French Lick Resort - The Donald Ross Course

Golf Advisor Icon
Ratings Index
Tooltip Information Icon
4.5
20
5 Stars
16
4 Stars
3
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
1
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.6
Value
4.2
Layout
4.8
Friendliness
4.8
Pace
4.4
Amenities
4.4
90.2%
Recommend this course
19 out of 20 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
4.0
3
5 Stars
2
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
1
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.0
Value
3.7
Layout
4.3
Pace
3.7
Amenities
4.0
StaffFriendliness
4.3
66.7%
Recommend this course
2 out of 3 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
4.0
4
5 Stars
2
4 Stars
1
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
1
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.3
Value
3.8
Layout
4.5
Pace
4.0
Amenities
4.0
StaffFriendliness
4.5
75.0%
Recommend this course
3 out of 4 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Par 70
Length 7030
Slope 135
Rating 74.7
Type Resort
The Donald Ross Course at French Lick allows golfers to step back in time and experience the game it was meant to be played. This championship course built in 1917 has hosted many local, regional and national tournaments - most notably the 1924 PGA Championship won by Walter Hagen. Home to the Symetra Tour Donald Ross Classic, the course has kept with the tradition of hosting championship women’s golf, ranging from the recent Big Ten Conference women’s tournament back to the 1959 and 1960 LPGA Championships.
Tee Par Length Rating Slope
Gold 70 7030 yards 74.7 135
Ross 70 6517 yards 72.3 132
Regulation 70 5981 yards 69.5 131
Forward 70 5050 yards 69.9 120
Emerald 70 4656 yards 68.0 112
Scorecard for The Donald Ross
Metrics:
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Gold M: 74.7/135 422 419 424 240 476 249 538 392 366 3526 383 367 435 252 452 665 151 379 420 3504 7030
Ross M: 72.3/132 401 379 404 194 461 210 513 368 358 3288 374 345 430 228 409 530 133 362 418 3229 6517
Regulation M: 69.5/131 394 350 364 166 421 184 487 305 342 3013 363 308 368 204 377 485 119 349 394 2967 5980
Forward M: 65.4/120 W: 69.9/120 373 271 286 92 348 127 394 280 314 2485 312 242 323 164 333 433 106 315 337 2565 5050
Handicap 5 17 7 15 3 11 1 9 13 12 16 8 6 10 2 18 14 4
Par 4 4 4 3 4 3 5 4 4 35 4 4 4 3 4 5 3 4 4 35 70

Course Details

Year Built 1917
Golf Season Year round

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes - included in green fees
Clubs Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Golf School Academy Yes
Golf Simulator Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Indoor Practice Yes
Putting Green Yes
Practice Hole Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard, Amex, Discover Welcomed
Metal Spikes Allowed No

Best of Lists

Reviews

4.5
20

What Golfers Are Saying

Course Challenges Include:
Elevation Changes 6
Undulating Greens 6
This Course's Location is:
At a Resort 7
Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
2.0
Top 25 Contributor
Indy Advisor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Horrible Value/Conditions, Horrific Pace of Play

The French Lick courses have a strong reputation. This course could not have missed the lofty expectations any more than it did. It looks nice from the clubhouse, but when you get on the course you'll find conditions that are not worthy of the lofty price tag. Many of the fairways/rough and even a couple greens have large dead//mud patches, and it's not just from where water would lay. It screams of poor maintenance. For the price they charge, and the amount of play they get it's nothing short of a complete joke to maintain it like that.

Then there is the pace of play. Sure, it was a Saturday afternoon, but we were 2-3 groups deep on the last 10-12 tees. Made for a 5-hour death march. While the cart girl came around for them to make more money with $7 beers, there was never a ranger to do anything about the pace of play. The layout of the course allowed us to see who was holding things up, and nothing was ever done about it. At a resort course like this, that is inexcusable.

The course itself is what you'd expect from Ross, with domed/sloped greens that were almost carnival-like if you miss in the wrong spot. Lots of rolling hills and elevation change, and very long par 3's. Very thick rough awaited if you sprayed your shots as well. So it has some interesting potential. But right now, in this shape and with this management there are far better places/resorts to go to (such as Chariot Run).

Conditions Fair
Value Poor
Layout Average
Friendliness Average
Pace Poor
Amenities Average
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Staff
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

Bring Your Short Game!

Another great course at French Lick Resort! This Donald Ross course is the perfect compliment to the Pete Dye course. Another firm test of golf with undulating greens. Make sure you miss in the right spots or else you are going to be in for a long day, like me... The course was in great shape and the staff could not have been better. We had lunch and dinner at the clubhouse on different days and both meals were great. So much history on this course as they recently reached their centennial anniversary. Highly recommend playing this course! If you put the ball in the right position, there are birdies to be had. I left plenty out there!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Golf Channel
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Donald Ross at his Best

The Donald Ross course at French Lick resort has been one of my favorites in in recent and distant memory. We were fortunate to play the course as part of the Golf Advisor Getaway to French Lick Resort.

The layout is classic Ross and is in fantastic condition. Having lived in Florida for a while now, this design reminded me of some of my favorite New England tracks.

There is plenty of width off the tee, but there are some occasions where the blind shots appeared to result in a fairway hit, but only to reveal you’re on the wrong side of the rough line. This is absolutely fine in my book, precision is rewarded in many cases with an extra 25-30 yds of roll into position ‘A’. The greens were huge and were slow in the early morning (compared to the Dye), but as the some dried the dew, they started rolling at the intended pace.

This is a Par 70 and only has two Par 5s, which a very demanding. The Par 3s are super tough, 3/4 were in the 175-205 range from the white tees, a true test. The 4s were a great assortment of long and short with many elevated tee shots and more elevated greens.

This was not only a course I enjoyed playing once, but am positive this is a course would continue to reveal its nuance the more and more you play it. In fact, if it wasn’t so far from my home, I’d be in line for a membership.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 500 Contributor
First Time Playing

Classic Ross

This is the 26th Ross designed course that I have played, and it is one of the very best. The course was in great condition. The first 3 par 3 holes are tough - playing one to two clubs more than the distance. Run up alleys were cut tight and a short shot may roll back quite a bit. This course is 100 years old and still kicking butt. Don't miss a chance to play it.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Skill Advanced
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Classic Ross. Great views. Great staff. Can play everyday

Must play if you are a Ross fan. Staff is fantastic

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing

Know where to miss off tee

Fun holes, great variety. Biggest thing is knowing which side of fairway you can afford to miss on. One side will be lost ball in tall weeds, other side is playable. Different every hole.

Also par 3s are too long, I moved up 1-2 boxes on par 3s and they were much more playable. Par 3 greens are not built for 200-230 shots.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

A true Test

Played 36 (thought about 54, but the heat was a little much after 36) in about 6-7 hours. Swallow your pride and play from the right tees. Played from the bronze and it was testing. Very few even lies, tons of elevation changes in the greens (you hit the wrong side and it's a two putt at best), and semi-blind shots abound here. But this is an old school golf course which I couldn't say enough great things about. Only a couple forced carries, but most of the fairways have a hill in them which you need to clear in order to have a <200 yard approach into. The par 3s are tough. 3 of the 4 are 210-230. And from the tips, depending on where the flag is on one of them, you might be hitting it 240. The 670 par 5 on the back is fun, too.. For $120 with free replays, this is a great way to spend a day. If you've got the extra cash, I'd get a forecaddie as having one would have helped a lot on a few shots the first time round. Facilities are great, the guys who were there could not have been nicer-- if you're around her,e go play it.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Golf Advisor
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

100 years later, still one of the best resort Ross designs

Pinehurst may be the mecca of Donald Ross designs you can play, but French Lick shouldn't be too far behind. The Ross course, celebrating 100 years in 2017, holds its own as one of the architect's most interesting (and challenging) you can play. It hosted the 1924 PGA Championship, and good players are still in for a challenge no matter which tee box they play.

I have to admit, I actually vividly remember more holes of the Ross than the French Lick Dye course. I think it's a testament to how unique each hole looks off the tee box and how distinctive each green is. It's true that most of the greens are elevated, so this isn't a course poorer players are going to do well on. But what Ross managed to do with this pretty severe piece of land (for the Golden Era) is pretty remarkable. I just love the shaping and the roll to the fairways.

If you're a fan of the classics, this course has to be on your radar if you're around Louisville or Indianapolis.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
d184b637-9e39-516d-b298-c2dcbdea3c79
BrandonTuckerGA
Commented On 05/15/2017

Yeah, peak season rack rate is $120. Doesn't appear to be any online tee time engine so you need to call the pro shop or resort direct.

Was this comment useful to you?
Your feedback could not be sent at this time
Default User Image
mquiroa17
Commented On 05/15/2017

Does the Donald Ross course in French lick offer walk-in rates without the hotel packages?

Was this comment useful to you?
Your feedback could not be sent at this time
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Staff

Bring Your A Game!

Having golfed in Florida for the past few years, I had forgotten what havoc undulation plays on your golf game. The greens are fast and sloped, so if you are going to miss, try and stay below the hole if you want to shoot a good score. This is a great test of golf and I would highly recommend checking this course out!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

One of the better rounds I've played

Having only played not even 2 full years of golf, this is one of the better courses I've ever played. Tee boxes are great, fairways are nice, and greens are TOUGH. Some of these greens are mind boggling and will leave you in complete frustration with their speed and undulations. Overall, a very fun, but challenging round of golf.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Request A Vacation Quote From French Lick Resort
Please provide your information below and a staff member at French Lick Resort will be in contact to help you start planning your travel.

Stay & Play Offers

$174 Starting price
Valid dates: Sep 17, 2018 - Oct 31, 2018
Staying at Orange Lake Resort and teeing off on any of our four unique golf courses has never been easier.
Course Layout
Now Reading
New Cookie Policy
WE AND OUR PARTNERS USE COOKIES ON THIS SITE TO IMPROVE OUR SERVICE, PERFORM ANALYTICS, PERSONALIZE ADVERTISING, MEASURE ADVERTISING PERFORMANCE, AND REMEMBER WEBSITE PREFERENCES. BY USING THE SITE, YOU CONSENT TO THESE COOKIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COOKIES INCLUDING HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CONSENT VISIT OUR COOKIE POLICY.
CONTINUE