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The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort Earns 2017 NGCOA Golf Course of the Year Honors

French Lick, IN – The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort, the award-winning golf destination in Southern Indiana, has been named the 2017 Golf Course of the Year by the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA). This marks the first time a Pete Dye designed course has received this honor.

The announcement was made this past week at the NGCOA 2017 Golf Business Conference, held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show in Orlando, FL.

The NGCOA selected its finalists based on four criteria; quality of golf course, quality of ownership and management, outstanding contributions to the local community, and significant contributions to the game of golf.

The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort fit all of these criteria perfectly and was nominated by the Indiana Golf Course Owners Association, a chapter of the NGCOA. Other finalists for the 2017 national award included Canoe Brook Country Club (New Jersey), Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Club (Florida) and Poppy Hills Golf Course (California), which rounded out the final four for this prestigious honor.

“We are thrilled and humbled to receive this honor from the NGCOA, and to be recognized alongside so many top facilities from around the country,” said Dave Harner, director of golf at French Lick Resort.

“The Pete Dye Course has become a symbol of excellence in the industry being an economic driver that is changing the lives of so many people through jobs, major golf championships, and our many charitable events such as Riley Children’s Foundation with our previous Legends and upcoming Senior LPGA Championships.”

The Pete Dye course, which opened in 2009, burst on to the national scene by receiving America’s best new course accolades by the two leading golf publications in the country, Golf Digest and GOLF Magazine.

The course has been recognized for its many contributions to the community including millions of dollars of economic impact from major golf championships and job creation, as well as raising hundreds of thousands of dollars through charity events including Riley Children’s Foundation, the fundraising arm of Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health from the Legends Championships and upcoming LPGA Senior Championship presented by Old National Bank.

The Dye Course has benefitted a number of students through the Evans Scholarship and caddie program the course provides, which was founded by the Western Golf Association (WGA) and specifically famed golfer Chick Evans Jr. in 1929. Today, more than 840 caddies are attending one of 19 universities on a Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship. The scholarship covers full tuition and housing costs for up to four years. A wonderful opportunity for youth.

The course was also a major factor in the $600 million restoration and casino development project lead by its founder and chief visionary, Bill Cook, whose corporate philanthropy changed lives and communities around the world including the small town of French Lick, Indiana. The development of the Pete Dye course and the reclamation of French Lick Resort continue to have an enormous economic impact on the small town of French Lick. Cook’s generosity and vision still provides jobs for nearly 1,700 of the counties 3,000 residents.

“This honor is also a testament to the vision of Mr. Cook and Chairman of the Board of Cook Group, Inc., Steve Ferguson, who both recognized the impact that this project would have on the community and the thousands of lives who live in the region,” said Harner.

The Pete Dye course was carefully carved into a dramatic site upon a hilltop – one of the highest points in the state – offering panoramic views in all directions that stretch for 30-40 miles. The course features a variety of elevation changes, rugged and dramatic terrain, narrow fairways, and challenging bunkers, along with spectacular views from every hole.

The Dye course has already gained recognition as a leading national tournament site by hosting the 2015 Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, 2014 USGA State Team Championship, 2010 PGA Professional National Championship, 2012 Indiana Open, 2012-2014 Big Ten Men’s Championship, 2014 Big Ten Women’s Championship, 2013-2016 Legends Championship, and the upcoming inaugural Senior LPGA Championship presented by Old National Bank.

About French Lick Resort

French Lick Resort is a $600 million historic restoration and casino development spread dramatically across 3,000 scenic acres. It encompasses both the French Lick Springs Hotel and the West Baden Springs Hotel, which have been fully restored to their original sophistication and luxury, combine for 689 rooms and are located about one mile apart. The casino, built adjacent to the French Lick Springs Hotel, opened in 2006. West Baden Springs, with its spectacular massive dome, opened in 2007 after having not been used for its original luxurious purpose since 1932. Other facilities and amenities at this world-class golf resort destination include two spas with a 36 treatment rooms (they continue to offer the Pluto Mineral Springs bath), over 51,000 square feet of gaming space, 165,000 square feet of meeting space and a variety of dining and entertainment options. Free shuttle buses serve golfers and visitors from around the world. Visit

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