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Getting To Know: Griffin Gate Golf Club

An Insightful Interview With Brett Stark, Senior Director, Marketing & eCommerce

By Brian Weis

Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Brett Stark who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.

Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Enveloped by the rolling hills of beautiful Bluegrass Country, Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa is a true urban oasis. Offering a secluded atmosphere yet convenient to area attractions, our hotel is ideal for travelers who value privacy and accessibility.

Nearby points of interest include Kentucky Horse Park, Keeneland Race Track and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a collection of distilleries offering facility tours and tasting events. Guest rooms feature stunning contemporary decor and high-tech amenities like LCD TVs and high-speed Internet access. Indulge in flavorful seafood, mouthwatering filets and decadent desserts at JW's Steakhouse, our famous restaurant, or enjoy appetizers and cocktails in JW's Lounge.

Our hotel is also home to indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center, 18-hole renovated golf course, full-service spa and 28,000 square feet of event space. Discover luxury, elegance and superior service at Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa.

If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
Griffin Gate Golf Course is consistently voted the top golf course in the Lexington area. In 2015, the golf course reopened after a $1 million bunker renovation project, under the direction of Rees Jones, who designed the original layout in 1981. In a nutshell, the renovation project reduced/repositioned bunkers, repaired drainage issues and created new collection areas. Despite reducing the square footage of bunkers by nearly 40%, the slope and rating went up for the course. Primarily because the collection areas posed new challenges for golfers.

What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
I strongly recommend downloading our mobile app for hole by hole GPS. The mobile app is available for Apple and Android users.

Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
We are proud of the efforts by our team to the commitment to help protect the environment. Griffin Gate has been a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary since 2008. Audubon Certification is golf's environmental gold standard. A few programs that make our property unique are the bluebird houses and butterfly garden. We have strategically positioned 25 houses around the grounds to encourage bluebirds to reestablish their species in the region. We also developed a native flower garden to encourage butterflies. As for tournaments, from 1983-1989, Griffin Gate Golf Club hosted The Bank One Senior Classic. (PGA Champions Tour).

What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
Hole #3 is our signature and most photographed hole because the green is framed in perfectly with water features in front and back dropped with the hotel resort in back.

Big hitters tend to lick their chops while standing on the tee. While the hole is not overly long (measuring 491 yards from the back gold tees and 475 yards from the blues) it is not a guaranteed birdie. Big hitters can get home in two but they will need to challenge the dog leg and fly a large bunker protecting the left corner. The green slopes toward the front water and can hold a long iron or fairway wood if you choose to gamble. Shorter hitters should aim for the fairway they can see from the tee. Then layup to avoid the creek in front and large pond on the right and left. This is a great hole because it can yield eagles or eights.

What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
My favorite hole is hole 18. From the tee, the fairway elevates with bunkers on both sides of the fairway framing the tee shot. It is a great finishing hole because if you stripe a drive between the bunkers you are setup for a birdie opportunity. Pay close attention to where the pin is and attack that side of the large green.

Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
Our 19th hole is casual golf course fair. You cannot go wrong with hamburger or a 1/4 pound dog with all the fixings.

If you are looking for a fine dining experience, I strongly recommend visiting JW's Steakhouse inside the resort. The best way to finish your round is with a bourbon on the rocks made with Marriott Maker's Mark Private Select bourbon. Marriott's Private Select bourbon is the hottest libation in town.

If you are staying for dinner, I highly recommend the Barbecue Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, one of our USDA Prime steaks and our award winning Kentucky Butter Cake.

Back Tee Stats
Par: 72
Yardage: 6784
Slope: 138
Rating: 73.1

More Information
Griffin Gate Golf Club
1720 Newtown Pike
Lexington, KY, 40511

Revised: 05/15/2016 - Article Viewed 34,499 Times - View Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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