Offering challenging golf, a whole host of great amenities, and stunning natural surrounds, Keene Trace Golf Club is an excellent example of a modern country club in the heart of Kentucky.
Located on the southern end of Lexington, the club’s Champion Trace golf course was designed by the late Arthur Hills in 1987, making it one of the youngest courses currently used for PGA competition. A second course, Keene Run, was added to the club in 2007, with a number of distinguishing features including bucolic agricultural surrounds, wide fairways, and ample use of quality Bentgrass.
The club is also the home of the Barbasol Championship, a fresh and exciting stroke play tournament held every year in July. Its inception marked the first annual PGA Tour event in Kentucky since the Kentucky Derby Open, which was retired in 1959. The Barbasol was won most recently by Séamus Power, who won in a sudden death playoff against JT Poston.
The club’s main course, Champion Trace, presents a fluid arrangement that rolls and undulates through a stretch of land that was previously used as a horse farm, with a sequence of holes that are challenging, but not too taxing on a golfers’ aptitude for strategy. The fourth hole is a particular highlight, with a sloped, shallow green sitting alongside a water hazard, bunkers to the left and right of the fairway, and dense patches of rough. The ninth, known as ‘The Brink’ by members, also presents a memorable challenge. The tee shot goes directly across water, which makes it exceedingly tough when playing in windy conditions.
The second course, Keene Run, winds through another stretch of beautiful landscape. It’s characterized by its ample use of Bent grass on its fairways and greens, and forgiving holes that accommodate for all levels of play. The course’s par 3 fourth hole, known as the Biarritz, is known as a highlight of the course. Shorter than most, this hole is distinguished by its long green flanked by narrow bunkers, and a deep swale.
Keene Trace Golf Club Amenities
Aside from its excellent golf, Keene Trace Golf Club also has some great fitness facilities on the club grounds. There are two hard tennis courts for members to use year-around, with a small basketball hoop area nearby, perfect for keeping an eye on the kids. There’s also a heated swimming pool conveniently close to the Keene Run course, with a spacious pool deck and hot tub, and a separate baby pool.
These spaces, along with the club’s single restaurant, are served by the culinary staff at the club’s own Keene Run Bar & Grill, and the Champion Trace Grill, both of which offer a broad selection of casual bites, where everyone will find something to love. The club even has a small cluster of its own ponds where members and their family can enjoy coarse fishing.
Adjacent to the pool area, the club also has a state-of-the-art fitness center which overlooks the 9th hole green. With a great selection of cardio equipment, machines, and free weights, this gym is great for any members looking to take a step back from the golf course and work towards personal fitness goals. The center also hosts the Core fitness group, a community with a rich calendar of classes, such as yoga, cycle, HIIT, and strength training.
Keene Trace Golf Club Membership Costs
As a private country club, Keene Trace doesn’t publish exact rates for membership, and unfortunately there’s very little in the way of verifiable online sources that lay out the cost of membership. However, as a fairly inclusive Kentucky club near a relatively small city like Lexington, it’s safe to assume that their initiation fee is somewhere around $20,000, with monthly dues ranging from $500 – $1,500.
Keene Trace Golf Club Visitor’s Guide and Dress Code
Guests at Keene Trace Golf Club fall into two categories; “Sponsored Guests”, a guest of a full member who doesn’t come accompanied by that member, and “accompanied guests”, who are to be accompanied by a full member when on the club premises. Both types of guest are permitted to use all the same facilities as a full member when visiting, but are limited to playing 4 rounds of golf per calendar year.
The dress code the club maintains is typical of most golf and country clubs. Any kind of denim is prohibited, and men are asked to wear collared shirts, tucked in, when using the golf course. Shorts are permitted, but must not be worn either past the knee, or four inches above the knee. Other casual articles of clothing, such as sweatpants, cargo shorts, athletic shorts, and tee shirts, are also not permitted.
Cell phones, while permitted in the club, are required to be kept on silent or vibrate. All members and guests are asked to refrain from taking phone calls unless in an emergency.