French Lick Resort's new Pete Dye Course wins Best New Golf Course from Golf Digest
Best new golf course according to Golf Digest is in, and it comes from a somewhat unlikely destination: southern Indiana, about an hour’s drive west from Louisville, KY.
Hoosier native Pete Dye said he paid over 140 trips to the golf course during construction, and that TLC shows. Said Dye:
“I made more than 140 trips there and I walked that course 40 to 50 times,” he said. “As I built the golf course I tried to get the tees, the fairways, and the greens in position that they have these long views over the valleys and hills. A lot of southern Indiana is natural forest, a lot of it is state owned, so you can see for miles. The ambience of the course is the look, the vistas from all the different tees, greens, and fairways.”
I visited French Lick before it opened prior to the Ryder Cup (gutting out hurricane spin-off in the process) when only 16 holes were ready. What struck me immediately was how he maximized the scenery, especially from many of the green locations. Those who think they know Indiana as being a flat cornfield will be wonderfully surprised by the panoramic views from many of the green sites.
Despite being a new, bold, up-and-down design, it’s also a walker-friendly course. When I visited, Dye himself was hoofing the course, bag slung over his shoulder.
Dye’s trademark steep bunkers and mounding make as big of a splash as ever. It will also play as long as 8,100 yards, though its hard to believe that set will be available too often. Set on one of Indiana’s highest points, its hard to believe the wind will take too many days off.
Also, special contributor Larry Olmsted wrote up a new column on the French Lick Resort and golf course, as well as its incredible West Baden Springs hotel and spa. It’s safe to say that there was no shortage of media exposure to the once down-on-its-luck resort town that is now back on the national golf radar.
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