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4.6
24 Reviews (24)
5 Stars
19
4 Stars
4
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
1
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.4
Value
4.0
Layout
4.7
Friendliness
4.0
Pace
3.7
Amenities
4.2
92.6%
Recommend this course
23 out of 24 reviews
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0
5 Stars
0
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
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Conditions
0
Value
0
Layout
0
Friendliness
0
Pace
0
Amenities
0
0%
Recommend this course
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Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.5
2 Reviews (2)
5 Stars
1
4 Stars
1
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.0
Value
3.5
Layout
4.5
Pace
4.5
Amenities
4.0
StaffFriendliness
3.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
2 out of 2 reviews
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About

Holes 18
Type Resort
Style Links
Par 70
Length 7030 yards
Slope 135
Rating 74.7

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.

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

Food & Beverage

Restaurant

Available Facilities

Lounge, Meeting Facilities, Banquet Facilities, Spa

Accolades

Reviews

4.6
24 Reviews (24)

What Golfers Are Saying

Course Challenges Include:
Elevation Changes 6
Undulating Greens 6
This Course's Location is:
At a Resort 7

Numbers based on reviews tagged with attribute.

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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

The Joy of Golf...

Short review: Play it and play it in season. You want the greens pure and fast so you can really enjoy the Donald Ross slopes. I can't recommend this course enough, it's the most pure JOY I've had in a long time on a course.

Full Review:

Truthfully, I had never heard of this course. When I thought of French Lick, I thought of Larry Bird and Pete Dye. So when I happened to be in Louisville with a chance to swing over, I was sure I'd be playing the PD course. However, my playing partner balked at the $350 price tag and I've always wanted to play a Ross course, so we made the decision to play the Donald Ross course. It was a great decision.

No range, so don't expect to warm up. (I'm not a big warm up guy, so didn't matter to me.) Clubhouse is nice and employees were all great. But we're here to golf.

First tee is right next to practice green. It's an awesome sight. I don't remember exactly, but I believe you can see 6 or 7 holes from this spot. We took a few minutes and took it all in, excited as heck.

Basically, EVERY hole is fun. Because the greens are so contoured and the bunkers and mounding is so good, even short holes presented great challenges. There are holes where above the hole = bogey or worse. There are holes where you can play past the hole 30 feet and roll it back. There are holes where if you miss short, you are rolling back 30 yards. The green compounds are definitely the highlight, but the course design is fun as well.

The Par 3's are honestly a bit crazy. 3 of them are 200-240 yards from the normal men's tees. That's very difficult given the green severity, but they are all gorgeous.

I left fully believing that if this was an ultra exclusive private course, it would be top 100 in the nation, no problem. Maybe top 50. It's that good.

That said, play it in good shape, I wouldn't play here early or late season or around an aeration. Why? The greens are so important that bumpy or shaggy greens would be heartbreaking.

This course has my highest recommend. If I had to give it a slogan...it's simple. The Joy of Golf.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 3
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

Good Course but Play Sultan's Run

First time player here. Good golf course and we enjoyed our round although I thought a couple greens were tricked up a little too much for my tastes. The golf course was a challenge, conditions weren't great but good enough that we had a good time, the views were pretty awesome. I was a little surprised by the young clerk in the pro shop who had terrible customer service skills and even though he wasn't busy seemed to have better things to do than answer my questions. Overall a good course but I enjoyed Sultan's Run better than this course and the customer service was second to none!

Conditions Average
Value Fair
Layout Good
Friendliness Poor
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
d184b637-9e39-516d-b298-c2dcbdea3c79
Commented on 08/22/2019

Would love to read your review of Sultan's Run!

Played On
Reviews 19
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Lots of Up and Down

Play the Ross Course at French Lick! The green complexes are probably as much fun as any I've ever played. Be prepared for lots of elevation change. I wouldn't want to walk it. (Really peppy golf carts get you around quite nicely.) I loved the golf course. You should play it any time you're at French Lick Resort. One more thing... I saw a review in which someone complained about the greens. There's nothing to complaiin about now. They aren't easy to play, but they're smooth, fast and true.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 64
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Tennessee Advisor
Top 250 Contributor
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

A design that stands the test of time...

Designed so many years ago by a golf legend but it stands the test of time. As up-to-date as the Dye course but you can sense the classic design elements of bunkering and green sloping. What you don't find is a course that has lost its ability to challenge and test the golfer. Length isn't the only way to make a course. More designers need to follow some of the classic elements you'll find here.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 191
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
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Default User Image
Commented on 05/29/2019

Get off my lawn ... an unseasonably wet spring and summer left most course of not all with issues ... and a 5 hour round on a Saturday should be expected.

Played On
Reviews 159
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Golf Channel
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
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 53
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
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 40
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 1000 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
Reviews 1
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
Reviews 6
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
Reviews 8
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
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 294
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
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
d184b637-9e39-516d-b298-c2dcbdea3c79
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.

Default User Image
Commented on 05/15/2017

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

Played On
Reviews 159
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Golf Channel

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
Reviews 3
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
Played On
Reviews 6
I Recommend This Course
4.0

4.5 stars, not quite perfect but better than average 4 stars (at least that seems to be avg on this site). Really old school layout that is still tough as nails. Good fun if you want a challenge. This resort is for serious golfers.

Value Good
Layout Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 5
I Recommend This Course
5.0

Liked more than the dye

I am a fan of classic design so the Ross was more my speed. Blends in with the history of this wonderful resort.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 373
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 10 Contributor
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Used cart

Donald Ross at French Lick is no slouch

This magnificently restored course had me wondering: How in the world did they play this course back in the day with hickory shafts and inferior golf balls. It's hard enough with modern equipment. Which makes you realize how these great Donald Ross designs have withstood the test of time -- especially with modern agronomics. Simply put, if you come to French Lick to play the Pete Dye Course and don't play the Ross, you've cheated yourself. A very different test, the Ross Course is also difficult, primarily because of the greens. But the hills, with the uphill and downhill approaches, also contributes to its difficulty as well as length.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 3
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Fantastic round at the Donald Ross course!

While the Pete Dye course is probably considered the "bucket list" course at French Lick, the Donald Ross course is far more economical to play and is a fantastic track.

My BIL and I played mid-week in the heat of the afternoon to catch the twilight rates. The course was not very busy and had mostly two-somes playing. The pro shop and clubhouse staff were very friendly and helpful. After our tee off on #1, we had a very smooth round around the gorgeous, well manicured course.

The par 70 course from the Bronze tees at about 6500 yards is very challenging with plenty to consider off the tee and very challenging greens to hit your approaches into and putt on. The slope, slant, and tiers on a number of the greens make them the biggest challenge on the course. The par 3's are probably one of the toughest set I've ever seen. Their length combined with the green complexes make them a very stern test.

The heather/fescue grass frames just about every hole beautifully while providing very penal results to the very errant shots. We both lost a few balls to the long grass.

Even after a week removed from my round, I still am replaying a number of holes and viewing the scenery in my head. The variety of holes still allows me to remember them distinctly, which is usually a good sign of a well-designed course. There are many recognizable Donald Ross features on the course.

I'm very glad I got to play here and will always remember the round. I'd highly recommend a visit to this course if you're ever in the area.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Good weather
Used cart

Amazing Course

What a wonderful golf course. Donny did it again. I played at Pinehurst a few years back, and saw a lot of similarities around the greens.

The greens were in great shape, and the holes offered a great challenge.

The staff is UNBELIEVABLE. They are amazing, and exemplify how every golf staff should be. Can't wait to be back.

Thanks,

NWB

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 15
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Staff
First Time Playing
Perfect weather

Wonderful Design with Challenging Greens

The course was in perfect shape, you'd have to look really hard to find a blemish. One thing to note is how challenging the green complexes can be. Make sure you play the correct tees and miss your approach shots in the right spots or it will be a tough day with the flat stick. I highly recommend playing both courses if you have the change, you won't regret it!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
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