DONALD ROSS COURSE - FRENCH LICK RESORT (888) 936-9360 x 7215
Indiana Golf Course Review
French Lick Resort, one of golf's leading resort destinations, celebrates a historic milestone in 2017 with the 100th birthday of The Donald Ross Course. Info on the resort is available through this link. Long considered one of the best public Ross-designed courses in the country, the pedigree and history is undeniable. This Donald Ross course has withstood the test of time. The golf facilities at French Lick Resort now include two 18-hole championship courses (Ross and Dye) with adjacent putting/chipping greens , along with the nine-hole Valley Links Course. The Valley Links Golf and Activities Center on resort property has an indoor putting green, a 10-station indoor driving range, an outdoor practice putting green and an outdoor driving range The clubhouse at the Ross Course (situated 3 miles from the resort) has a pro shop, restaurant/lounge serving lunch and dinner, plus locker rooms with showers for men and women. There also is a pro shop at the resort, set up to compliment the nine hole layout. Upscale amenities at the Ross Course include carts with the latest GPS and rear covers to protect golf bags during inclement weather. Hagan's clubhouse restaurant also features an outdoor veranda with wonderful views. For stay and play golf packages at French Lick Resort, click here.
The Donald Ross Course, originally designed in 1917, underwent a $5 million restoration with Lee Schmidt and Michael Fay handling the re-design. When the project was completed, 80 of Ross' trademark bunkers with flat bottoms and deep, gnarly faces were once again in place along with expanded, square or rectangular shaped greens that severely undulate. Thirty-five of these bunkers are original to the course that Ross constructed in 1917. The course is a par 70 and plays to 7,000 yards. The Donald Ross course has been rated #2 public in Indiana 2008-2016 by Golf Week and was among the 100 greatest through 2015. This layout, which played host to the 1924 PGA Championship won by Walter Hagen, closed in 2005 and re-opened in November of 2006 with a new computerized irrigation system and renovation of the famed square greens and unforgiving bunkers. There are now 80 sand traps (35 from the original design) that have deep floors and gnarly faces - part of the 5 million dollar renovation.
The resort also underwent a massive restoration project, to the tune of 382 million dollars - and together with the nearby West Baden Hotel provides visitors with choices of accommodations at two first class facilities, with features such as full service spas, a spacious casino, fine and casual dining, workout and meeting/conference facilities, swimming pools, and many more upscale amenities. For more info on French Lick Resort click here.
The Donald Ross Course now features 4 sets of tees that play to distances , course ratings and slopes measuring:
Forward Tees 5050 yards with a 69.6 rating and 120 slope
Regulation Tees 5981 yards with 69.5 rating and 131 slope
Ross Tees 6517 yards with a 72.3 rating and 132 slope
Gold Tees 7030 years with a 72.3 rating and 135 slope
This is a beautiful course that can be enjoyed by all levels of golfers! Besides the Pro Link GPS which provides accurate info from tee to pin, golfers can rely on yardage markers at 100, 150 and 200 yards that are posted on the fairways.
The course is designed along an extremely undulating terrain, with many uphill and downhill tee shots and approaches. Sand bunkers are definitely highlighted and many of them are penal in nature. There also are some beautiful water features. The green complexes in traditional Donald Ross design, often have slopes on either side and in back, creating the need for accurate approach shots. This is a beautiful layout and a perfect resort golf experience with exquisite conditioning from tee to green. For more info, visit our page for the course, with direct link to their website by clicking here.
*Twoguyswhogolf note: Our photographer said that if he could spend the day playing golf at any resort in the country – he would prefer to spend it at French Lick – playing the Dye and Ross courses! We thought you might be interested in this quote from Pete Dye "I have spent the past five decades designing golf courses all over the world, including courses on great coastal sites," Dye explained. "This project at French Lick Resort has brought great excitement to Alice and me because the course is on arguably the best inland site I have ever worked on."