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Exclusive: The Ballantyne's Woody Allen on Women’s-Only Three-Day Golf School & more

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The Golf Club at The Ballantyne ( Photo courtesy of GV Public Relations)
The Golf Club at The Ballantyne ( Photo courtesy of GV Public Relations)

The Ballantyne is a Forbes Four-Star and AAA Four-Diamond award-winning Marriott hotel located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Featuring 208 elegant guest rooms and suites, The Ballantyne also offers a four-bedroom Cottage and a Lodge group retreat with 35 spacious guest rooms.

Guests can enjoy meeting and event facilities, spa, fitness, indoor and outdoor pools, golf, Ballantyne Golf Academy, tennis and dining at Gallery Restaurant.

Speaking of the Ballantyne Golf Academy, The Ballantyne Hotel's Women’s-Only Three-Day Golf School features three days of comprehensive golf instruction with a top team of LPGA and PGA instructors.

Open to all skill levels, this comprehensive three-day golf school covers all facets of the game, from full-swing to short-game. Advanced beginners and beyond will learn what it takes to break 100, 90, or 80. For over 20 years, players of all skill levels have enjoyed the consistent instruction of our team of experts.

I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with the Golf Director of the Golf Club at Ballantyne, Woody Allen. Mr. Allen answered questions about the Women’s-Only Three-Day Golf School and more. Further information on both the property and the Women’s-Only Three-Day Golf School can be found online at www.theballantynehotel.com.

As the Director of Golf at The Golf Club at Ballantyne, what is a typical day like for you? Are you on the green much? 

Woody Allen: I’m lucky to not have too many typical days... The real constant in my day is the golf course and the excitement from our guests joining us to play or work on their golf game. I come in every day with the focus and determination to cultivate the game of golf. Unfortunately that often means more time spent in an office than on the green. Though I do make sure I am keeping up with the quality of the course and getting out to play the course as often as I can!

When did you first get interested in golf? 

Woody Allen: My best friend was a golfer and I went to the range with him one day and I was immediately hooked! I was in 7th grade and became a fanatic from that day forward. Of course we were not playing manicured courses, but rather chasing balls through fields. Playing golf in college was also a great experience and led to my career as a Director of Golf which I have enjoyed immensely at this beautiful golf course.

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Where did the idea for the Women’s Only Three-Day Golf School come from? 

Woody Allen: I wish I could say I came up with it! Creating a program that would produce a welcoming environment for women to work on their golf game wasn’t a new idea but it is one that we make a priority at our facility. We’re inspired by the Lexi Thompson’s and the Nelly Korda’s. Women are focused, creative, driven… All great traits for a golfer.

Our Women’s Only Three Day Golf School is just one of the ways we are advocating women in golf. We have women’s beginner instruction as well. We make sure that women new to golf do not feel intimidated when they arrive at the school and on the course. 

Golf aside, do you have a favorite amenity at the Ballantyne?

Woody Allen: It’s hard to choose just one! Having access to The Gallery Restaurant is something I personally appreciate. The Gallery specializes in a Southern approach to American cuisine with fresh and local ingredients which are truly delicious. The seasonal menu has never left me disappointed. And of course the Gallery Bar which features one of the Carolinas’ largest whiskey collections and is home to the popular Whiskey Club of Ballantyne.

Women’s Only Three-Day Golf School aside, what is coming up for the Golf Club at Ballantyne? 

Woody Allen: There are always special program/promotions going on! For example, Father’s Day is always a big day for our course and this year we are having a special promotion with The Gallery, “Fatherhood has its Rewards." In July we participate in National Family Month and Juniors pay half all month with a paying adult. We try to be family friendly, especially in the summer time. The summer camps for juniors of all ages are very popular and we see many juniors continuing with golf instruction through the school year.

We really have a program for every skill level, from beginner to expert, individual or group. We do many charity and corporate golf outings with 100+ players and we incorporate fun into them such as a “launcher” which shoots golf balls and even a helicopter ball drop as a fundraiser!

Are there any sports or teams you are as passionate about as golf? 

Woody Allen: I grew up in a family that was into NASCAR, and have always been a huge Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan. I continue to be a big fan of NASCAR racing in general, enjoying the speed and competition between the race teams. 

Sorry, but I must ask: Have you ever encountered the "other" Woody Allen? Or former Gov't Mule bassist Allen Woody?

Woody Allen: I’ve never had the opportunity to meet the “other” Woody Allen. I don’t think he is a big golfer. Though both The Ballantyne Hotel and our golf course would be the perfect back drop for a movie! I’ve not met former Gov’t Mule bassist either. I have to say people are often surprised when they see my name on the door! Someone recently took a picture of it.

Finally, Woody, any last words for the kids? 

Woody Allen: Golf is truly a lifelong sport that is a lot of fun. Just try it like I did and you will enjoy it. The life lessons you will learn in this game are so important! Nothing brings me more joy at work than seeing our junior program thrive. To see the dedication each of these kids bring with them to every lesson and the determination to become better is what keeps inspiring us to want to grow this great game.

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