Our day started out exploring the Kentucky Bourbon Trail (nine distilleries) and ended at Bright Leaf Golf Resort. Your guess is as good as mine how the day turned out.
I’m only kidding! We only visited two, Maker’s Mark (Ed’s favorite) in Loretto and Woodford Reserve in Versailles. Since two of us don’t even like bourbon (one being me, the driver) our visits were limited to the tours and learning about the process of making bourbon. Even if you are not a bourbon connoisseur, the tours and the grounds (Kentucky horse country) are worth a visit.
Bright Leaf Golf Resort (I’d consider this a small, low-cost resort) has three courses. We played the 9-hole course today in a temperamental rain storm. We sloshed our way to Hole #1 – not because of our trip to Maker’s Mark but because the rain had soaked the teeing area. This uphill par 4 proved to be the perfect remedy for two of our golf games. I’m sure this also had nothing to do with our trip to Maker’s Mark, but the two of us (Dave and me) that did not sample the bourbon started with pars; the person who did imbibe (Ed) carded a double bogey – just sayin’.
The fairway at Hole #2 had some roll to it today even with the sodden conditions. The green is tucked tightly to the right and guarded by a pond that is expertly concealed from view from the teeing area. Another uphill par 4 at Hole #3? At least it helped to drain the green today. Watch out for trees that dot the fairway and can cause an issue even with a well-placed tee shot. A wide-open fairway greets you at Hole #4 and the green once again is hidden from view (it’s over the hill and to the right).
Hip Waders were needed at Hole #5. I think all the rain water was collecting there and forming a new creek down the right side. The forest to the right and the water fronting the green added to the difficulty of this number one handicap hole. We all splashed our way to bogeys. The only thing you need concern yourself with at the par 3 sixth hole is the pond to carry and the small green with its undulating surface.
Hole #7 has a rollercoaster fairway with water down the right side. Perfect for those of us that fade our tee shots. Somehow we all managed to avoid the water and land safely in the fairway (and record one par). The last two holes are easy and should assist in securing a strong finish. Hole #8 is a straight-forward par 3 and Hole #9 is a dogleg right par 5 that if you clear the corner there is an excellent chance for birdie or better.
It’s raining harder again and Dave and Ed have disappeared – probably picked up and headed for the 19th Hole. I’m the only one stupid enough to be on the course but my ball is resting just off the green in two (as seen in the photo below). I don’t have many chances like this for eagle so I’m not going anywhere. I decided to putt from here – bad move since the ground was saturated. I’m now on the green and putting for birdie; I’m still short of the hole and now putting for par; final result was…soaked to the skin; should have joined my buddies in the bar but got my par!
Ace: Even with the rain, we really liked this course. Because of the weather we did not have a chance to visit the 18-hole course or the 9-hole par 3 layout. If you are seeking a low cost golf destination that has a hotel (we did not stay here); a restaurant (we did eat here); three courses; and a “Bourbon Trail”, look no further.
Paired with the Kentucky Bourbon Trail (all 9 distilleries are located within a 90 minute radius) this would be an excellent stop for a couple of rounds of golf.
1742 Danville Road, Harrodsburg, KY 40330; 800-469-6038; www.brightleafgolfresort.com