Ballantrae Golf Club to celebrate 20 years on the green

Published 2:23 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer 

PELHAM – Ballantrae Golf Club, Pelham’s premier and public golf course, will celebrate its 20th year of operation with an afternoon of food and music on Saturday, June 15 following a day of discounted play.

On Saturday, paying members of the club will be offered access to the green for free and a $20 discount will be extended to all member guests and Pelham residents. While there, guests will be able to observe and experience the many renovations and improvements to the club that have been made in recent months.

“The clubhouse renovations were completed this winter to improve the overall space by creating more space for golfers and Ballantrae residents to enjoy the facility,” said Hal Brown, general manager of Ballantrae Golf Club. “Total bunker renovations were completed this spring, and we are now finishing cart path repairs to enhance the golfing experience for our members and guests.”

Among the most significant of these recent renovations was the complete rehabilitation of the course’s sand traps and bunkers. That work not only reshaped and slightly redesigned the existing bunkers and traps to help with aesthetics, but also increased their functionality—which had deteriorated to the point of ineffectiveness. These areas were rebuilt using capillary concrete, a new material which has seen its use on golf courses explode since its relative introduction in 2010.

“These upgrades have created top-notch playing conditions for golfers and improved the drainage of the bunkers,” Brown said. “This improved drainage saves the time and labor needed to maintain the bunkers, which frees up our maintenance staff to keep the course in great condition year-round. Cart path repairs will mean a smoother ride for golf carts and decrease the wear and tear on those carts and our turf care equipment,”

Further renovations to Ballantrae’s clubhouse ahead of this milestone have also been completed, which include an enclosed vestibule. That area will serve the celebration in its intended role as a new welcome and event area for customers and visitors that will also allow the club to host larger events while also keeping space open for golfers.

Constructed in 2004 by the city of Pelham, Ballantrae Golf Club was primarily designed by renowned course designer Bob Cupp with the intention of reflecting the community of the same name located in Carrick, South Ayrshire, Scotland. That inspiration also carried over into the surrounding area and influenced the design of the Ballantrae neighborhood as a whole.

Cupp, who died in 2016, was known for his work across the United States and as the designer of several Alabama golf courses including Greystone Country Club and the invitation only Shoal Creek Club. He was also known for leading the designed rebuilds of Highland Park Country Club in Birmingham and the North River Yacht and Country Club’s course in Tuscaloosa.

Brown further described Ballantrae’s latest milestone as one that marks the significant accomplishment of the city of Pelham and the team at Ballantrae having created a lasting world-class facility for Pelham’s community and guests to enjoy.

While the club does offer memberships, the course continues to serve as a publicly accessible facility.

“Anyone can take advantage of this beautiful course right here in Pelham,” Brown said. “We provide golf instruction from PGA golf pros to those new to the game or players who want to improve their skills. We offer a summer golf camp for kids who want to learn to play, and we have a PGA Jr. League golf team, which allows children up to age 12 to play against teams from different golf facilities around Birmingham.”