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Ballyneal to Add Second 18


The owners of Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club have announced they will add a second 18-hole course at the private club in the sand hills of northeastern Colorado. Bruce Hepner, lead associate of Tom Doak's Renaissance Golf Design for the original Ballyneal course, will design the new course. Construction will begin this year.

"Ballyneal is a world-class golf course, and we expect the new course will put Ballyneal in the category of Royal Melbourne and Winged Foot with respect to the best 36-hole private clubs in the world," says Ballyneal founder Rupert O'Neal. "Naturally, the second course will enhance Ballyneal's appeal as a golfing destination."

Heralded for its all-fescue playing surface and a firm-and-fast style that rewards creative play, the original layout at Ballyneal will remain walking-only and uncompromised by the addition of the new course, which will occupy land southeast and south of the existing 18. While the site for Ballyneal's original course reminds golfers of Irish links, the new site is more reminiscent of the East Lothian linksland in Scotland

"The site for the new 18 is a quieter piece of ground, so nothing needs to be forced," Hepner says. "My goal will be to peel away the layers and let the best golf course evolve and reveal itself. We will be seeking a similar playing surface to the existing course at Ballyneal while accommodating limited cart play on the new 18."

Hepner, vice president and senior design associate at Doak's Renaissance Golf from 1994, formed Hepner Golf Design in June 2010 while continuing to do contract work for Doak. Highlights of his career include lead design associate on Ballyneal and Cape Kidnappers (New Zealand) and design associate on Pacific Dunes and Old Macdonald in Oregon.

"In the building of Ballyneal, no one spent more time here than Bruce Hepner," O'Neal says. "He knows our land. He's worked long hours side-by-side with our crew. He enjoys our members. He gets the Ballyneal vibe, loves that we don't have tee markers. He will deliver what our members want - an equally exceptional, equally fun complement to what we already enjoy. Bruce has great affection for this place and I know he will pour his heart and soul into the project."

Ballyneal is located in the sand hills of northeastern Colorado, two and a half hours from Denver. The Ballyneal land is referred to by locals as the "chop hills," due to the unique characteristics of its dunes. Ballyneal was Travel + Leisure Golf's Best New Course of 2006 and currently is ranked No. 6 Best Modern by Golfweek, No. 48 in the United States by Golf Magazine, and one of Golf Digest's America's 100 Greatest Courses. The setting at Ballyneal includes a golf shop, fine-dining restaurant and three lodges with private suites. For more information, visit www.ballyneal.com or call 970/854-5900.