Ballyhack Golf Club Hitting New Heights
With New 18-hole par-3 course
By Brad King
Ballyhack Golf Club has been celebrated in the golf world since its debut in 2009. Painted across a vast swath of Virginia's Roanoke Valley and serving up vivid, expansive views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains, Ballyhack features a Lester George-designed, links-style golf course.
Ballyhack became a Dormie Network club in 2016. And with its new ownership have come numerous ongoing enhancements.
Three new executive cottages and four standard cottages, in addition to a spacious two-level owner's cottage, will be constructed above the 12th green and 15th fairway. Upon completion in 2021, Ballyhack will boast one owner's, four executive, and 10 standard cottages. Each cottage has four bedrooms, totaling 60 beds for members and their guests.
The club will also soon be a gated property, with member-only access via a new entrance and front nine access via a tunnel under Pitzer Road.
Around the Ballyhack clubhouse, the kitchen and dining room have received a facelift including new hardwood floors for the member-facing space, while a new, 200-bottle wine cellar has been added. A new cart storage facility opened in the spring, including a full fleet of electric Club Cars. Ballyhack has also opened an 18-hole, par-3 Goat Trak that can be enjoyed as a fast-paced alternative to 18 holes on Ballyhack's renowned championship layout.
And speaking of goats, Ballyhack's favorite mascot plays a major role in the club's new logo, part of a rebranding under the Dormie Network umbrella.
"It's been a great year, everything considered," said Ballyhack General Manager Ian Sikes. "We're seeing a lot of activity taking place, and we're excited about the next wave of cottages now underway."
The kitchen was taken down to gravel flooring and completely rebuilt. Though the lines are configured in a similar footprint, new and additional equipment brings improved functionality of the space.
"This is really allowing our team to put together some terrific culinary fare, and our members are excited about it. I think we're seeing a great boost in food beverage activity as a result."
The 200-bottle storage unit was constructed in a little-used space in the dining room. "It's a great display piece and it's helped take our wine program to the next level," Sikes said. "Individuals who are here for meals - for dinners, especially - can go inside the display case for bottles of wine, or even have a tasting with our team. It's helped us revamp our wine list. We have a terrific food and beverage manager on staff, Derek Gassler, who has a high degree of wine knowledge. He's hopped right in and helped direct the inventory of the wine cellar and display case."
In June, Ballyhack introduced the club's new 18-hole, par-3 layout called the Goat Trak.
The Goat Trak makes the most of Ballyhack's picturesque 370 acres, providing another way to experience the course for a second 18 or quick afternoon match. New Zeon Zoysia tee boxes are tucked away into the natives out of view from the main course, showcasing views and game strategy not typically experienced on the course's traditional routing. To protect the integrity of George's 2009 design, the architect visited Ballyhack to help select tee box locations, which fit the natural lay of the land and accommodate the existing greens.
A special treat awaits players who record a hole-in-one: a limited-edition rocks glass etched with the Goat Trak logo, complete with a pour of something special.
"You're going to have different yardages and different angles into the greens from what you would find during a classic, championship 18-hole round," Sikes said. "It has really worked out well. Members and guests have been enjoying it. Instead of going back out for another full 18 or emergency 9, they'll just go play the par-3 course and have some fun. It's also a nice option for groups who are checking in late and don't have time for the full 18.
"Golf can be challenging. The Goat Trak is an easier, less stressful way to enjoy some golf and enjoy the evening."
Along with Ballyhack's new cart storage facility, full fleet of electric Club Cars, and the 7,500-square-foot maintenance facility, which came online in 2019, along with more than $1 million in new equipment, the club has also undertaken some new branding.
Ballyhack is known for rugged terrain, dramatic elevation changes, gouged-out bunkers, scenic views - and the goats on property. So, the new club logo features a goat climbing a mountain in the shape of the state of Virginia.
Ballyhack is part of Dormie Network, and membership extends complete access to and full member privileges at every club in the network. Each club offers an intimate, pure golf experience in a relaxing environment ideal for business or leisure - providing the highest possible quality facilities, amenities and service.
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Revised: 09/01/2020 - Article Viewed 12,167 Times
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About: Brad King
Writer, editor and media relations specialist Brad King is a former Atlanta sports writer and editor of LINKS Magazine - The Best of Golf. After founding Brad King Communications in 2002, Brad penned the golf column for Hilton Head's Island Packet newspaper and his writing continues to be published regularly. Brad has edited and contributed to numerous book projects, He has teamed with the Southern Pines Pilot to produce award-winning coverage of the 2005 U.S. Open, 2007 U.S. Women's Open and the 2014 U.S. Open and Women's U.S. Open.
Contact Brad King:
Brad King Communications 336-306-9219