A Guide To The Top 10 Kentucky Golf Courses

Although the state is famed for horse races, it is also home to 300 golf courses. It required many hours of analysis and reviews to find the top 10 Kentucky golf courses, but here they are.

Kentucky is home to some of the best golf courses in the US, both public and private. It offers a diverse experience, which is why this guide includes a mix of championship, inland links, and parkland courses. I will also touch on the green fees and the layout of each option.

To help us identify the top layouts in the state, we have called upon our friends at The Grint. They have collected an array of feedback and data from amateurs sharing their golf course experiences.

Best Kentucky Golf Courses

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.
  • Tees: 5 options
  • Green Fees: Undisclosed
  • Days Open: Tuesday to Sunday

PLAYER RATING

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

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.
  • Tees: 5 options
  • Green Fees: $25
  • Days Open: Everyday

PLAYER RATING

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

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 or you will probably lose your ball.  

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.
  • Tees: 3 Options
  • Green Fees: $36 (Monday to Thursday), $46 (Friday to Sunday and holidays.)
  • Days Open: Everyday

PLAYER RATING

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

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.
  • Tees: 4
  • Green Fees: Undisclosed
  • Days Open: Tuesday to Sunday

PLAYER RATING

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

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 wide fairways encourage attacking golf off the tee, and the greens are accessible from many angles. Water comes into play on a few holes, and the native grass is notorious for producing bad shots.

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.
  • Tees: 4 Options
  • Green Fees: $42.24 (Weekdays), $52.54 (Weekends)
  • Days Open: Everyday

PLAYER RATING

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

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 golfing abilities. Large boulders form a magnificent background during your round.

It is not an easy day out due to the number of 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.
  • Tees: 4 Options
  • Green Fees: $48 (Weekdays), $60 (Weekends)
  • Days Open: Everyday

PLAYER RATING

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

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

The wind provides an additional obstacle, while gentle sloping terrain and trees add character. However, they do not feature on every hole.

The front 9 is parkland-style and has an open feel, while 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 alone can wreck your round.

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.
  • Tees: 5 Options
  • Green Fees including a cart: $57.52 (Weekdays), $66.37 (Weekends)
  • Days Open: Everyday

PLAYER RATING

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

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 edge, and a well-placed bunker sits on the left of the green.

A parkland-type feel set on a 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.
  • Tees: 4 Options
  • Green Fees: $29 (Weekdays), $35 (Weekends)
  • Days Open: Everyday

PLAYER RATING

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

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

Water protects the left-hand side from tee to green, while trees hug the right side of the hole. There is no room to leave it short here.

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

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

The course is relatively open, enabling 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.
  • Tees: 3 Options
  • Green Fees: $49 (Weekdays), $59 (Weekends)
  • Days Open: Everyday

PLAYER RATING

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

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. 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 becomes narrow, requiring pinpoint accuracy.

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.
  • Tees: 4 Options
  • Green Fees: $18.87 (Weekdays), $28.30 (Weekends)
  • Days Open: Everyday

PLAYER RATING

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

Signature Hole – The par 3s are tough tests, mainly carrying over the water.

Gibson Bay is among the best public golf courses in Kentucky. The 12th hole at 229-meters will capture your attention because making par here is an achievement.

The 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 Notable Top Golf Courses In Kentucky

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.

FAQs On Golf In Kentucky

Is Kentucky Good For Golf?

With 300 courses to choose from, Kentucky is absolutely a good state for golf. It has as many courses as Thailand, Italy, and Argentina, according to this Royal and Ancient report.

Not only does Kentucky boast a diverse range of golf courses, but they have also produced several star players. This list includes Justin Thomas, J.B Holmes, and Kenny Perry, who has a course named after him outside Franklin.

How Many Public Golf Courses Are In Kentucky?

Unconfirmed reports suggest that there are 130 public courses in the Bluegrass State.

How Many Acres In A Golf Course?

According to the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the average acreage of a golf course is 150-yards. However, it depends on the layout of the course. If you are interested in a detailed guide, read our article on how many acres in a golf course.

Final Thoughts

There you have our picks for the top 10 best Kentucky golf courses. Although Valhalla topped our list, it is difficult to secure a tee time. Unless you are playing with a member or know someone with the correct contacts.

However, if you aren’t rolling with who is who of golf. You can settle for an affordable yet challenging round at Dale Hollow or Nevel Meade.

If the bluegrass of Kentucky doesn’t appeal to you, consider the option of heading to Arizona to play a desert golf course.

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