The Donald Ross Course at French Lick


4-star: generally an excellent standard golf course, well worth visiting.
   The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Est. 1917

Photos The Donald Ross Course at French Lick

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Where2Golf says: 

The Donald Ross Course at French Lick: Two iconic hotels and four golf courses (including the revered Pete Dye and Donald Ross courses) all contribute to the fabled French Lick Resort. At the resort's centre, the French Lick Springs Hotel is an American classic. Just over a mile to the north you'll find the European styled West Baden Springs Hotel, with its extraordinary atrium.

Located just two miles southwest of the French Lick Springs Hotel you'll find the resort's Donald Ross course (originally called the Hill course). This well-rated and always popular layout gets away to an excellent start, with the elevated first tee providing an inviting view over much of the front-nine. A mosaic of undulating fairways, striped grassy rough, a light scattering of mature trees and open fescued terrain is all laid out before you. A similar view greets you at the start of the back-nine loop.

This relatively compact and always undulating layout is home to generally good-width fairways, although some tee shots will feel a bit tighter, especially on the back-nine. Stylish bunker defences increase in severity as you approach the often elevated greens. With the folding elevation changes come a number of blind tee and approach shots. There's also one or two intimidating ravines to be crossed, not least in front of the par-3 6th green and at the long par-3 13th.

Dating back to 1917, this classic course was designed by legendary architect Donald Ross. In 2006, in collaboration with the Donald Ross Society, the layout underwent a $5 million restoration. During this time, 80 of Ross’s trademark flat-bottomed, deep gnarly-faced bunkers were put in place, 35 of them original to Ross's design. Also restored and expanded were the severely undulating greens, typically square or rectangular in shape.

Stay&Play: luxury accommodation is available 2 mi from the course in the resort's West Baden Springs and French Lick Springs hotels (see Where2Stay section below).

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Making Contact

The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
10100 West State Rd 56,
French Lick, Indiana 47432
USA
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Office   +1 (888) 936 9360 (toll free)
Pro Shop   +1 (812) 936 9300
Fax

  +1 (812) 936 2100

Email  
Website   www.frenchlick.com
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Golf Pro
 
Alex Whiteman, PGA
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About the course

The course: 18 holes. Open parkland.
Undulating terrain - several slopes to climb.
 
Surroundings: Woodland (on the edge of Hoosier Natl Forest) and open countryside.
 
Designer: Original design by Donald Ross (1917), revamped by Lee Schmidt (2006). Located 2.2 mi NE of the Ross course is the resort's original course (Valley Links), an 18-hole layout designed by Tom Bendelow (1907) and later revamped into a 9-hole layout (by Lee Schmidt, 2006) when ground was given up to build the casino.
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  Men Back Men Front Women Front
Yards 7030 5981 5050
Par 70 70 73
SSS or Slope 74.7 69.5 69.9
 
At the Same Location:
The four French Lick Resort golf courses, and their location from the French Lick Springs Hotel are: Valley Links (9-holes, par-36, 1900 yds from back tees, onsite); Donald Ross course (18-hole, par-70, 7030 yds, 2.2 mi SW); Pete Dye course (18-hole, par-72, 8102 yds, 2 mi NW); Sultan's Run GC (18-holes, par-72, 6859 yds, 24 mi SW).
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How2Get There?

2 mi SW of French Lick / 60 mi NW of Louisville, KY.

Essential information

Green Fees:
2017 visitor fee, 18-holes, peak rate in high season (April thru' Oct): $120 (all days), golf cart included. [Contact club for full details, discounts, Stay&Play rates and packages, etc]. Credit cards accepted.
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Who can play and When?
Visitors welcome on weekdays and weekends.  Must book in advance.
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Other Information
Walking only with permission of Pro Shop staff. Golf carts are fitted with GPS.

Practice facilities
Excellent
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Did you know?

The Ross Course was originally known as the Hill Course. Seven years after it was designed by Donald James Ross in 1917, the course hosted the 1924 PGA Championship, won by Walter Hagen. The course has hosted LPGA Championships and Senior PGA events in the years since (see our Tournaments section >by Venue >French Lick).

The local town of French Lick was originally a French trading post, built near a spring and salt lick. A mineral or salt lick is a natural mineral deposit that is sought out by animals, providing them with essential mineral nutrients.

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Published Ranking
2017/18 Golf Digest rating: 87th best public course in the USA; 6th best course in Indiana.
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Location

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Click to enlarge Google map

Latitude: (38.527882)
Longitude: (-86.647089)
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Where2Stay including nearby courses also detailed in where2golf.com

French Lick Springs Hotel 
8670 W State Rd 56, French Lick, Indiana 47432.
+1 (812) 936 9300
www.frenchlick.com

Originally established in 1845, with the original east wing built in 1901, the French Lick Springs Hotel has attracted guests from around the world to experience the "miracle waters" of its nearby sulfur springs. Now this classic hotel has been restored, and offers over 440 guest rooms and suites. From the distinctive mosaic and marble flooring to a 109,000 square foot Conference & Events Center, this hotel has something everyone can enjoy.

Golf at this hotel French Lick (Valley Links)
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Golf within 5 miles French Lick (Ross course, 2.2 mi); French Link (Dye course, 2 mi).
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Golf within 20 miles French Lick (Sultan's Run course, 24 mi)
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West Baden Springs Hotel 
8538 W Baden Ave, West Baden Springs, IN 47469.
+1 (812) 936 9300
www.frenchlick.com

The fabulous West Baden Springs Hotel is anything but ordinary. This National Historic Landmark was built in 1902, and boasts a domed atrium spanning 200 feet. The 243 luxury guest rooms rise in six tiers around the dome, and balcony rooms provide a panoramic view of the atrium. In 2006 the West Baden Springs Hotel and French Lick Springs Hotel united under the umbrella of French Lick Resort.

Golf at this hotel No
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Golf within 5 miles French Lick (Ross course, 3 mi); French Link (Dye course, 1.5 mi).
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Golf within 20 miles French Lick (Sultan's Run course, 24 mi)
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Only golf courses featured in Where2Golf.com are mentioned above.
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