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Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort Named 2017 Course of the Year

CHARLESTON, SC (February 9, 2017) – The National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) has named the Pete Dye Course at French Lick in French Lick, Ind., winner of its 2017 National Golf Course of the Year Award. The announcement was made today at the association’s 2017 Golf Business Conference, held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show, in Orlando, Fla.

Criteria for the award include: Quality of golf course, quality of ownership and management, outstanding contributions to the local community and significant contributions to the game of golf.

The Pete Dye Course at French Lick was nominated from the NGCOA Midwest Region. Other finalists for the 2017 national award included Northeast Region winner Canoe Brook Country Club (Summit, N.J.); South Region winner Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Club and Sports Complex (Clearwater, Fla.); and West Region winner Poppy Hills Golf Course (Pebble Beach, Calif.).

The Pete Dye Course at French Lick was born on a cold winter’s day in 2005, when Director of Golf Operations Dave Harner settled for lunch with famed golf course designer Pete Dye.

On a napkin that he pulled off the table, Dye etched the early makings of what would soon be one of America’s premier golf facilities and a destination spot for any of the game’s most passionate aficionados. Playing connect-the-dots with the resort’s 36 highest points, Dye crafted what is today one of Indiana’s showcase venues, all while laying the foundation for a resurgent community.

Since its opening in 2009, the Pete Dye Course at French Lick has earned countless state and national awards for both its challenging layout and dramatic views. The course, which overlooks the beautiful Hoosier National Forest, has served as a championship venue for the LPGA, Senior PGA, USGA and Big 10, with more high-quality golf soon to follow.

But the Pete Dye Course features much more than merely impressive golf. Since taking over the resort in 2005, the Cook Group—led by board chairman Steve Ferguson—has helped revitalize the French Lick and West Baden Springs communities. Annual rounds have spurred a projected $2.5 million economic impact on the area, and more than $500,000 has been donated to the Riley Children’s Foundation through The Legends Championship that takes place on the course.

All of Harner’s assistants and staff are hired from the surrounding area, and every year, its caddies have the opportunity to receive full scholarships through the Evans Scholar program. The resort’s tight-knit community has come out in full force to rally around these charitable efforts, as showcased by the 1,500 local volunteers that turned out for the 2015 Senior PGA Championship, in a town of only 2,200 people.

The Pete Dye Course at French Lick has become a model of accomplishment for any facility to emulate. And it all started innocuously enough a little more than a decade ago, on that ink-stained napkin.

The Golf Business Conference, hosted by the NGCOA, is the golf industry’s largest gathering of owners and operators of daily fee, private, resort and municipal courses. The conference includes educational and networking opportunities, as well as guest speakers. The 2017 event was held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show at the Orange County Convention Center. Presented by the NGCOA and Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), the Golf Industry Show highlights golf’s latest products and services throughout an expansive exhibit area, and offers a wide range of educational opportunities.

About the NGCOA

The National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) is the leading authority on the business of golf course ownership and management. The Association represents key decision-makers with ultimate responsibility for golf courses throughout the world. Through advocacy, information resources, purchasing programs and networking opportunities, the NGCOA helps golf course owners and operators run more successful businesses. For more information, visit www.ngcoa.org or call 1-800-933-4262.


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