French Lick Springs Resort

8670 W State Road 56
French Lick, IN 47432
812-936-9300
Pricing: $76 - $100
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Current Member Rating

Rating: 3.8

Pace of Play

3

Greens

3

Service

5

Value

3

Design/Layout

5

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French Lick has two 18 hole layouts, the original by Donald Ross, a new one by Pete Dye, and a nine hole practice facility that was whittled down from an original Tom Bendelow design.

The Ross course opened in 1917 and was the venue for the 1924 PGA Championship won by Walter Hagen. The course was restored several years ago, maintaining most of the Ross features including, the general links-type open layout, with deep green-side bunkers and severely undulating and small greens. There's only 35 bunkers, but they're well placed with flat bottoms and deep faces, the greens were expanded a bit to their original rectangular shape. The course plays to 7,000 yards, par 70, and is a stern test with a course rating of 71.8.

The Dye course is a full 8,100 yards from the tips, but with a total of five sets of tees. It's a walkable course with the greens and tee boxes reasonably close. It's routed over on one of Indiana’s highest elevation points with narrow fairways, well bunkered, with lakes, and wide ranging greens with forty mile views of the Indiana countryside. From the middle tees it's 6,115 yards, 70.6/130 course/slope.



Published by: jbass
Image of French Lick Springs Resort  French Lick IN
Image of French Lick Springs Resort  French Lick IN
Image of French Lick Springs Resort  French Lick IN
Image of French Lick Springs Resort  French Lick IN
Image of French Lick Springs Resort  French Lick IN
Image of French Lick Springs Resort  French Lick IN
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Posted by: onintwo

Dec 5th, 2012

Played the Ross course. Excellent service, five star staff and facilities. Rates were reasonably as it was an off peak time of year, and we breezed around the course in less than 4 hours. Superb golf course, tough and demanding, requiring good course management and ball control as well as an excellent short game. It's was open enough off the tee to spray the ball a bit, but just off the fairway are heavy grasses and weeds which were swallowing up the balls.

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Posted by: RZA2

Dec 11th, 2010

Played the Ross course about a month ago, beautiful Fall day. The course has a certain “country” feel to it as the course has wide open vistas, fairways that follow the nature shape of the land, random bunkering, and 18 fantastic green sites. I played the Gold Tees at +/- 7000 yards. What really makes the course is the totally world class set of greens, which in many ways I enjoyed more than the greens at Pinehurst #2 (!!!). The greens just make the course so much FUN and they literally blew my mind. I can honestly say that the greens at French Lick are as difficult as any I've played in recent memory and, are just as interesting as there are no two alike on the entire course. I was shocked on the longest par-3s of well over 200 yards that the greens were far more severe, you'd think the yardage would have been enough! I thought the course was a joy to play and I wish I had another crack at the course as that there was some local knowledge that I could of used off the tee and around the greens.

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Posted by: Pmontgomery

Oct 6th, 2010

Played the new Dye course. Conditions were good but the layout and design are what is most impressive. It beat me up bad but most of it was self inflicted. Second time around, I think I could do better. Distances were off all day and they have GPS on the cart. There was a ton of wind. Greens were medium speed but I still managed to make a twenty foot birdie putt into a thirty yard pitch and end up making double. This course will be much tougher when the greens are fast and rough is grown up some. Main theme to this course is SKINNY FAIRWAYS. None of us hit many fairways. Another feature throughout is built up greens with run offs to expansive collection areas that were cut tight. Probably metro speed. Greens were nice and firm. You would have to really look for your ball marks and when you found them there was not much to fix. Volcano bunkers are cool. Waste bunkers are not. I think they could scrap the waste bunkers and plant more grass. No trees but plenty of mounding and hills to hide portions of the course. Great views of surrounding Indiana countryside. Including the Hoosier National Forest. I like this course. I wish I could go back and play it again with some course knowledge, but I can't afford to play here mcuh. The clubhouse is really cool and has great history in French Lick. Beautiful renovated house with awesome patios that provide great views. If you can't do the golf, see if you can go up there and have lunch and eat on one of the patios. If you don't mind eating in the wind. I think that is going on there most of the time.

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Posted by: Colin

Sep 16th, 2010

The Ross Course is among the top handful of publicly accessible courses in the state after the work done they've done to upgrade it. The greens are some of the best in the state with only two or three courses even in the same conversation. I think the long par 4s (5 and 12) are the best two holes on the course. The 2nd was also quite good. I think the par 5s are both a little wanting, something just seemed to be missing on both of them. The par 3s seem a tad repetitive in their shot requirements even though they look totally different from the tee, with the exception of the short 16th. I also think they might be a touch over the edge and into penal design with the length necessary for them. Of the bunch I think the 13th is by far the best. The only other thing I would note is that a few of the holes (1, 10, 11 and 18) seem too much alike. Overall though I think it is a great course but perhaps a tad overpriced. I've played much worse courses that get much higher ratings.

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Posted by: dannyp

Aug 6th, 2009

Click here to view at Dan Perry‘s blog The course is going to be famous for two things (in my opinion): The unbelievable views (some over 30 miles in each direction) and the length. Pete wasn’t shy here; it tops out at over 8,100 yards. I played the Blue tees (middle tees) which were ONLY 6,700 yards. The course opens with a relatively straight-forward dogleg left par 4. If you don’t have a draw, you may end up in the right bunker, so be wary.Hole #2 is a relatively short par 4, but the most important course feature here are Pete’s volcano bunkers. They are bunkers placed on top of hills. And yes, I did end up in one of them. The third is a true three shot par 5. The tee shot is semi-blind (as are many tee shots here), and the second shot, if you decide to go for it, is over a large chasm. I mishit the second, leaving myself an extra-long third into the green. The fourth is a reasonably easy par 3 (as long as you’re playing from the correct tees), but a hint of the unbelievable views to come start appearing on this hole. The fifth was one of my favorite (and the shortest) par 4 on the course. You’re going directly back at the clubhouse (which, by the way, used to be someone’s home. One of the things that make this course so difficult is that some fairways are only 85-90 feet wide, while most courses are 120+ (and resort courses even more). The sixth hole is one of those thin fairway holes. The tee shot is semi-blind, and the hole curves to the left, with the green looking like it drops off into nowhere. The views from this green were unbelievable; easily 20-30 mile views.Seven is a long, strong par 5, with trouble on the left.The bunkers really start showing their teeth on the par 3 eighth hole. Great view of the clubhouse from this hole. The ninth calls for a fade off the tee. Aim directly for the flag, and play a fade. If overcooked, there’s a waste bunker that runs up the entire right side.The 11th hole is another one that has the thin fairway that is barely visible from the tee. It actually starts out on the right, and works its way down and to the left.Tough to hit this fairway and make it stay. The 12th is a long par 4 which has a green that falls off (like a number of other holes). The approach is key; ensure it sticks the green, or it rolls on for quite a ways, leaving a very difficult up and down. The 14th is a par 5 with a split fairway. For me this was easily a 3.5 shot par 5, due to it’s severe incline. The 16th is the last par 3. It was only a seven iron from the Blue tees, but from the big boy tees, this par three comes in at 305 yards. That’s right; a 300+ yard par 3. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before in my life. There’s water up the right, but a little room on the left to play with. The finishing hole is another semi-blind, three shot par 5. I thought I hit a perfect tee shot and ended in the junk on the right. Forecaddies are well worth it on this course, believe me. The fairway doglegs to the left. I did hear that originally it went to the right, but Pete wasn’t happy with it, so he changed it. I’m sure there was considerable expense in that.

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Posted by: dannyp

Aug 6th, 2009

Click here to view at Dan Perry’s Blog The Donald Ross Golf Course in French Lick is easily one of the best Ross courses I’ve ever played. It has the classic Ross elements (Easy bogey – tough par, raised tees and greens, specific landing areas on greens, wonderful bunkering, etc.), and is a complete delight to play. The course starts with a par 4, teeing off from an elevated tee. The approach is (as is often the case with Donald Ross courses) uphill to a tiered green. The second hole is similar to the first, except it plays a bit shorter. If you hit driver (probably unnecessary, but you could) you’re approach will be under 100 yards. The approach is uphill, and semi-blind from this position. The tee shot on three is blind. The best shot is going over the bunkers on the left with a slight fade. After the bunkers, the fairway slopes downward all the way to the hole, where the green is again, raised. The 4th is the first par 3, and let me say right now that Donald Ross isn’t shy about adding some length to his par 3’s. Playing from the Ross tees, the distances for the four par 3’s is as follows: 194, 210, 228 and 133. I hope your long-iron/hybrid game is on; you’ll need it. For this hole, don’t be long or left; you can see the trouble.The fifth is a relatively straight-forward par 4. The tee shot is crucial; there are bunkers in the fairway at about the distance of a well-struck drive, so you need to decide whether to hit a bit shorter and guarantee a fairway approach (albeit a bit longer), or grip and rip.The sixth is the next par 3. Not only is it 210 from the Ross tees, but it’s uphill AND into the wind. The seventh is the only par 5 on the front, and reachable for the longer hitter (513 from Ross tees.) Avoid the bunkers in the middle of the fairway, and be prepared for a downhill lie for your second. The eighth is probably my favorite hole, at least on the front 9. The tee shot calls for a mid-iron to small hybrid at the most, unless you want to risk hitting driver and hitting your second from a deep valley of rough. I tried both ways, and prefer the approach from the fairway. The green is almost an island, and slopes SEVERELY from back to front. If the pin is back, be sure to get it to, or past the hole. Here’s a view from behind the green, but it doesn’t truly do it justice. It has to be seen to be believed.The tenth hole almost mirrors the first, with a tee shot from a raised box, hitting into a valley with an uphill approach to a raised green. Ross at his finest! I found myself short on this hole all three days; it’s tough taking enough club. My advice; when in doubt, take the extra club.The eleventh is the shortest par 4 on the course. The difficulty here is avoiding the bunkers. The fairway slopes left to right, so be sure to land your tee shot on the right side. The approach is all uphill; again I advise walking up to the green and deciding on where you want to land the ball, if you have time.Thirteen is a monster par 3, period. Uphill, into the wind and measuring 228 from the Ross tees (252 from Medal tees). There’s room to bail left of the green, and bunkers front and right. I hit 3-wood twice, and driver once, and missed the green all three days. Difficult? Definitely, but easily one of the most interesting and challenging par 3’s I’ve ever seen. The fourteenth is very similar to the third; blind tee shot (with the best bet up the left side), and a fairway that runs downhill the entire way, leaving a downhill approach. The sixteenth is the only short par 3 on the course. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. The bunkering is impressive, and it also slopes pretty severely from back to front, so be wary of that when you hit. The eighteenth is as strong of a finishing hole as I’ve ever seen. A great tee shot might still leave you with a 200 yard approach. Again, it’s of the utmost importance that you aren’t short on your approach, or it will roll 15-20 yards down the hill (experience talking here.) I was short the first two times I played here, and long the final day, and I took two extra clubs to be long. Fantastic hole.

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