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Colorado’s own Ballyneal makes the grade for’s list of the Top 100 Courses in the World

By Gary Baines – 11/4/2023

Holyoke is a small place in a big world — unless we’re talking about the golf world.

The town in northeast Colorado is home to Ballyneal, which has become a must-do pilgrimage for dedicated golfers.

That’s in part because when prominent golf media outlets publish “best-of” course lists, Ballyneal often finds itself included.

The “competition” doesn’t get much tougher than on the entire world stage, and recently the Colorado course designed by Tom Doak did itself proud in such a ranking. 

On Nov. 1, published its “Top 100 Courses in the World for 2023-24.” is one of the only prominent publications that does a world list that ranks not only international courses against one another, but also against the best the U.S. has to offer.

In this case, ranked Ballyneal No. 51 in the world. And it checks in at No. 30 among the U.S.-based courses on the list.

This is what had to say about Ballyneal, a private facility that opened in 2006:

“Founding a private club in a remote destination is not without peril and it is reasonable to expect a club to take some time find its footing. Now deep into its second decade, Ballyneal enjoys its finest playing conditions since opening. Fescue fairways help the ground-game options flourish as balls release across the rumpled ground. Often on a Tom Doak course, the best way to get a ball close to the hole requires both imagination and creativity. That’s true in spades here as players delight in finding creative ways to use banks and punchbowl features on such holes as at the one-shot 3rd, the drivable 7th and the bruising 15th.”

As expected, the top 10 on the top 100 courses in the world is a mouth-watering prospect for any hard-core golfer:

1. Pine Valley in Pine Valley, NJ

2. Cypress Point in Pebble Beach, Calif.

3. St. Andrews (Old Course) in Scotland

4. Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, NY

5. National Golf Links of America in Southampton, NY

6. Royal County Down in Northern Ireland

7. Royal Melbourne (West) in Australia

8. Oakmont in Oakmont, Pa.

9. Augusta National in Augusta, Ga.

10. Royal Dornoch in Scotland

For’s complete list of the Top 100 Courses in the World, CLICK HERE.

About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates