The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort Celebrates 100 Years!

It was 1917 when golfers played with hickory sticks, Bobby Jones was a young amateur in the sport, and renowned designer Donald Ross had created a stunning new course in Indiana. 


18th Hole

"The Hill Course," as it was originally known, was designed by Donald James Ross in 1917. Just seven years later, in 1924, the course hosted the PGA Championship won by Walter Hagen. He beat the Englishman James Barnes on the 36th and final hole of the two-round match and walked away with the grand prize of $6,830. The course has hosted LPGA Championships and Senior PGA events in the years since.


Ross, an expert greens-keeper and club maker is credited with laying the groundwork for the American golf industry. His architectural firm, Donald J. Ross and Associates, designed and redesigned 400 courses throughout North America between the early 1900s and the late 1940s. Ross is one of the few golf course architects to be admitted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. As a testament to his architectural brilliance, Donald Ross course designs account for 11 of Golf Digest's 100 Greatest Courses in the United States. After a $5 million dollar restoration effort in 2005, the Hill Course was renamed The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort.

Centennial Events

Journey back in time and celebrate the history of this legendary sport during The Donald Ross Centennial anniversary.


Donald Ross Centennial Classic July 7-9
Practice Rounds July 5 - 6

French Lick Resort is excited to be one of the new stops on the Symetra Tour 2017 schedule. The Donald Ross Centennial Classic will be a three-day, 54-hole championship played July 7-9, 2017 on the century-old course bearing the same name.


More Info 

Society of Hickory Golfers' 2017 North/South Challenge Match

September 17 - 19 


The Society of Hickory Golfers have a passion for the royal and ancient game of golf. Their enthusiasm for preserving the rich traditions of the game is evident when they take to the greens dressed in period clothing, playing with those amazing steely spring hickory-shafted clubs.

In celebration of the centennial anniversary of the Donald Ross Course, the Society of Hickory Golfers holds their 2017 North/South Challenge match at the Course September 17 – 19. The Challenge is a Ryder-style format with 32 person teams from north and south regions. Spectators are encouraged to attend and experience the glamor of yester-year golf.

The Donald Ross Course celebrates 100 years of legendary golf during 2017 and so does another iconic brand – MoonPie!


It was in 1917 when famous golf course designer Donald Ross came to French Lick, and by working with the lay of the land, created a challenging and world-renowned golf course. That same year, a Kentucky coal miner asked a salesman from the Chattanooga Bakers in Tennessee to make a snack “as big as the moon” that would be filling and fit in a lunch pail. That request led to creation of MoonPie.


This summer, every golfer that tees off at the Number One hole will receive a MoonPie. Plus, Hagen’s Club House Restaurant is featuring a special MoonPie Pudding dessert guaranteed to take you “to the MoonPie and back!” The Donald Ross Course and MoonPie: proud to celebrate 100 years of providing quality fun for everyone.

100 Years of Legendary Golf

2017 • Donald Ross Centennial Classic

The Donald Ross Course celebrates 100 years of legendary golf with a week long celebration of women’s golf.  It begins July 7 - 9 with the new Donald Ross Centennial Classic at French Lick Resort. Following that event, the inaugural Senior LPGA event takes place July 10-12 on The Pete Dye Course.

2016 • Indiana Open

Brett Melton fires a final round 63 to win the Indiana Open. 

2012 • Indiana Open

The Indiana Open returns to French Lick’s golf courses for the first time in 50 years, and 1962 winner Sam Carmichael is there to award the trophy to the winner Stephen Conrad.


2010 • PGA Professional National Championship

The PGA Professional National Championship tees off on The Donald Ross and The Pete Dye Courses.


2007 • Donald Ross Course Opens

After a $5 million dollar restoration, The Donald Ross Course opens for play, and is runner-up in the BEST RESTORATION category in Golf Digest.


2005 • Course Restoration

Under ownership of the Cook Group, Steve Ferguson appoints golf architect Lee Schmidt and Michael Fay, Executive Director of the Donald Ross Society, to guide course restoration back to its original design. It is renamed after world-renowned architect Donald Ross.

1984 • Indiana Senior Open

Former PGA Tour player Fred Wampler, Jr. wins the Indiana Senior Open over Mal McMullen and Jim Barber in sudden death playoff.

1981-1991 • American Junior Golf Association Tour

The American Junior Golf Association Tour makes its Midwest home at the course. Future golf greats Stewart Cink, Ben Curtis and Jim Furyk participate in the tour with Cink beating out Furyk in the final 1991 event.

1962 • Indiana Open Championship

A young Sam Carmichael won the Indiana Open Championship.


1960 • LPGA Championship

Mickey Wright comes on strong to collect the LPGA Championship over Louise Suggs.

1959 • LPGA Championship

Betsy Rawls wins the LPGA Championship on the Donald Ross Course, defeating Patty Berg by one stroke.


1958 • French Lick Open

Louise Suggs wins the French Lick Open stop on the LPGA Tour.

1932-1960 • Midwest Amateur Championship

The Midwest Amateur Championship becomes an annual event. Winners include Ed Tutwiler, Dale Morey; Chick Evans wins the championship twice, and a young Pete Dye wins the title in 1957.

1932 • Inaugural Midwest Amateur Championship

Renowned amateur golfer Chick Evans wins the inaugural Midwest Amateur Championship.


1924 • PGA Championship

The esteemed Walter Hagen outlasts the field in the 1924 PGA Championship to claim his second championship, and the first of his four consecutive PGA Championships.

1922 • Indiana State Golf Tournament

The first major championship played on the course is the Indiana State Golf Tournament won by Edgar Zimmer.

1917 • The Hill Course Opens

The Hill Course (now The Donald Ross Course) is ready for play and opens to the public.


1915 • Tom Taggart

Tom Taggart travels to Pinehurst to solicit the services of Architect Donald Ross to design and build the new course at French Lick.