Taggert also recognized the potential to drawmore
clients to his hotel by constructing a golf course.
The Valley Course, designed by Tom Bendelow,
opened for play in 1907. Golf became so popular
at the resort that the most famous designer of the
time, Donald Ross was commissioned to build a
second course, the Hill Course. It opened for play
in 1917 and hosted the 1924 PGAChampionship,
won byWalter Hagen.
Over the years both the French Lick Springs
Hotel and the West Baden Springs Hotel fell
upon hard times. All of that changed in 2005,
however, when the Cook Group, a medical
device manufacturing company headquartered
in Bloomington, Indiana purchased both
properties and began the huge task of restoring
them to their former greatness.
Over $550 million was injected into renovating
and reviving both properties. The resort has
provided needed jobs and benefited to the
overall economy of Southern Indiana.
The West Baden Springs Hotel was restored to its
original grandeur, plus a casino was added to the
French Lick Springs Hotel. Both properties are now
included in the French Lick Resort, which also
includes spas at both hotels, along withThe DonaldRoss Course
and a newPete Dye Golf Course.
The original Hill Course underwent a $5
million renovation in 2007 and reopened as
the Donald Ross Course at French Lick. It has
received rave reviews and was restored to the
original design Ross envisioned, when he built
In 2009, Indiana’s own, Pete Dye was
commissioned to build a golf course of major-
championship caliber on the second highest
peak in Indiana, above the West Baden
Springs Hotel. Dye at first scoffed at the idea
of building a course on the site, but soon came
around and scratched out the original routing
on a napkin, which is framed and hangs in the
pro shop today.
This is a video of Pete Dye talking about the
design of the Dye Course at French Lick:
NWO Golf Links