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

The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
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).

List of courses in Around Indianapolis & Cincinnati

Map of courses in Around Indianapolis & Cincinnati
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses

Making Contact

The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
10100 West State Rd 56,
French Lick, Indiana 47432
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Office   +1 (888) 936 9360 (toll free)
Pro Shop   +1 (812) 936 9300

  +1 (812) 936 2100

The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Golf Pro
Alex Whiteman, PGA
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses

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.
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
  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).
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses

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.
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Who can play and When?
Visitors welcome on weekdays and weekends.  Must book in advance.
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Other Information
Walking only with permission of Pro Shop staff. Golf carts are fitted with GPS.

Practice facilities
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses

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.

The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Published Ranking
2017/18 Golf Digest rating: 87th best public course in the USA; 6th best course in Indiana.
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses


The Golf Guide to the Top Courses

Click to enlarge Google map

Latitude: (38.527882)
Longitude: (-86.647089)
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses

Where2Stay including nearby courses also detailed in

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

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)
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Golf within 5 miles French Lick (Ross course, 2.2 mi); French Link (Dye course, 2 mi).
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Golf within 20 miles French Lick (Sultan's Run course, 24 mi)
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
West Baden Springs Hotel 
8538 W Baden Ave, West Baden Springs, IN 47469.
+1 (812) 936 9300

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
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Golf within 5 miles French Lick (Ross course, 3 mi); French Link (Dye course, 1.5 mi).
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Golf within 20 miles French Lick (Sultan's Run course, 24 mi)
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses
Only golf courses featured in are mentioned above.
The Golf Guide to the Top Courses 4

Find a course

Tip: to find a course quickly, type the first few characters of the course name
Golf course location on a golf map
Search this site


Not signed up yet?

Register now

Share us on

   Follow us on FB     follow us on Twitter

Where2Golf spotlights

Kenya Ladies Open  This new event, played at Vipingo Ridge, near Mombasa, closes out the 2019 Ladies European Tour season. (Dec 5-8).
Tournament of Champions:  Xander Schauffele defends his title at the first PGA Tour event to be played in 2020 (Jan 2-5).
Who's Who: 
Jon Rahm:  scoops the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship (worth $3 million), and the season-long Race to Dubai winner’s bonus (worth $2 million).
Sei Young Kim:  was also in the money as she landed the largest first prize in the history of women’s golf, $1.5 million for becoming the 2019 Race to the CME Globe Champion.

Where2Golf redesign fundraising campaign Sep 2019
Latest golf course reviews
The Welcombe Hotel : provides an excellent Stay & Play opportunity, just a mile out of town from William Shakespear's birthplace in the centre of Stratford. From the layout's higher elevations you will enjoy wonderful views over the surrounding Warwickshire countryside. Read more...
Sutton Coldfield Golf Club: located to the north of Birmingham, occupies a small corner of the wonderfully expansive and natural environs of Sutton Park. Perhaps not as lauded as nearby Little Aston, and Copt Heath, this heathland gem also lays down a really enjoyable test of golf in a wonderfully natural setting. Read more... 
Walton Heath Golf Club (Old course): Top golfers and golf writers have long acknowledged Walton Heath as one of the finest heathland courses in the British Isles. In fact there are two courses here, the Old and New. Read more...
Koksijde Golf ter Hille Golf Club: on what was previously open farmland, an enjoyable and challenging links-style layout has been crafted. Perhaps the inspiration for Koksijde's new course came from a renowned Harry Colt layout that existed in the 1920s just a couple of kilometres to the west. Read more...
Most popular golf course videos