The 10 Best Golf Courses in Kentucky – Rated By Real Players

Kentucky has over 300 golf courses of different character and style to please everyone playing the great game of golf.

The beautiful settings and rolling hills will keep you occupied should your golf not be up to scratch on the day.

Selecting the 10 best golf courses in Kentucky is subjective and many courses within the state could make this list.

This task has been eased with a collaboration with TheGrint, our favorite mobile app that helps golfers track their handicap and stats. They have collected golf course reviews from millions of real golf rounds from real golfers.

Best Golf Courses in Kentucky

Ranking in order 1 to 10

  1. Valhalla Golf Club | Valhalla
  2. Dale Hollow Lake Golf Course | Dale Hollow
  3. Nevel Meade Golf Course
  4. University of Louisville Golf Club
  5. General Burnside Island Golf Course | General Burnside Island
  6. University Club of Kentucky | Big Blue
  7. Heritage Hill Golf Course
  8. Kearney Hill Golf Course
  9. Griffin Gate Golf Resort | Marriott’s Griffin Gate
  10. Gibson Bay Golf Course

1. Valhalla Golf Club | Valhalla

valhalla-golf-club

  • Site Link
  • Location: Louisville, Kentucky
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,892 meters off the Tips and 5,590 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 99.7
Fun Rating: 98.4
Shape Rating: 96.9

5 tee options available

Signature Hole – The 320-meter par 4 13th is the signature hole and features an island green. It doglegs left off the tee and the safe play is an iron off the tee and a short iron approach.

A strong Jack Nicklaus designed course that has hosted a few PGA Championships. The front 9 plays like a flat links-style and the ball rolls out on the fairways.

The back 9 is a more traditional layout with elevation changes to increase the difficulty and has fantastic holes for all to enjoy.

2. Dale Hollow Lake Golf Course | Dale Hollow

dale-hollow-lake-golf-course

  • Site Link
  • Location: Burkesville, Kentucky
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,420 meters off the Tips and 4,594 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 95.4
Fun Rating: 98.3
Shape Rating: 92.6

5 tee options available.

Signature Hole – The 177-meter par 3 15th is the signature hole and plays over a ravine to a rock fronted green.

While very picturesque, select the correct club, as long or short is ball lost.

A very hilly and undulating course that is difficult to walk. It has a mixture of uphill and downhill tee shots and approaches that will test the golfer’s judgment throughout the round.

Plenty of doglegs that challenge the bold player off the tee and combined with accuracy, create opportunities for birdies.

3. Nevel Meade Golf Course

nevel-meade- golf-course

  • Site Link
  • Location: Prospect, Kentucky
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,339 meters off the Tips and 5,109 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 93
Fun Rating: 93.6
Shape Rating: 92.4

3 tee options available.

Signature Hole – The 500-meter par 5 14th is the signature hole and is the one place that poses a threat of losing a ball on the course.

The tee is the highest point on the course and the cliffs and wood on the right side are OB.

The wind can be very challenging.

An open Scottish-Highlands type links, this layout is friendly yet challenging.

Elevation changes, large deep bunkers, and the approach shots to mostly elevated, contoured greens, require precision.

The 6th and the 16th par 4s are unique but fun to play and rival the 14th as the signature hole.

4. University of Louisville Golf Club

university-of-louisville-golf-club

  • Site Link
  • Location: Simpsonville, Kentucky
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,574 meters off the Tips and 5,146 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 92.2
Fun Rating: 94.4
Shape Rating: 90

4 tee options available.

Signature Hole – Not able to establish the signature hole, but depending on the skill-level, the openness will allow the adventurous golfer to attack practically every hole off the tee and create birdie opportunities.

The course has hosted many top amateur tournaments and slight bunker design changes have improved the layout.

The wideness of the fairways encourage attacking golf off the tee and the greens are accessible from many angles.

A few holes bring water into play and the native grass is penal for the really bad shot.

Hit the “big dog” and enjoy the challenge.

5. General Burnside Island Golf Course | General Burnside Island

general-burnside-island-golf-course

  • Site Link
  • Location: Burnside, Kentucky
  • Par: 71
  • Length: 5,845 meters off the Tips and 4,603 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 91.9
Fun Rating: 93.9
Shape Rating: 90

4 tee options available.

Signature Hole – Not often that a par 3 hole has the top index rating of the course, but the 5th hole is an eye-opener.

Playing at 205-meters off the tee requiring a carry over gunch is likely to get every golfer’s attention and my choice as the signature hole.

Located on an island surrounded by Lake Cumberland, this is a spectacular layout and playable by all categories of golfer.

Large boulders form a magnificent background whilst enjoying your round.

It is not easy and a feature is the many sandtraps strategically placed throughout the course.

The par 5s allows for attacking golf, but be aware of the tough rough off the fairways.

6. University Club of Kentucky | Big Blue

university-club-of-kentucky

  • Site Link
  • Location: Lexington, Kentucky
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,410 meters off the Tips and 5,115 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 91.3
Fun Rating: 93.8
Shape Rating: 88.9

4 tee options available.

Signature Hole –  The 164-meter par 3 8th plays downhill to an island green and club selection is the key.

The wind can provide an additional obstacle.

Gentle sloping terrain with trees that add character, but are not always in play on the holes.

The front 9 is parkland-style and has an open feel, whilst the back 9 is dominated by water.

Holes 14, 15, and 16 are a real test coming home and water is the enemy.

These 3 holes are a scorecard wrecker.

7. Heritage Hill Golf Course

heritage-hill-golf-course

  • Site Link
  • Location: Shepherdsville, Kentucky
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,501 meters off the Tips and 4,709 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 90.6
Fun Rating: 94.1
Shape Rating: 87.1

5 tee options available.

Signature Hole –  The 165-meter par 3 11th is the signature hole and plays from an elevated tee that drops 23 meters to the green below.

A creek protects the front and a well-placed bunker sits on the left of the green.

A parkland-type feel set on rolling terrain and the holes meander through open spaces and then some heavily wooded areas.

Salt River comes into play on the front 9 and the back 9 finishes with a very challenging sequence of holes.

8. Kearney Hill Golf Links

kearney-hill-golf

  • Site Link
  • Location: Lexington, Kentucky
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,516 meters off the Tips and 4,906 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 89.2
Fun Rating: 91.8
Shape Rating: 86.7

4 tee options available.

Signature Hole – The 336-meter par 4 16th is the signature hole.

Water protects the left-hand side from tee to green and just short on the right a few trees are strategically placed.

Short but can be a score wrecker.

Water hazards, trees, and elevation changes make this layout a mix of links and parkland holes.

Some of the tough holes have been described as “sadistic” by a few who have fallen prey to the stern test.

The course is fairly open allowing for attacking golf, but the thick rough and mounds around the greens make it difficult to get up and down.

9. Griffin Gate Resort | Marriott’s Griffen Gate

griffin-gate-resort

  • Site Link
  • Location: Lexington, Kentucky
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,201 meters off the Tips and 5,289 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 89.1
Fun Rating: 89.7
Shape Rating: 88.5

3 tee options available.

Signature Hole – The par 5s on this course could all be classified as signature, but the 10th gets my vote.

Playing 432-meters long, water flanks this slight dogleg left from tee to green.

At the green, the water cuts back into the green requiring a precise approach.

Stay right all the way.

Griffin Gate golf course hosts 75 bunkers throughout the layout and the holes require some strategy to avoid these hazards.

The Kentucky Blue Grass rough is always lurking for the stray shot.

Water hazards also feature on the course and it is a fun, yet playable track for all skill levels.

The back 9 moves through the residential development and can become rather narrow if the golfer’s game is not on song.

10. Gibson Bay Golf Course

gibson-bay-golf-course

  • Site Link
  • Location: Richmond, Kentucky
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,502 meters off the Tips and 4,451 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 89
Fun Rating: 90.8
Shape Rating: 87.2

4 tee options available.

Signature Hole – The par 3s are all tough tests mainly with carry over water.

The 12th hole at 229-meters will certainly get the golfers’ attention and making par here is an achievement.

The Gibson Bay course is located alongside Richmond’s Lake Reba Recreational Complex, and the par 72 layout is both fun and challenging.

Wide fairways and minimal trees suit all categories of golfers for a social and enjoyable experience.

Other Courses Outside The Top 10

1. Houston Oaks Golf Course

houston-oaks-golf-course

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 88.5
Fun Rating: 90.4
Shape Rating: 86.5

A redesign and renovations took place in 2016 and have improved the layout.

The course meanders through tall oak trees and the island green 5th is a favorite hole.

2. A.J. Jolly Golf Course

a-j-jolly-golf-course

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 86.8
Fun Rating: 87.4
Shape Rating: 86.3

Water features prominently throughout the course and the rolling fairways wind through trees.

Testing and fun holes will meet most golfers’ expectations.

3. Golf Club of the Bluegrass

golf-club-of-the-bluegrass

  • Site Link
  • Location:  Nicholasville, Kentucky

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 86.3
Fun Rating: 87.8
Shape Rating: 84.8

Terrific views and picturesque holes are features of this track.

The greens are consistent and the course layout is challenging but in a friendly manner.

Final Thoughts

If the magnificent golf courses in Kentucky don’t spark an interest in golfers thinking of venturing to new destinations, then read up more to see what challenges lie in wait within the state.

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