The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort Celebrates more than 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 Englishman James Barnes on the 36th and final hole of the two-round tournament 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 greenskeeper 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.

100 Years of Legendary Golf

2018 • Donald Ross Centennial Classic

As part of a multi-year deal to host championship events, The Donald Ross Classic and Senior LPGA Championship both celebrate their second year of play at French Lick Resort. Stephanie Kono posts a one-stroke victory in The Donald Ross Classic, while Laura Davies takes the Senior LPGA title by four strokes.

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 Donald Ross Centennial Classic at French Lick Resort. Following that event, the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship 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 a 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 wins 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.