This is one of a series of tailgating guides for Big East football schools written by Syracuse fan and tailgate aficionado TexanMark. If you have any feedback or additional information you think belongs in this guide, please drop an email message to Mark by clicking here.
First Things First: GETTING THERE
It looks like a fun place to visit with Churchill Downs horse racing (live racing in November), a Six Flags amusement park, the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center (KFEC) and an entertainment district nearby (4th Street Live). Of course, you can also take tours of many local distilleries. Baseball fans might want to check out the Louisville Slugger Museum.
Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day
The stadium is located a short walk south of the main
campus. The main campus (Belknap) can be
viewed via interactive link. Another nice link for an overview of a lot of info
important to visitors. The proximity of these places and downtown
Click on the video of proposed "Louisville Sports Corridor"
for an overview of where
Driving to the stadium is fairly easy. It is located just west of I-65 a few miles south of downtown.
Papa John's Cardinal Stadium
Like most stadiums the closest in spots are reserved for
season pass holders and "high rollers". The stadium’s official
website says: "On most game
days, one of the best options is to park at the Kentucky Fair and
avoid jaywalking across
If you want to park on the main Belknap Campus you can walk to the stadium.
And CardinalEmpire.com has some good info on parking and seating.
One last place you can try is the Holy Name Catholic Church for tailgating. They apparently let you park and tailgate. It might be worth checking out if you want to avoid a lot of the traffic around the stadium.
If you want to stay downtown, there are several downtown hotels to consider:
Hyatt Regency Louisville/320 W. Jefferson Street/Ph # 502-587-3434
Brown Hotel/335 W. Broadway/1-888-888-5252
The Brown Hotel
House Hotel & Suites/4th Street at the River/Ph #
502-589-5200/Next door to the
Marriott Hotel Downtown/280
Marriott Hotel Downtown
Seelbach Hilton/500 S. 4th Street/ Ph # 502-585-3200
Remember the Airport is extremely
Best Western Ashton Inn Suites 653 Phillips Lane Ph # 502-375-2223
Country Inn and Suites Airport/Kentucky Fair & Expo Center Freedom Hall/2850 Crittenden Drive Ph # 502-753-5555
Courtyard by Marriott Airport/819 Phillips Lane Ph # 502--368-5678
Executive Inn Hotel/978 Phillips Lane Ph # 502-367-6161 Right across the street from KFEC & Freedom Hall.
Executive West Hotel/830 Phillips Lane Ph # 502-367-2251 Right across the street from KFEC & Freedom Hall.
Hilton Garden Inn/1530 Crittenden Drive Ph # 502-637-2424 Shopping:
There are several major malls in Louisville; most of them are located out in the suburbs. However, the Stadium Antique and Decorator's Mall is right near Papa John and might keep your non football watching spouse happy for several hours. A more traditional Mall (Jefferson Mall) is about five miles southeast of the stadium.
Stadium Antique and Decorator's Mall
If you want the local college scene check out: Granville Inn/1601 S. 3rd Street It is just off campus and the oldest after game U of L Hangout. The most well known sports bar and restaurant in Louisville is the Cardinal Hall of Fame Cafe. It is located about ¼ mile east of Papa John next to the Fairgrounds. Be sure to click on the link for the video at the official web site. Another close by restaurant is the Cracker Barrel located just north of the Cardinal HOF Cafe.And Mike Linnig's
The closest sports bar to Papa John is Tailgaters (located across the street): they have a great menu of food most fans love to eat on football weekends.
The best website for finding a place to eat is here: You should look in the Downtown and Airport/South sections for places closest to Papa John.
Downtown areas are best near 4th Street.
Three come recommended for originality: Makers Mark Bourbon House + Lounge , Red Star Tavern and Vincenzo's/150 S. 5th Street/Ph # 502-580-1350/Reservation Required. Of course, there are others like Hard Rock and TGIF.
|Red Star Tavern||Vincenzo's|
Another great area to check out if you have access to a vehicle: the 900 block of Baxter
Suggestions in the 900 block:
Wicks Pizza Parlor & Pub (Baxter) - decent bar - great pizza
O’Shea’s (Baxter) – Irish Pub
Molly Malone’s (Baxter) -Irish Pub pricier- nice outdoor area
Wet Willy (Baxter)
nearly 100 beers on draft and a 6 foot long monitor lizard living underneath a
reinforced glass floor.
Flannigan's Gourmet Pizza + Ale house (Baxter) - smaller place - very very popular - great food and big beer selection
Things to Do:
Wild Turkey Distillery
The Louisville Chamber of Commerce has a nice guide to give you more suggestions in Louisville.
Belle of Louisville Steamboat
Louisville Fan and Native Chris Lindy's Suggested Courses:
City of Louisville:
Right in the heart of Louisville, your best courses are
Seneca, Charlie Vettiner, Indian Springs, and Quail Chase.
Seneca is an old track that is very challenging. It's a municipal course owned by the city and once held PGA tournaments. Hole #1 is considered by many to be one of the toughest in the area. It certainly makes for a unique start to your round of golf. This is also the most-played course in Louisville, so get your tee times early.
Vettiner (see Seneca link) is another muni, more challenging due to the fact that there are some wild holes on the course and a LOT of elevation changes but lacking in the history department. The tee shot on #9 (??) is probably the toughest in the city. OB on the right and junk on the left. Trees line both side of a very narrow fairway for what is an uphill tee shot. Hole #10 may actually be tougher than 9.
Indian Springs is probably a controversial choice and one that other Louisville golfers would disagree with me about. It and Quail Chase are neither one city owned, but people complain about the residential developments overhanging the golf course at Indian Springs. I agree that the houses impede if you are wild off the tee, but really they are nothing more than a bad backdrop for an otherwise GREAT golf course. The par 3's there are among the best collection of any Louisville public (#6 & #11 are the best) and there is plenty to challenge you throughout the round.
Indian Springs Golf Club
is also a public course in town, but not connected with the city parks. There
are 3 9-hole courses at the facility, which is well-kept if nothing else. I am
not personally a big fan of the place because it is much more expensive than
Seneca or Vettiner and really doesn't offer anything those courses can't. The
par-5 8th hole (East course) is a tricky one, where a lake guards the right side
for the last half of the hole.
Greater Louisville Metro Area:
Outside of Louisville, I think there are more options and
ones that honestly are better if you'd like to avoid the muni scene and get a
little more for those extra dollars you will drop on non-city owned courses. Old
Capital (Corydon, IN), Covered Bridge (Sellersburg, IN), Chariot Run (Laconia,
IN), Nevel Meade (Prospect, KY), My Old Kentucky Home (Bardstown, KY), and
Weissinger Hills (Shelbyville, KY) are all very good to great tracks with a
variety of challenges to them.
Old Capital is a former private club in Corydon, right at 30-45 minutes from downtown Louisville in Corydon, IN. IMO the best-kept secret among Kentuckiana courses, this club was opened to the public and has been going through massive changes in the past 2-3 years. The finishing hole, a short par 4, is uphill most of the way with a green fronted by a man-made waterfall. Very neat way to come in from your round. Water comes into play a lot here and conditions are usually fantastic.
Old Capitol Golf Course
Covered Bridge is arguably the most well-known public course in the area, designed by US Open and Masters winner Fuzzy Zoeller. The unique aspect to this course is a shared green for 9 & 18, giving the course a bit of British feel to it. When the wind blows there, it certainly convinces you you're not in the states anymore. A lot of nice holes, but nothing that just overwhelms you in its beauty.
If you're a gambler, Chariot Run may be the place for you to get in your 18 holes.
It pushes the 45 minutes a little bit in that the course, owned by Caesars
Indiana, is WAY past the casino itself. This is another course that I was not a
huge fan of when I played it, but mostly because the greens were too hard and
didn't receive shots well. It's a great layout, though, and would perhaps be
right up there on my list with another chance at better conditions.
Nevel Meade is another course that I would rank in my personal Top 3, right behind Old Capital and maybe Covered Bridge, Chariot Run, or My Old KY Home. This is a links-style layout with awesome views and many elevation changes throughout the round. Hole #6 is a great little hole, with a small waterfall guardig the left side of the fairway and green. You could probably drive it if you're a big hitter, but you risk playing pinball on the rocky falls if you miss left.
Kentucky Home is the best local state parks course, also about a 45-minute
drive from Louisville, but actually not even in the Top 5 of all state parks
courses. The other great thing about Kentucky golf is what the state does with
its parks. Trying to encourage people to get away from the big cities and put
money into the smaller KY communities, the government has built and remodeled
several parks courses into championship-quality layouts. My Old KY Home is not
one of the Signature Series (the REALLY nice ones), but it's still a fun course
that is well-kept and reasonably priced. Hole #16 might be the most difficult
par 3 in the entire area.
Finally, Weissinger Hills in Shelbyville. This is another course that not many people know about since it is away from the city and not high on the day trip list for most people. Situated on an old horse farm, the course winds through several patches of trees, old fields, and a bit of water during the round. There isn't anything particularly spectacular about the course, but 10 might impress you and the conditions are good.
For more information, you can always click the links for the courses that have websites or check out Golf Kentucky Links for their reviews. This is a nice site devoted to looking at ALL the KY courses as well as some of the more recognizable tracks just across the river.
Editor's Note: We thank Chris for his insights regarding golf in the Louisville area. Please note that he has an excellent web site devoted to University of Louisville athletics called Cardinal Empire. Please check it out.
I hope this helps. I'd like
The opinions expressed in this guide are those of TexanMark. While every effort has been made to ensure all the information presented is accurate and current, it would be wise to verify things when possible. Please note that this guide is not endorsed by Scout.com, its site publishers, administrators and/or moderators.