French Lick Resort - The Donald Ross Course

4.8403000000 4.8 stars from 5 (19)
  • Holes: 18
  • Par: 70
  • Length: 7030 yards
  • Slope: 135
  • Rating: 74.7
  • Layout

Rentals/Services

Carts: Yes - included in green fees
Clubs: Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving range: Yes
Pitching/chipping area: Yes
Putting green: Yes
Practice hole: Yes
Indoor practice facilities: Yes
Simulator: Yes
Teaching pro: Yes
Golf school / academy: Yes

Policies

Metal spikes allowed: No
Credit cards accepted: VISA, MasterCard, Amex, Discover Welcomed

Tees | Layout | Full Scorecard

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

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.

Accolades

Rating Snapshot

GA Rating Index 4.8 stars from 5
Off-Course Amenities: 4.6 stars from 5
Value: 4.6 stars from 5
Pace of Play: 4.9 stars from 5
Staff Friendliness: 5.0 stars from 5
Course Layout: 5.0 stars from 5
Course Conditions: 4.9 stars from 5
Rating Breakdown 19 Reviews
5 stars:
16
4 stars:
3
3 stars:
0
2 stars:
0
1 stars:
0

recommend this course

19 out of 19 reviews


What Golfers Are Saying

Location is at a resort  

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Reviewer Photos

Reviews


Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender

"Bring Your Short Game!"


xkyleclark3's avatar
Age:  25-34
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/19/2018
First time playing Used cart Hot weather

Reviewed on

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!


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course



"Donald Ross at his Best"


MichaelLowe's avatar
Golf Channel
Age:  35-44
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a month
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/12/2018
First time playing Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Classic Ross"


ss51's avatar
Top 500 Contributor
Age:  65+
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/06/2017
First time playing

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good


I recommend this course


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


SweeneyFrenchLick's avatar
Age:  45-54
Skill:  Advanced

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/01/2017
Previously played

Reviewed on

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


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Know where to miss off tee"


u00000658942's avatar
Age:  35-44
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a month

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/21/2017
First time playing

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good


I recommend this course


"A true Test"


runningdog's avatar
Age:  35-44
Gender:  Female
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/17/2017
First time playing Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


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


BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
Golf Advisor
Age:  35-44
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/24/2017
Previously played Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course



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.


Commented on 05/15/2017

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


"Bring Your A Game!"


xkyleclark3's avatar
Age:  Under 25
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/05/2016

Reviewed on

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!


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"One of the better rounds I've played"


mcallis22's avatar
Age:  25-34
Skill:  Beginner
Plays:  Once a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/03/2016
First time playing

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course



LuxuryFred's avatar
Age:  45-54

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/06/2016

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Liked more than the dye"



5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/03/2016

Reviewed on

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


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Donald Ross at French Lick is no slouch"


MikeBaileyGA's avatar
Golf Advisor
Age:  55-64
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/11/2016
Previously played Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"Fantastic round at the Donald Ross course!"


dobesbsoon's avatar
Age:  35-44
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 05/31/2016
First time playing Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course



"Amazing Course"


nbuege12's avatar
Age:  Under 25
Skill:  Advanced

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 05/28/2016
First time playing Used cart Played 18 holes Good weather

Reviewed on

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


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"Wonderful Design with Challenging Greens"


u000006723675's avatar
Age:  25-34
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 02/17/2016
First time playing Perfect weather

Reviewed on

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!


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Perfect Fall Round"


OutbackKY's avatar
Age:  45-54
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  5-9

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 11/08/2015
First time playing Played with a group Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

Played this course for the first time, and enjoyed a perfect day, other than a few poor swings. Course conditions were very good, though a little soft from recent rain. Lots of elevation changes, and uneven lies. Bermuda fairways over seeded in September had grown in nicely, leaving excellent lies on lush green grass. Great breakfast omelet before the round. Pro shop staff was friendly.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Quality of food & beverage: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Beautiful course with amazing history"


Pinkjas's avatar
Age:  25-34
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/01/2015
Previously played

Reviewed on

I grew up in this part of Indiana, and I have played it before and after the remodel. It's always been an amazing course but after the remodel and the casino opened in the area the course gained some national recognition. For an amazing experience and walk through history check out the French Lick resort and surrounding areas! And yes these pictures are of the actual course after the remodel.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Great Area...Great Course"



5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 10/04/2013
Previously played Played with a group Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

Course was in excellent condition. Our foursome had a wonderful time.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Quality of food & beverage: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Donald Ross knew what he was doing"


JohnEckberg's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a month
Handicap:  15-19

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/22/2013
Previously played Played with a group Used cart Played 18 holes Good weather

Reviewed on

It's amazing to think that this course was designed in an era of clubs with Hickory shafts. Expect long carries, uneven lies from the hilly terrain and challenging greens. The greens offer quite a challenge because of the slope, which is often the only way for the green to shed water after a rain. It's a fun and affordable championship golf course.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Quality of food & beverage: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


Commented on 11/07/2014

The course pictured is indeed the Donald Ross course built in 1917. It was recently restored to its original glory...but it remains an "old" golf course. There is another, fairly new course on site...the Pete Dye course. The two look distinctly different.


Commented on 10/02/2014

I believe that this course pictured here is a recently designed and constructed course. There is a Donald Ross course in French Lick that has some history to it as there are pictures of Walter Hagen playing there in the 1920s or so and can be played for $30.00 to $40.00. This course, high on the hills pictured here is not very old at all. Both courses are nice and well worth playing if you find yourself in this area.



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