Pete Dye Course at French Lick to Open April 24, 2009

French Lick ResortFRENCH LICK, Ind. - Not since the opening of Whistling Straits in Wisconsin has there been a more anticipated golf course opening in the Midwest and Hall of Fame architect Pete Dye is responsible for both. The new Pete Dye course at French Lick Resort will open to the public on April 24, 2009.

French Lick Resort, long one of America's premier resort destinations, is situated on rolling hills overlooking the Hoosier National Forest in southern Indiana. The 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.) 

Soon the town will be known as one of the great golf destinations in the country. Since the early 1900's, golf has been an integral part of this resort area. Tom Bendelow designed the first course here in 1907 followed by the great Donald Ross ten years later. In 2009, however, French Lick moves to an entirely new level with the opening of the spectacular new Pete Dye course.

Dye, an Indiana native who recently was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame, is famous for his innovative course designs. In 1982, Dye introduced stadium golf at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. What followed were a series of Dye signature designs including the Ocean Course at Kiawah, PGA West in California, Whistling Straits in Wisconsin and now this new course at French Lick Resort.

" I have spent the past five decades designing golf courses all over the world, including courses on great coastal sites," Dye explains. "This new project at French Lick Resort brings great excitement to Alice and me because the course is on arguably the best inland site I have ever worked on. "

Pete Dye course at French Lick

Those who have previewed the design say that Dye has created one of the most breathtaking and exciting 18 holes of golf in the country. The course was carefully carved on a dramatic hilltop offering a variety of elevation changes, rugged and dramatic terrain, narrow fairways and ever-changing bunkers. There are spectacular views from every hole, some that stretch for over 40 miles.

Integrating the advances in modern equipment, golf balls and player fitness, Dye has designed a golf course that stretches over 8,100 yards from the professional tees. However, this new creation welcomes all levels of players. With five sets of tees, yardages begin at 5,100 yards from the forward tees. (Alice Dye always makes sure the courses play well for women.) Most players are expected to play from either 6,100 or 6,700 yards.

This new course is already gaining national recognition. In 2010, the PGA of America will play its PGA Professional National Championship on the new Pete Dye course. This is expected to be the first of several high profile professional events to be hosted here.

Pete Dye course at French LickThe new Pete Dye course will also mark the return of caddies to French Lick Resort for the first time in 45 years. The resort's new caddie program will give young people from the area the opportunity to learn the game and qualify for college scholarships. The resort will work with the Western Golf Association in developing the caddie program. While caddies will be an option, forecaddies will be required upon opening.

Complementing the new Pete Dye course at French Lick Resort is the historic Donald Ross course, which has just undergone a $4.6 million restoration project that has brought the course back to Ross's original plans.

French Lick is now the only resort in the world that combines the classic history of Donald Ross and the modern day design of the legendary Pete Dye. This combination is a spectacular opportunity for golfers to experience two of the best designers who ever shaped beautiful landscapes into golf courses. 

 

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