March 29, 2011
FRENCH LICK, Ind. — French Lick Resort, located in southern Indiana, has been awarded the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships in 2012, 2013, and 2014. This marks the first time that both the men and women will compete at the same time and on a neutral site.
The men’s championships will be contested on the award-winning Pete Dye course, and the women’s event will be held on the historic Donald Ross Course. Golfweek Magazine recently ranked the Dye course Indiana’s “Best Courses You Can Play,” and the Ross course No. 2 among the “Best Courses You Can Play” rankings in the state.
Both courses have a history of hosting elite players and golf events. In 2010, the highly acclaimed Dye course hosted the PGA of America’s Professional National Championship, won by Illinois Men’s Golf Coach Mike Small. The Donald Ross course hosted the prestigious LPGA Championship in 1959 and 1960. In addition, the Ross course also hosted the 1924 PGA Championship won by Walter Hagen.
“We are very excited and honored to host one of the top college tournaments in the country and to be hosting these great players from the Big Ten Conference,” said Dave Harner, director of golf at French Lick Resort. “Both courses will provide unique challenges for the players, and the resort is the perfect setting to host such a prestigious tournament for both men and women.”
“The Big Ten coaches are excited to explore a neutral site for our Championship, with the goal of creating more consistency, insuring better competition weather and making the Big Ten Championships a first-class event showcasing our highly ranked golfers in the field,” said Mark Hankins, head men’s golf coach at the University of Iowa. “Personally, I will miss the variety of campus visits as in the past, but French Lick Resort has rolled out the red carpet for our championship and our players will really enjoy the quality of the golf course and facilities.”
The Pete Dye course, which was named America’s Best New Public Course in 2009 by Golf Digest, is regarded as one of the most breathtaking and exciting 18 holes of golf in the country. The course was carefully carved on a dramatic hilltop offering a variety of elevation changes, rugged and dramatic terrain, narrow fairways and challenging bunkers. There are spectacular views from every hole, some that stretch for over 40 miles.
“The Big Ten coaches are excited to explore a neutral site for our Championship, with the goal of creating more consistency, insuring better competition weather and making the Big Ten Championships a first-class event showcasing our highly ranked golfers in the field.”
Head Coach Mark Hankins
The historic Donald Ross course, which was restored to its original early 20th century design in 2006, is a parkland gem meandering up and down the rolling hills a few miles from the main resort. The wonderful routing of the holes take full advantage of the many elevation points for the classic Ross greens which slope dramatically from back to front. It is one of only two public Ross courses in the state of Indiana.
French Lick is the only resort in the world that combines the classic history of Donald Ross and the modern day design of the legendary Pete Dye. This combination is a wonderful opportunity for Big Ten teams to experience two of the best designers who ever shaped beautiful landscapes into golf courses.
Since the inception of the Big Ten Men’s Golf Championships in 1920, 10 different teams have taken home a conference title. Ohio State leads the conference with 23 titles, followed by Michigan and Purdue with 12 each. The Buckeyes are one of seven teams to win a Big Ten Women’s Golf Championships title, claiming 11 since the first event in 1982. Illinois has taken the last two men’s crowns, while Purdue has won the last three women’s events.