Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick

The Donald Ross Course at French Lick

10100 West State Rd 56,

French Lick, Indiana 47432

  • Office

    +1 (888) 936 9360 (toll free)
  • Pro shop

    +1 (812) 936 9300
  • Fax

    +1 (812) 936 2100
  • Golf pro

    Alex Whiteman, PGA

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.

Back
tees
Club
tees
Front
tees
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).

Location

Latitude:

38.527882

Longitude:

-86.647089

How to get there:

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

The Donald Ross Course at French Lick

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.

Est. 1917

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 at French Lick: 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: Around Indy & Cincinnati
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
  • Photo of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick

Visitors

Who can play and when?

Visitors welcome on weekdays and weekends.

Must book in advance.

Green fees

Visitor fee, 18-holes, peak rate in high season (April thru' Oct): $125 (all days). Golf cart included.

Credit cards accepted. Contact club for full details, discounts, Stay&Play packages, etc. [Last updated: 2020].

Other information

Walking only with permission of Pro Shop staff. Golf carts are fitted with GPS.

Practice facilities

Excellent

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.

Published ranking

2019/20 Golf Digest rating: 99th best public course in the USA; 5th best course in Indiana.

Where2Stay

  • French Lick Springs Hotel

    8670 W State Rd 56, French Lick, Indiana 47432.

    +1 (812) 936 9300

    Visit website

    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)

    • Golf within 5 miles:

      French Lick (Ross course, 2.2 mi); French Link (Dye course, 2 mi).

    • Golf within 20 miles:

      French Lick (Sultan's Run course, 24 mi)

  • West Baden Springs Hotel

    8538 W Baden Ave, West Baden Springs, IN 47469.

    +1 (812) 936 9300

    Visit website

    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

    • Golf within 5 miles:

      French Lick (Ross course, 3 mi); French Link (Dye course, 1.5 mi).

    • Golf within 20 miles:

      French Lick (Sultan's Run course, 24 mi)

Find a course

Or

Where2Golf Spotlight

Tournaments:
US Women's PGA Championship: located just outside Philadelphia, the famed Donald Ross layout of Aronimink Golf Club hosts the third women’s major championship of 2020 (Oct 8-11).
Scottish Open: first played in 1972, this year’s championship is again played on the Tom Doak-designed Renaissance Club course, which sits alongside mighty Muirfield in East Lothian (Oct 1-4).

Who's Who:
Jim Furyk: in winning the Pure Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links, “The Grinder” joined Arnold Palmer and Bruce Fleisher as the only players to win their first two starts on the PGA Tour Champions.
Georgia Hall: recorded her first win in an LPGA Tour event on American soil at this year’s Portland Classic, played at Columbia Edgewater Country Club … on the edge of the Columbia River.

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