Hidden Cove Golf Course at Grayson Lake State Park, Olive Hill, Kentucky Called a ``Hidden Treasure'' Among America's Top Public Golf Courses


Hidden Cove Golf Course is part of the Kentucky State Park System, and is located in Grayson Lake State Park in Olive Hill. The course has been rated one of the best public golf courses in the state, including being ranked #6 in Kentucky by Golf Digest in 2005, and also being called a "Hidden Treasure'' and named the "#4 Best New Affordable Public Course'' in America in 2004 by the same publication.

The layout is spacious and the 18-hole, par-72 course plays to 7,173 yards from the back tees, with a USGA rating of 73.9 and a slope rating of 139. The course was designed by Brian T. Ault and opened for play in 2003.

Course features include rolling Bent grass fairways lined by tall, mature trees, as well as 79 bunkers, including some of the largest white-sand bunkers found anywhere. The course plays around the shores of scenic Grayson Lake and also features two ponds and three streams to add to the view and the challenge. The greens are also Bent grass and range in size from medium to large with moderate undulations.

The course also features several ravines, a number of blind approach shots to the greens, as well as the longest hole found on any of the 19 Kentucky State Park System courses. That would be hole No. 16, which plays to a whopping "Tiger-proof'' 647 yards from the back tees. The hole also features a good many bunkers, some of them massive, to add to the challenge.

Another noteworthy hole is another par-5, the No. 5 hole. This hole plays to a more moderate 545 yards from the back tees and only 497 yards from the Whites. The challenge can be found in a fairway that dips down at its mid-point, forcing golfers to hit uphill approach shots past some very large sand bunkers.

Hole No. 12 is another par-5 that presents most of its challenge off an elevated tee. The hole plays to 538 yards from the back tees, but only 440 yards from the Whites. The key is avoiding any shots to the left, as the fairway slopes toward as even steeper rough filled with trees.

Hole No. 14 is another picturesque and challenging hole. This par-4 plays to a mere 328 yards from the White tees, but it can still cause some difficulties. The hole plays uphill and features bunkers along the way, and, while the green is massive, the slope may make for some long, long putts.

Practice facilities at Hidden Cove include a driving range and short-game practice area. For golfers and visitors who wish to stay on-site, the park offers private accommodations in cottages that offer views of the lake or woods. Each cottage features a screened-in porch or deck, tableware and cooking utensils, with fresh linens provided daily.

In addition to golf, the park offers a number of attractions and activities, including trails for walking and jogging, nature trails, picnicking, boating and fishing.

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