fabulous course

By far the best course I have played this year. (I play 3 to 4 times a week and at least 1 new course per week)

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
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