BallenIsles CC reopens South course following Rees Jones renovation

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    Hole 11 of the renovated South course

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    Rees Jones (fourth from right) and his associate Bryce Swanson (far right) attended the opening event

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    Jones hits the ceremonial opening drive

Alex Smith
By Alex Smith

The South course at BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach, Florida, has reopened following an eight-month, US$7.5 million renovation designed by Rees Jones.

Total Golf began construction work in April 2019, alongside Jones’s team and project manager Ron Despain from Troon, on a complete tee-to-green makeover focused on the modernisation of the 55-year old course.

New bunkering and design modifications aim to improve strategy and shot options.

A new set of tees has been added, allowing for five to six different tee settings on each hole and new angles to challenge golfers of different abilities. Forward tees now provide the option of playing the course at a total of approximately 4,000 yards.

The project also included the installation of a new irrigation system, new drainage, and the construction of new concrete cart paths.

“Our focus was on making each hole unique, said Jones. We wanted players to be creative and hit a variety of shots. Each golf course feature has been moved, eliminated, added, redesigned or reconfigured to create a course that is challenging but also fun to play for every skill level. With seven sets of tees, we were able to lengthen the course to over 7,000 yards for championship play and added new scoring tees at 4,119 yards.

The original course, designed by Joe Lee and Dick Wilson, was built in 1964. It has undergone two previous modifications in 1967 and 1999. The 2020 redesign maintains the previous routing. The club has two other courses, the East and North, also designed by Lee and Wilson.

“Embarking on our latest renovation, on the heels of opening our clubhouse, says a lot about our membership and quality we can expect,” said Ryan Walls, general manager and COO of BallenIsles Country Club. “We have a vision for our community and Rees certainly helped form a key piece of the experience we provide.”

Few country clubs offer their members such a historic connection to golf, said Jones. It has been an honour to add to the rich legacy of BallenIsles.

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