Kentucky Enjoys Boom in New Courses

By: Jeff Shelley

Unlike most other parts of the U.S., which are in an economy-caused lull right now, the state of Kentucky has enjoyed a relative boom in the opening of new golf courses. The reason? The state’s Department of Parks has put its money and political clout behind golf, seeking to emulate the success stories of “golf trails” in Alabama and, more recently, Mississippi.

Let’s take a look at the new or upgraded golf facilities that have opened this summer in the Bluegrass State.

Burkesville – Dale Hollow Golf Course

Designed by Ault, Clark & Associates, this 7,273-yard course is located within the 3,400-acre Dale Hollow State Park near the Tennessee border. The $7.8-million course is augmented by an 11,000-square-foot, $2.5-million lodge and conference center.

Eddyville – Mineral Mound State Park Golf Course

This 6,930-yard layout was designed by Hurdzan-Fry Golf Course Design, Inc., and built by Wadsworth. The $5-million course opened with a temporary clubhouse; a permanent, $1.3-million structure will be built when the state legislature appropriates the funds. The course occupies a 200-acre peninsula that juts into Lake Barkley. The 541-acre Mineral Mound State Park was developed by Willis Machen, the grandfather of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife.

Falmouth – Kincaid Lake State Park Golf Course

This par-36, 3,285-yard nine-holer was designed by architect, Lester George. It cost $3.7 million to build. The second phase, not yet funded, includes a clubhouse, practice range, parking lot and access roads. That part of the project will soon go before state officials for approval. Future plans include another nine holes.

Grayson – Grayson Lake Golf Course

In July, work finished up on this 18-hole course designed by Ault, Clark & Associates. The $5-million project involves a 7,055-yard track that occupies property stretching from the entrance of Grayson Lake State Park on Route 7 to an area behind the campgrounds. The park lies on the Carter-Elliott county line. A lodge to be built by a private developer is on the drawing board.

Louisa – Yatesville Lake Golf Course

This 6,630-yard, par-71 layout was designed by Arthur Hills & Associates. In January of last year, the multipurpose trails in the state park were closed to allow construction – by Southeastern Golf – of the $6.8-million course. The course is located on the Route 32 side at the state park near Yatesville Lake in Lawrence County. Also planned is a lodge to be built by a private developer.

Pennyrile – Pennyrile Forest State Park Golf Course

On July 19, work finished up on the second nine holes at this erstwhile nine-holer. Designed by Tim Liddy, the $2.5-million project was funded by Kentucky’s Department of Parks, which instituted an increase in green fees to offset the project's cost.