TravelJune 3, 2015

Deal of the Week: Tee it up in Larry Bird's neck of the woods

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The town of French Lick, Indiana never got more attention than it did when native son Larry Bird was in his prime.

The "Hick from French Lick" retired from the Boston Celtics in 1992, and now has a lower-profile role as the Indiana Pacers team president, working 100 miles north in Indianapolis.

That leaves plenty of room in the spotlight for the French Lick Resort, a 3,000-acre Southern Indiana destination with two historic hotels, three golf courses and a 50,000-sqft casino. The French Lick Springs Hotel and West Baden Springs Hotel were each built in 1901, when the French Lick area was a therapeutic destination for its sulphur springs.

The property added a Donald Ross-designed course in 1917, and Walter Hagen won the PGA Championship there in 1924. Pete Dye was commissioned to build a brawnier sibling, and the eponymous Pete Dye Course at French Lick opened in 2009. The PGA returned for its Senior PGA Championship there last month, when Colin Montgomerie successfully defended his title.

With the resort's Hall of Fame package, you can experience unlimited daily play on all 8,100 yards (!) of the Dye Course and the restored splendor of the Ross Course for about $569 per night per person, based on double occupancy.

If you aren't too tired, there's plenty of other things to explore around the resort's twin hotels. The Power Plant Bar & Grill in the French Lick Springs Hotel features the gigantic switchboard which once served as the electrical nerve center of the building. The casino has a complete offering of table games (blackjack, craps, mini-baccarat) and slots, and 10,000 square feet of non-smoking gambling space.

And if you just can't get Larry Legend out of your head, head to downtown French Lick and eat lunch at 33 Brick Street, where a collection of his jerseys and championship rings are on display.

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