General Burnside Island Golf Course is one of the jewels in the crown of Kentucky’s state park golf system, available to visitors of the region’s popular Lake Cumberland. The layout comes from Brian Ault, who completed several other entries in the state’s collection of courses, including Dale Hollow.
Although “island” may sound frightening to golfers, the course is quite playable and comes nowhere near the lake. The only realistic water hazard occurs at No. 16, a par three with a pond set right of the green. The course is also short, both because the landlocked island would only allow so much yardage, but also to emphasize the user-friendly nature of the course.
Scratch players may want to leave the driver at home, as General Burnside plays to a maximum of 6,400 yards. That said, many of the par fours here will be awfully tempting for the big hitter (only one crosses the 400-yard threshold), but none are realistically reachable.
Although water is the main attraction at Lake Cumberland, golfers on General Burnside will also come into contact with a collection of large boulders, which dot the terrain.
General Burnside Island is actually on an island in Cumberland lake, KY. It is not a long course and is a par 71.
The first hole is a welcoming par 5. Slight dogleg right, probably not reachable. The next three holes are good birdie oppties. The 2nd leans left with a fairway right and another greenside. The third, is a gimme par three. The 4th is a tight, short, reachable par 5. The fifth is the number one handicap hole, a 222 yard par 3 over gunch with a bunker in front of the green. The 6th is the 3rd par 5 on the front. It is also pretty straight and big hitters can get home in two. Favor the right side off the tee. The 7th is similar to the 2nd. The hole lists left with a fairway bunker on the right. In this case the greenside bunker is left. The 8th is another long par 3, 214 yards with greenside bunkers left and right. This is the number 3 handicap hole. I cannot recall another course with two par 3s rated as the first and third most difficult holes. The front ends with another dogleg left. Favor the right off the tee, big hitters can hit it through the fairway.
The back starts with 3 birdie holes. The 10th is a short par four. The drive is over water, but it really only comes into play for really bad golf shots. Favor the left as the fairway bunker right sneaks up you. The green is well protected, but you should be hitting a greenlight wedge. The 11th is a little bit longer, straight with less problems. Time to go pin seeking. The 12th is a wee bit longer, fairway bunker left as well as two greenside bunkers front left and right. The 13th is the second toughest hole. At 401 yards, believe it or not, it is the longest par 4 on the course. Off the tee a high draw is preferable. This will set up a long to mid-iron to a green with a bunker front and right. The 14th is a forgettable par 3. The 15th is a mid-length straightaway par four with greenside bunkers front right and left. Not sure why it is rated the 4th toughest hole on the course. The 16th is a goo mid-length par three, especially of the pin is tucked right, as this brings the water hazard into play. The 17th is a dogleg right. Right is best off the tee as there is a fairway bunker left. The closing hole is the only par 5 on the back, a dogleg right. To get home in two you will need to cut the corner, which is fine as most of the trouble is left.
Not a lot of golf options in the area and a good value.