Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ballymena blues

Ballymena was a short visit. It sits a mile or two from the town and is a little par 68 course. It is stunningly flat and makes a big deal of two things: its heathland element and its views of Slemish Mountain – which has ties to Saint Patrick. As for the latter, mist covered it on my visit so I wasn’t even sure which direction to look – although the 3 rd hole is called Slemish, so that gave me a hint.

As for the ‘heathland’, well, yes, there is some heather and gorse about, but even when it appears it stands back from the course so you don’t reap the full benefit. I don’t pretend to be a designer, but I’d love to see gorse brought in and planted around/behind greens. Not only are they despairingly bare, but it would bring more authenticity to the heathland claim.

The course has two very small ponds, of which only one comes into play (on 12). Just as I was leaving, a man rushed back to his car, popped the boot and reached for his ball retriever, and then ran back towards the 1st tee. Now that’s pessimistic.

No comments:

Post a Comment