French Lick, Ind., is not only the home of former NBA great and Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird, it's home to one of the most eagerly anticipated golf course openings in the U.S. this year. The new Pete Dye course at French Lick officially opened for play on Friday, April 24, continuing a golf renaissance that has been taking place at one of the nation's leading resort destinations.
'We are very excited about the opening of the new Pete Dye course here at French Lick Resort,' said Dave Harner, director of golf at French Lick Resort. 'The course is arguably one of the most exciting inland designs that Pete Dye has ever created with panoramic views in all directions.
'Pete spent a great deal of time on site creating a visually stunning and challenging layout that will test the skills of not only the greatest golfers in the game, but also players of all levels. He did a wonderful job in laying out a variety of tee markers and angles that will make it playable for everyone.'
The course sits on a hilltop offering a variety of elevation changes, with spectacular views from every hole that stretch for over 40 miles. It plays more than 8,100 yards from the professional tees and 5,100 yards from the forward tees, with five sets of tees to accommodate players of all skill levels.
The new Pete Dye course is already scheduled to host the 2010 PGA Professional National Championship, the first of what it hopes to be several high profile professional events to come to Indiana.
Complementing the new Pete Dye course at French Lick Resort is the historic Donald Ross course, which recently underwent a $4.6-million restoration that has brought the course back to Ross' original plans.
'We are very excited about showcasing not only this new modern Pete Dye masterpiece, but also our newly restored and historic Donald Ross course, making this truly one of America's must-see golf destinations,' said Harner.
The Pete Dye and Donald Ross courses are part of a $500 million historic restoration and casino development project at French Lick Resort that includes the West Baden Springs Hotel, French Lick Springs Hotel and the new French Lick Casino. The resort features 686 guest rooms and suites; a 51,000-square-foot, single-level casino; 45 holes of golf; two full-service spas; meeting and event space totaling 115,000 square feet and an array of dining and entertainment options.