The Virginia State Open has a new home this season. Ballyhack Golf Club in Roanoke County was elected to host the event earlier this year.
The open was held in the Richmond area for a number of years but moving over to Ballyhack gives the valley and the club some new and added publicity.
“We got the opportunity to host and were able to catch the interest of the Mid-Atlantic PGA and the VSGA,” said Director of Golf Operations at Ballyhack Jonathan Ireland.
This year the tournament will have a different feel when 144 golfers set foot on the course. The Independence club which hosted last year wasn’t a links course. Ballyhack has a slew of blind tee shots, combined with large greens giving it almost the typical Open Championship feel, especially if there’s wind involved.
“This course lends itself and there are a lot of nuances,” added Ireland. “Local knowledge is an important thing so some of the area professionals that have had multiple rounds here may have an advantage.”
Some local names you may recognize, Hanging Rock Professional, Chip Sullivan along with Fielding Brewbaker who played on the PGA Tour back at Quail Hollow in May.
There are plenty of other heavy hitters that make up the field, unique in a way bringing both amateurs and professionals to the links this week.
Play begins Thursday but Wednesday the course is teaming up with The First Tee and bringing in trick shot artist, Billy Winters of the Greenbrier, to set the tone for the weekend.
There is a 36-hole cut during the 54-hole tournament which will limit Saturday’s field to the top 60.