Circle the item that best defines great golf buddy trip destinations:
- Quantity of golf
- Quality of golf
- Great dining and lodging venues as well as activities to do in addition to golf
- All of the above
Write us down for a 4, and note that destinations like French Lick Resort in southern Indiana, Bandon Dunes, Pinehurst, Streamsong, Kiawah and Kohler fit that profile and have earned reputations as satisfying trip destinations for golfers.
Regarded as one of the Best Golf Resorts in the America’s by Golf Digest Magazine, French Lick Resort is a top resort in the Midwest and a destination that circles all the items.
Situated atop the rolling hills overlooking the Hoosier National Forest in southern Indiana, this historic resort is located in the small town of French Lick, where for over two centuries the Pluto Mineral Springs has attracted visitors. (It is also known as the hometown of basketball legend Larry Bird.)
For quantity and quality of golf it features 45-holes of championship golf designed by Donald Ross, Pete Dye, and Tom Bendelow.
For dining, lodging and activities there is a choice between a pair of historic and iconic hotel destinations with great restaurants, a casino and many other amenities, as well as short, quick trip access to restaurants and activities like fishing and hunting in the welcoming resort community around French Lick.
Since the early 1900s, golf has been an integral part of this resort area. Tom Bendelow designed the first course in the area in 1907, and the great Donald Ross designed a course 10 years later that has withstood the test of time. Speaking of time, in 2009 Hall of Fame architect Pete Dye designed a visually stunning masterpiece on timeless property, and it has quickly become one of the most highly acclaimed courses in the country.
The Pete Dye course achieved a rare double honor in 2009 by being selected as America’s best new course by both Golf Digest and GOLF Magazine. It is located on a dramatic hilltop, which is one of the highest points in the state of Indiana, and offers panoramic views of the Hoosier National Forest that stretch as far as 40 miles.
“I have spent over five decades designing golf courses all over the world, including courses on great coastal sites, and this course at French Lick is on arguably the best inland site I have ever worked on,” Dye has proclaimed.
This course has gained national recognition already hosting major golf events. The PGA of America played its PGA Professional National Championship on the new Pete Dye course in 2010. Then in 2015, they hosted the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid. In addition, the Big Ten held both the men’s and women’s golf championships at French Lick, as well as the LPGA Legends have made it an annual stop on their tour. In 2017 the resort hosted the first ever Senior LPGA Championship presented by Old National Bank and televised on Golf channel. It will return again October 14-16, 2019. In addition, the Symetra Tour also returns to the Donald Ross Course (July 12-14).
As for the historic Donald Ross course, it underwent a $4.6 million restoration project in recent years that brought the course back to Ross’s original genius plans. If the Ross course could talk, what stories it could tell from a rich history. It was site of the 1924 PGA Championship won by the legendary Walter Hagen, and has hosted other golf greats and celebrities including Gene Sarazen, Chick Evans, and Bing Crosby.
It is a parkland gem that meanders up and down the rolling hills a few miles from the main resort. The wonderful routing of the holes takes full advantage of the many elevation points for classic Ross green sites, which are sloped dramatically and in classic form from back to front.
French Lick is the only resort in the world that combines the classic historic work of Ross with the extraordinary modern-day work of Dye providing a spectacular opportunity for golfers to experience two of the best designers in golf history on one trip.
A trip that scores a perfect 4 for buddies can be best experienced through French Lick Resort’s Hall of Fame Golf Package. It provides opportunities to play both the Ross and Dye courses all day over a two-day period. Golfers can opt to stay at either the French Lick Springs Hotel, which is connected to the 51,000-square foot casino, or the elegant West Baden Springs Hotel. Both hotels underwent a $600 million historic restoration back in the mid-2,000’s bringing the resort back to national prominence and both hotels back to their original sophistication and luxury.
Whether the group opts to play 27 or 36 or more in one day, the value can’t be beat with an all-day one-price option. On the arrival day, golfers also receive a 9-hole welcome warmup round on the Bendelow course, which is a classic, fun parkland design.If all-day golf is not everybody’s option, then beckoning are the spa, pool area or area activities such as private hunting and fishing experiences, a shooting range, or testing luck in the casino.
In the evenings the group can experience a variety of fine dining options at each hotel, or head into the town of French Lick and check out the likes of Brick 33, which is named after its beloved basketball son, Larry Bird.
Write us down for a 4: All of the above.