In The Highest Regard – Big Spring Country Club, Louisville, KY

If you asked me to close my eyes and said “country club golf course,” Louisville’s Big Spring Country Club is what I would see in my mind. It’s the best prototypical private local club course that I’ve played. It’s not a gem from a master of golf’s Golden Age of architecture, or big enough to…

Advertisements

A Dirty Dozen: twelve terrible Bluegrass area golf holes

With the PGA Tour visiting Harbour Town and Augusta National this month, there has been plenty of discussion of good and bad golf architecture, favorite holes, restoring versus remodeling, and the like in recent days. This got me to thinking about some of the worst holes I regularly encounter locally, so that I could give…

Happy New Year! The PGA Tour is returning to Kentucky in 2018!

When most golf fans think of the PGA Tour coming to Kentucky, the magnificent Valhalla Golf Club is probably what comes to mind, having hosted multiple PGA Championships, Senior PGA Championships, and even a Ryder Cup (the 2024 PGA Championship will return to Valhalla as well). The ambitious owners of Keene Trace Golf Club, located…

A lesson in value and fun at Thoroughbred Golf Club at High Point, Nicholasville, Kentucky

Thoroughbred Golf Club at High Point, tucked away amidst the beautiful rolling hills of Jessamine County, is undergoing a renaissance, of sorts, as a the new owners from Taylor Made Farm are hoping that intelligent investment in the clubs facilities and infrastructure return the course to relevance within the Bluegrass area golfing community. Formerly known…

Our Crazy Golf Trip Side Games: How to gamble with irregular golfers

On our recent Guys’ Getaway golf trip through the Indianapolis area, the four of us had a blast on our 36-holes a day, two-day trip.  This was our 3rd edition of the Golf Trip, but our first with four players. While I was confident that the golf courses I’d selected would live up to their…

A throwback course and simpler golf at Lincoln Homestead State Park, Springfield, Kentucky.

Standing on the first tee of the golf course at Lincoln Homestead State Park in Springfield, Kentucky, is like stepping back in time, and it’s got almost nothing to do with the exhibits about Abe Lincoln’s childhood. Nonetheless, the course remains a reliable, easy-going, good times round of golf, even if golf technology in the…

Requiem for a Heavyweight of Kentucky Public Golf Courses – The Fall of Old Silo

Editor’s note: Old Silo Golf Club closed permanently in 2017. Today was an exceedingly disappointing and depressing day on the golf course at Old Silo Golf Club. Never mind that my struggles getting off the tee reared their ugly heads again, making it pointless to even try to keep score.  Or that I didn’t make…

Hidden Cove Golf Course at Grayson Lake State Park – an addition to the Must-Play list

Playing golf at Hidden Cove Golf Course at Grayson Lake State Park feels like one is trespassing against Mother Nature. The 2004 Brian T. Ault design, set in the remote Appalachian foothills of Carter County, Kentucky, is a beautiful tract so far from the hustle and bother of everyday life that it could easily pass…

Gibson Bay Golf Course, Richmond, KY – A municipal gem worthy of being a destination golf course

Madison County’s Gibson Bay Golf Course is my favorite public golf course in Central Kentucky, municipal or otherwise. In an area blessed with incredibly diverse, quality options, that should be all one needs to know. Don’t get me wrong, I love my home course, the Gay Brewer Golf Course at Picadome, with all its antiquity…

The Links at Novadell – Hopkinsville, KY: An island of green in a sea of tan – CLOSED

Update: Unfortunately for we avid golfers, The Links at Novadell apparently closed its doors for good on December 31, 2016.  This was a good one that I’m sad to see go away. The Links at Novadell wins the 2015 Flattest Course Award.  Yeah, sure, it’s not exactly a links golf course, considering that it’s eight…

One of my favorite walks: My Old Kentucky Home State Park Golf Course, Bardstown, KY

One of my favorite walks this summer was at the Kenny Rapier Golf Course at My Old Kentucky Home State Park in Bardstown, Kentucky.  It was neither the easiest nor the hardest course to walk, but it is one of the most pleasant. It’s difficult to succinctly describe the course because it really is a…

Rear Back and Let it Rip – Longview Golf Club, Georgetown, KY

Longview Golf Course, just outside of Georgetown, Kentucky, is a hacker’s paradise. It’s fairly wide open from most tee boxes, it’s sneaky short due to the par three’s being so long, and there is a nice variety among the holes that allow for plenty of different shot-making options. The golf course is out-of-the-way for nearly…

Canewood Golf Course, Georgetown, KY – The worst of residential development golf

I was taught that if you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all.  If I believed that, the rest of this column about Canewood Golf Course in Georgetown, Kentucky would simply be blank, perhaps with a collection pictures of the course left to speak for themselves. My first ever trip…

The Club at Olde Stone – the Crown Jewel of Mid-South Golf Courses (Bowling Green, KY)

Arthur Hills’ name doesn’t garner tremendous respect amongst golf architecture aficionados and the snobbish sort over on the Golf Club Atlas boards. Personally, I generally enjoy his designs; granted, his portfolio of Kentucky courses is fairly small (I’ve played 8 of his 10 Kentucky projects, plus Longaberger G.C. in Ohio) and think he and his…

Moss Hill Golf Club, Versailles, KY – A pleasant period piece from the 1960’s

Pulling into the parking lot of the Moss Hill Golf Club in Versailles, Kentucky, I really had no idea what to expect.  All I knew from some cursory Internet research was that the course was relatively short at 6,142 from the back tees. It was a cool late afternoon in April, in which we’d received…

Cassell Creek Golf Course, Winchester, KY – They ruined a perfectly good pasture…sort of

Everyone has played one of those golf courses.  You know, the place where the pickup trucks outnumber the sedans in the parking lot 3-to-1 or better. Where golf cleats are optional, jeans are welcomed, tank-tops are abundant, and just having fun is the order of the day.  A place where a round is not so…

Wildcat Course at University Club of Kentucky, Lexington, KY – The softer, gentler side

I’ve always imagined that the Wildcat Course and Big Blue Course at the University Club of Kentucky in Lexington have a little brother – big brother relationship. Being a little brother myself, I understand the notion of living in the shadow of the better looking, more sophisticated sibling. The Big Blue Course, with its Arthur…

Wasioto Winds G.C., Pineville, KY – An exciting mountain retreat

Wasioto Winds Golf Course at Pine Mountain State Resort Park is, ironically, perhaps the antithesis of a mountain golf course.  There are no mountaintop vistas or dramatic 100+ foot drops from the tee box to the green. Despite attachment to a state park set high atop Devils Ridge of Pine Mountain, Wasioto Winds Golf Course…

Cherry Blossom Golf & Country Club, Georgetown, KY – A really pleasant golf course

Cherry Blossom Golf & Country Club hosted the 2014 Kentucky Men’s State Amateur Championship earlier this summer, which should say something about the regard in which the golf course is held. The course rates as the 4th best public golf course in Kentucky, according to Golf Magazine, and the 5th best Kentucky public course by…

Idle Hour Country Club, Lexington, KY – A Genteel Donald Ross Oasis

One of the true highlights of my season occurred this past week as I was twice invited to play golf at Idle Hour Country Club in Lexington, KY. For those of you unfamiliar with Idle Hour Country Club (IHCC), it’s arguably the most famous, most exclusive, and most secretive of all the golf and country…

Persimmon Ridge Golf Club – Arthur Hills at his diabolical best

I generally enjoy Arthur Hills courses.  They are big, wild, sometimes cruel golf courses that test golfer’s shot making at every turn with gigantic greens at which to aim.  Persimmon Ridge Golf Club in the outskirts east of Louisville may be one of the crown jewels of Hills’ design portfolio. I recently had the opportunity…

A fine, fun tract – Houston Oaks Golf Course, Paris, KY – 2014 Redux

The rolling hills of Houston Oaks Golf Course may be the Lexington area’s best kept secret to those golfers not from the Bluegrass region. It’s a fantastic golf course. Houston Oaks is an above-average layout that is kept in above-average condition year round (Bryan and I played Houston Oaks a few days before Christmas 2013).…

Tates Creek Golf Course – The municipal golfer’s golf course

Lexington’s Tates Creek Golf Course is located near the heart of the city’s south side, nestled up against several widely disparate neighborhoods.  It is far and away the most “muni” of all of Lexington’s city courses. John Mark and I have probably played Tates Creek a combined 150 times between us, so I guess he…

Great, Big Fun – Big Blue Course, University Club of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

The Big Blue Course at the University Club of Kentucky is a long, fun, difficult golf course with a relatively short, but interesting, history in Central Kentucky.  After 20 years, this unique original remains one of the most memorable and memory-making daily fee courses in the Lexington area. Originally designed by Danny McQueen, the University…

Weissinger Hills Golf Course – Wide Open Spaces in Shelbyville, KY

The 4th of July holiday weekend brought searing heat to the Bluegrass region, under which many of our golf courses began browning up around the edges.  Fairways got faster and greens got firmer as the breeze got warmer.  And Weissinger Hills Golf Course was no exception. Located just two minutes from Interstate 64 in Shelbyville,…