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Courses

Best golf courses near Lexington, KY

Below, you’ll find a list of courses near Lexington, KY. There are 23 courses within a 15-mile radius of Lexington, 16 of which are public courses and 7 are private courses. There are 21 18-hole courses and 2 nine-hole layouts.

The above has been curated through Golf Digest’s Places to Play course database, where we have collected star ratings and reviews from our 1,900 course-ranking panelists. Join our community by signing up for Golf Digest+ and rate the courses you’ve visited recently.

Idle Hour Country Club
Private
Idle Hour Country Club
Lexington, KY
4.4
17 Panelists
Perhaps the most exclusive club in Kentucky has found its way onto our ranking of Kentucky’s Best Golf Courses for the first time—thanks to finally obtaining enough ballots to be considered. For those fortunate to receive an invitation, you’ll encounter a Donald Ross gem built in the 1920s—with undulating and typically elevated greens that usually run as some of the fastest in the state. Architect Ron Prichard performed a renovation in recent years to restore a number of bunkers, and over time the routing has been flipped—so the closing stretch on the front nine provide some of the course’s most challenging holes. Walking is encouraged at Idle Hour, with subtle land movement in the fairways, water and well-placed bunkers presenting a stout driving test.
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Kearney Hill Golf Links
Public
Kearney Hill Golf Links
Lexington, KY
3.8
25 Panelists
The father-son duo of Pete and PB Dye designed Kearney Hill Golf Links, which plays true to its name as a Scottish links-style course. South African (and future Players champion) Tim Clark won the 1997 U.S. Amateur Public Links at Kearney Hill. Ten years later in 2007, future U.S. Solheim Cup team member Mina Harigae took home the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links title at this Lexington muny. With weekday rates under $30, it’s an affordable way to play a Dye-designed championship course.
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Lexington Country Club
Private
Lexington Country Club
Lexington, KY
3.6
16 Panelists
This classic 1901 Tom Bendelow design recently underwent a full renovation project by Kentucky resident Kevin Hargrave, who has worked for designer Keith Foster. Hargrave completed a full bunker renovation, expanded fairway width and reclaimed green sizes. Irrigation work will continue into the winter on this old-school, parkland course widely regarded as one of Kentucky's great gems.
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Keene Trace Golf Club: Champion Trace
Private
Keene Trace Golf Club: Champion Trace
Nicholasville, KY
3.9
28 Panelists
The Champion Trace course at Keene Trace has ranked inside the top five in Kentucky in most of our rankings since the Arthur Hills course opened in the late 1980s. Routed on the rolling hills you'd expect on the site of a former horse farm, Champion Trace hosted the 1993 NCAA Championship and the 1994 U.S. Senior Amateur—and after new ownership took over the property in 2015, the course underwent some significant improvements ahead of hosting the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship for the first time in 2018.
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University Club of Kentucky: Big Blue
Big Blue is one of two public courses at the University Club of Kentucky, about 10 miles from campus. The eighth hole is an island green reminiscent of Pete Dye’s original at TPC Sawgrass, though Big Blue’s lacks a bunker and plays to small, exposed green, making it one of the most intimidating shots on the course. Weekday rates are around $50 and weekends just $60, making the course a great option for fans in town for a Kentucky game.
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Griffin Gate Golf Club
Public
Griffin Gate Golf Club
Lexington, KY
For a great stay-and-play option right in Lexington, the Marriott Griffin Gate Golf Resort and Spa is a great hub to set up your trip. The resort recently completed a $30-million renovation, and a few years ago Rees Jones returned to oversee a major bunker renovation project. The course has hosted a senior tour event in the past when Arnold Palmer competed here. Though a round here is probably among the most expensive in the state, the convenience of being right next to downtown is tough to beat.
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Houston Oaks Golf Course
Public
Houston Oaks Golf Course
Paris, KY
This is a favorite among our Golf Digest panelists, who say Houston Oaks is perhaps the best public option in the state, when considering the value (tee times are $60 with a cart on the weekend), the always-solid conditioning and the beautiful scenery. Built on an old horse farm in beautiful Paris, Ky., Houston Oaks was designed by a lesser-known architect, Jack Ridge, but you should put it on your radar.
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