Kentucky

Officially titled the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Bluegrass State is located in the east central area of the United States. Bordered by seven other states, Kentucky’s famous for livestock breeding, horseracing, bourbon distilleries and tobacco production – hell, it’s the state that all good gamblin’, drinkin’ and smokin’ golfers should be heading for, pronto!

The Kentucky Golf Association was formed in 1911 and it looks after the interests of amateur golfers in over 200 member clubs. The association works closely with the Kentucky Section of the PGA which, since 1925, has overseen the activities of hundreds of professionals and apprentices across the Commonwealth.

A pair of Arthur Hills courses – Olde Stone in Alvaton and Champion Trace in Nicholasville – figure prominently in Kentucky state rankings, as do a couple of recently renovated 1920s layouts: Big Spring (reworked by Rees Jones) and Idle Hour (upgraded by Ron Pritchard). Best in state accolade is reserved for Jack Nicklaus’s 1986 design at Valhalla, host to the USPGA Championship in 1996 and 2000 as well as the venue for the 37th Ryder Cup series of matches in 2008, when the USA beat Europe 16½ to 11½.

Our Kentucky Best In State Rankings were last updated in May 2016. Click the link to read the story.

Top 100 Golf Courses - Kentucky

Valhalla

1st Kentucky - Best in Area

Jack did a bit of earth moving on the front nine at Valhalla which is fashioned in a links-style with fairways that pitch and roll through a fairly flat, low-lying and open valley.

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Olde Stone

2nd Kentucky - Best in Area

Opened for members play in 2006, the Club at Olde Stone came from the burgeoning portfolio of veteran architect Arthur Hills.

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Idle Hour

3rd Kentucky - Best in Area

Ron Pritchard recently reworked the old 1925 Donald Ross course at Idle Hour Country Club, restoring bunkers and adding length to the layout.

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Old Silo

4th Kentucky - Best in Area

Unveiled in 2000, the Old Silo golf course was the first that Graham Marsh designed in the United States. Somerset Creek wanders through the layout, affecting play at a couple of holes on both the front and back nine.

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Big Spring

5th Kentucky - Best in Area

Host to the USPGA Championship in 1952, the course at Big Spring Country Club has been altered a number of times down the years, most recently by Rees Jones...

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Keene Trace (Champion Trace)

6th Kentucky - Best in Area

An Arthur Hills design that debuted in 1988, the fairways of the Champion Trace course at Keene Trace Golf Club are routed around a residential development to the south west of Lexington.

Hurstbourne (Championship)

7th Kentucky - Best in Area

Keith Foster upgraded the Championship golf course at Hurstbourne Country Club in 2005, significantly modifying the bunkers during the restoration process.

Persimmon Ridge

8th Kentucky - Best in Area

The 18-hole layout at Persimmon Ridge Golf Club nestles in the gently rolling landscape of Shelby County. Many contend that the heavily contoured greens are the course’s greatest attribute.

Triple Crown

9th Kentucky - Best in Area

Gene Bates laid out the course at Triple Crown Country Club and the high rating of its slope index marks it out as one of the tougher tracks in Greater Cincinnati.

Lassing Pointe

10th Kentucky - Best in Area

Located in Union, the Lassing Pointe golf course is a Michael Hurdzan design that first opened its doors to Bluegrass State golfers in 1993.