Ballston Spa Country Club
|Blue M: 70.3/127||408||160||475||375||425||190||410||475||120||3038||530||300||375||505||453||205||369||128||407||3272||6310|
|White M: 68.6/125 W: 73.8/132||385||140||460||360||380||165||358||462||120||2830||505||270||355||483||430||175||360||122||360||3060||5890|
|Red M: 66.8/122 W: 71.6/126||370||125||415||340||375||130||315||440||120||2630||470||255||325||445||430||165||330||110||345||2875||5505|
Strolling through Ballston Spa CC
Ballston Spa Country Club has a special place in our hearts here at The Bogey Extraordinaire seeing as it was the first course we ever played as a kid, as my grandparents were members at the country club. Given my history with the course, it has been near the top of my list of courses to review once TBE was up and running. This par 71 semi-private course has a lot to offer those who decided to tee it up in the landscape of Ballston Spa. Golfers beware, though, this course is only open to the public Monday through Thursday. It is closed for members only on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, as well as Holidays. The cost for 18 holes with a cart is $59, and the cost for 18 holes walking is $39. Whilst the course does offer online tee times, you cannot book walking tee times or singles tee times through their online services.
First, lets talk about their practice facilities. Ballston Spa CC offers two practice greens, one up front by the parking lot and one in between the 18th green and 1st tee. The parking lot green offers players the chance to chip from up to 15 yards off of the putting surface, and provides multiple surfaces to do so (rough, fringe, fairway). The driving range has been seemingly lengthened since the last time I was at this course, but that could be my imagination. The range offers nicely manicured grass tees with a variety of yardage signs for targets.
A lot has changed in the 11 years since I last played this course, and what once seemed like a harrowing behemoth from the junior's and men's tees (mostly due to my ability at that age) when I was younger now stands moderately short when compared to courses in the area when playing from the tips. At just over 6300 yards, it certainly is not the longest of courses but what it lacks in length it most certainly makes up for in forcing creativity with the ball. The grounds crew has removed a slew of trees on several holes that have opened the course up a little bit, but does not necessarily make it any easier. Sure, the openness is aesthetically pleasing and soothing on the tee, but it can give you a false sense of security on certain holes (hole 12 comes to mind). The removal of trees has also allowed the movement of tee boxes on at least one hole (14) and turns what used to be a simple dogleg right into a force to be reckoned with, but we will get to that later. I was fortunate enough to be able to walk 36 holes here on a Monday afternoon, finishing in just under 5:45. Upon asking a few members of the staff regarding usual busy times, they said that weekdays around 11 or 12 are practically empty. The staff was even kind enough to allow me to do a replay for free seeing as it was intermittently misting/raining, I wasn't using a cart, and the course was practically devoid of life.
I chose to walk due to cost, and The elevation changes certainly give you a great workout but aren't severe enough to really effect your game in terms of being exhausting.
The course layout is great for all ranges of golfing ability, a majority of fairways are open that you don't need to be pin-point accurate with your tee shot (there are a few exceptions that do come to mind). The other side to that, though, is that if you do miss the fairways the rough can be punishing. Most approach shots also provide you with places to bail out without too much danger of hazards. Having said that, there are plenty of water hazards on this course that are pretty well placed for some risk/reward decisions. However, for anyone who is a 14 handicap or lower, this course is great from the tips! For anyone with a higher handicap, I highly suggest the middle tees. It will push you to be creative with your tee shots and approaches in terms of the shape of your shots and club selection. I found that I was consistently having to grab different clubs on my approach shots on every hole. There is nothing more drab and boring that hitting driver off of the tee and always having, say, an 8-iron into the green. I found myself hitting anywhere from a 5-wood to a gap wedge for my approach shots on par 4's, and a variety of wedges on the par 5's. The par 3's also provide players with a few shot selection choices as well. On the 5 par threes, I hit 5 different irons from the tee. The course puts a premium on hitting fairways as the rough can get pretty nasty.
The ultimate test comes from the par 4, 14th, which plays much longer than the 453 yds listed on the scorecard. Not only is the tee shot daunting with the hole shaped left to right, but if you miss the fairway slightly to the right, there is a slope that leads directly into the woods that guards the entire right side of this hole. Too far left will leave you 225 + into an elevated green that is guarded by a bunker on the left and not much room to bail out right with thick rough and the woods lurking. Hit the ball too far straight and you will not only be hitting from behind trees and out of testy rough. I treated it as a par 5 taking 3 wood off of the tee and chose to lay up to a lob wedge distance and one-putted both times I played the hole.
In between my two rounds, I decided to stop by the restaurant, Henry's on the Green. Not only did I encounter a friendly wait staff who were attentive and social, but my food came out quickly and quite delicious. The menu offers a wide range of golf club standards, as well as several full entrees. The beer options, while not extensive were not your typical keg beers you often see at golf courses. Too often are beer choices devoid of substance and filled with monochromatic light beers. Not here. I personally enjoyed a Sullivan's Ale while scarfing down my delicious flatbread, and chicken tenders, carb loading for my next 18 holes. The price of the beers seemed a bit high in relation to other courses in the area, but worth it in my opinion based on the selection.
In summation, BSCC offers a great challenge for golfers of all abilities, and requires golfers to actually make decisions on shots. Ball placement is key coming into most greens to avoid bunkers or hazards on your approach shots. Certainly an excellent parkland layout course, I certainly recommend this course to golfers looking for a weekday (Monday - Thursday) adventure.
Fun challenging old-school course
This is a very enjoyable course in terrific condition. The bunkers were excellent. It has an old-school design with strategic thinking needed off the tee quite often. Nice variety, good slope on the greens, a nice mix of long, mid, and short holes, off-angle fairways, doglegs. In a few spots they take the tee boxes or greens right to the edge of an adjoining road, which can affect play a bit, but overall the experience was great.
Best Conditioned Course in Saratoga County
I became a member of BSCC this year and I couldn't be happier with my decision. The course is always in excellent condition. It's the best value around.
Staff are friendly and clubhouse food is awesome.
Not real long, but really great
This is a wonderful parkland track. Every hole is interesting and offers more than one option from the tee. You'll use every club in your bag on this superbly conditioned course. It's truly a hidden gem. Greens and fairways are perfect.
Not worth the $ and very tight layout.
I'm going to start out with the positives of this course: bunkers were maintained, not hard sand for the rocky type sand they had. You saw the cart girls a lot which is nice on a hot day. The greens were fast and challenging. The par 3's were tough.
Now for the negatives. Certainly not worth the $. We paid $69 and it's a $40 course at best. It's very tight between holes. One hole uses the same tee box for the blues. Now room between holes, I almost got hit twice. One was very close! I felt like I needed to wear a helmet!
Fairways weren't in great shape, a lot of brown spots. Cart paths were dirt and rocks and very bumpy.
No Rangers, no starters, at one point toward the end we came up on a 6-some!! Thank goodness it was on the last 2 holes, otherwise we'd still be there!
A real disappointment.
Great weekday course
Nice track with tricky greens. I'm sure scores will improve the more I putt on them. Try it.
Nice course with some tough greens and pin placement
First time at this course and it was awesome. Greens and fairways couldn't be in any better condition. I will be returning in the future.
Course was in excellent condition and staff was accommodating. Even though first time playing he asked some members to catch up to me since went out as a single so could show me around course Members were very welcoming! Cannot wait to play next time in town.
Played BSCC for the first time with a friend on a warm, sultry morning. The condition of the tees, fairways and greens was outstanding. Even with the weather, I was surprised at how few golfers were playing. We caught up with a threesome in front of us after 7 holes, but they moved along and then let us play through while they searched for an errant shot on 13. We finished in under 3 1/2 hours. If you are in the area, I would highly recommend this course.
LOVED THIS COURSE
I WOULD DEFINATELY RECOMMEND THIS COURSE. wonderful course, very nice lookingf.Great condition!!!
This course isn,t difficulty but ball placements helps.
Very high rough with much of the course with poor drained areas, even in the fairways. Water hazards may the round fun.
Great Fall Golf Day
Has some neat holes, and, a couple 'quirky' ones also. Course was in excellent condition, in fact, I've never played it when I didn't think it was in great shape. Greens were hard and super fast. Fairways were almost totally leaf free (hard to believe for fall season). An absolute wonderful day of golf for a great price !!!
P.S.... Sausage and chicken gumbo at the bar was worth the trip in itself !
Great staff; Wonderful course
Makes you feel like a member of a private club. Staff was attentive and helpful. Course set up was fair and straight forward for the Front 9. Slope of greens on Back 9 can be a bit unfair if you ever get above the hole. Pace of play was great.
Played here for the first time, I've played all around this area for many years and not many at all are in this good of shape from tee to green. One of my pet peeves is a tee box that is in bad shape, high grass, untended divots all over... not here, boxes were great and fairways were soft and the greens were fast.
17 is an awesome par 3 down hill about 120 yds with a water and fountain short of the green... Very cool.
Living and working in the area at the largest hotel in Saratoga we have a lot of people looking for a place to play... BSCC will be in my short list of recommendations from now on.
Beautiful course. Great shape.
This course is in great shape. Pristine fairways , great greens. Very challenging. Bring lots of balls. Water hazards on 7/9 on front 9. Trees and hills on back 9.