Ballyhack Golf Club (Roanoke, VA)                             2011                                                                                                    19th Hole Staff Ranking: Three Golf Balls (Birdie)*

With little insight to what would be greeting us upon our arrival to Ballyhack Golf Club, our minds immediately began to ponder what the day would be bringing us when pulling up to the course's parking lot.  Some in our staff even began to draw comparisons to Arcadia Bluffs meets Stonehouse Golf Club.  Thankfully, this Lestor George awe-inspiring layout and "WOW-factor" from a multitude of tee-boxes did not dissapoint.

Unfortunately, at the time of this review (hence the asterisk), Ballyhack's clubhouse and 19th hole had yet to be fully finished but the club's staff gratefully gave us a walk-through of what to expect in the near future (see photo top left - now anticipated to be finished in late spring 2011).  Our main focus, the 19th hole, will in our staff's opinion be perfectly placed in the back portion of the clubhouse upon completion.  This placement will offer members and guests views of the 18th green, Ballyhack's practice facilities, as well as a vantage point to take in the remaining back nine holes and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains (see photo bottom left - view from future 19th hole).

As noted above, while we weren't able to give the course a complete 19th hole review at the time we were offered access to Ballyhack (it is a private club facility), our staff did decide to arrive at the ranking of Birdie due to the sheer simplicity of its current 19th hole offerings.  The present-day 19th hole, located in the kitchen of one of the club's guest cottages, offers a menu of burgers, hot-dogs, and some cold sandwiches.  Now, most 19th holes with such a limited menu and facilities, would only be awarded a one-to-two golf ball ranking, but again, Ballyhack aims to impress.  In our example, we were overwhelmed by the smell of hot dogs and half-smokes at the turn yet these weren't the general comfort food you'd expect at lower class 19th hole facility.  Nope, the half-smokes we chose were bathing in a boiling broth of beer and onions and upon our order, they were transferred to the simmering outdoor BBQ grill to be freshly finished off (including a slight grilling of the buns).  From a golf fundamentalist point of view, can you really ask for more?  We hopefully look forward to doing so upon a future return to Ballyhack.

Important Notes:  At this time of this review, it was obvious to us that Ballyhack is not receiving much play (avg. of twelve rounds/day).  With a few phone calls, you may be able to gain access to the course and play a round (with payment of the guest greens' fees).

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