Ballyneal greens
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Ballyneal Mulligan Course greens
The greens on the Mulligan Course are very undulating and kept slightly slower than the main course. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Images
Ballyneal - hole 4
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Ballyneal - hole 4.jpeg
The view from the elevated fourth tee box is quite the sight at Ballyneal. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Ballyneal - hole 3
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Ballyneal - hole 3.JPG
Watch out for the bunkering on the par-3 third hole at Ballyneal. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Ballyneal - hole 7
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Balllyneal - hole 7.JPG
The risk-reward tee shot on the short par-4 seventh at Ballyneal forces players to take on this harrowing bunker. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Ballyneal - hole 10
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Ballyneal - hole 11.JPG
Ballyneal's par-3 11th hole plays dramatically uphill. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Ballyneal
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Ballyneal
The par-4 8th hole at Ballyneal has a deep green with falloff areas right and left. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Ballyneal caddies
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Ballyneal 18 - Caddies
A group walks up the par-4 18th hole of Ballyneal with caddies. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Ballyneal Mulligan course - hole 7
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Ballyneal Mulligan course - hole 7.JPG
The seventh green is one of the crazier ones on the Mulligan course at Balllyneal. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Ballyneal Mulligan course - hole 9
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BallynealMulligancourse - hole 9.JPG
The ninth is a sliver of a green on Ballyneal's Mulligan course. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Ballyneal - Terrapin Lodge
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The Terrapin Lodge, home to the Turtle Bar and Restaurant, is the hangout hub for golfers at Ballyneal. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Ballyneal Mulligan course - hole 2
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Ballyneal Mulligan course - hole 2.JPG
Ballyneal's 12-hole Mulligan short course by Tom Doaks has lots of fun holes tucked into the dunes, like No. 2 seen here.
Ballyneal - bar
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The Turtle Bar and Restaurant at Ballyneal is a popular spot after golf. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Ballyneal - accommodations
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The accommodations at Ballyneal create a village around the massive putting green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Ballyneal - rooms
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The rooms at Ballyneal are spacious and comfortable. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Balllyneal - man cave
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A small man cave is located in the basement of the check-in building at Ballyneal. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Ballyneal - massage room
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The amenities are spartan at the remote Ballyneal, but there is a room for massages available. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Ballyneal
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Mulligan at sunset
A view of the Mulligan Course from the restaurant at sunset. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Ballyneal putting course
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Ballyneal Putting Course
A putting course called the Commons was added at Ballyneal and now features 18 topsy-turvy holes. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Ballyneal - staging
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Bag staging at Ballyneal
Caddies stage the golf bags along the putting green in the morning at Ballyneal. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor

Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club: A remarkable remote destination in eastern Colorado

Tom Doak has recently added the short Mulligan course and an expanded putting course at Ballyneal.

HOLYOKE, Colo. - Good luck finding and getting on the Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club , the ballyhooed Tom Doak-designed private club in the middle of nowhere Colorado just a few miles from the Nebraska border.

Our GPS steered us wrong the first time, but it was a just a minor delay to finding the right dirt road leading to this remote golf paradise. Ballyneal is thriving under new ownership. General Manager Dave Hensley said a wait list has formed to join and the club has tightened the belt on outside play. You can attempt to play as a prospective member once in your life, but must be approved after turning in an application.

The club recently added two new four-person cottages this fall to complement the four small lodges already onsite. Last summer, Tom Doak expanded the massive one-acre putting green to create an interesting and informal putting course called the Commons and built the 12-hole Mulligan short course. Holes range from 85 to 180 yards on the Mulligan, where wild greens make for mayhem putting.

Ballyneal, a magnificent par-71 routing of 7,147 yards, remains the draw. The course has no tee markers. You or your caddies choose the tees where the group plays from on any given hole. The scorecard gives only yardage guidelines. The first hole is played between 320 and 382 yards, the second hole 360 to 490 yards and so on. Ballyneal has no slope or rating. In that way, it’s very much a match-play challenge. A sacred club tradition is the loser of any match carries the opponent’s bag from the 18th green back toward the clubhouse village, no matter if the group has hired caddies or not.

Ballyneal’s terrain is one of a kind. The dunes that pop up out of the dry, windswept Colorado plains are simply mesmerizing. Doak's blow-out bunkers with gnarly edges scar the paths to more demanding greens. The elevations are just enough to give the land personality and tire you out during the walk.

Doak’s love of short par 4s is evident with the seventh, ninth, 12th and 14th all playing less than 375 yards from the tips and often closer to 320-350 for most groups. The road to find Ballyneal is long - three-hours-plus from Denver - but the reward is golf bliss if you can gain access for a few memorable days.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club: A remarkable remote destination in eastern Colorado
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