In just a few weeks, shortly after the 150th Kentucky Derby and in the middle of the 25th Anniversary of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, the 106th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club, on May 13-19, will be a unique opportunity for golf fans to enjoy a celebratory cocktail combining the best golf in the world with Louisville traditions.

And for those golf enthusiasts from all over the world gathering in Louisville for the second major of the year, there is no better guidance than the advice of local golf aficionados in the horse, hospitality, and bourbon industries.

“Our brand is ‘where the world meets Kentucky’ because everything that we are is a small representation or expression of the world,” said Andy Treinen, who, after 25 years as a sports broadcaster, including the coverage of the 2014 PGA Championship in Valhalla, presides and manages the Frazier History Museum, home of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center.

“The industry has grown immensely, we work with 49 distillers in Kentucky,” added Treinen, a “convenience golfer” who plays casually at the 9-hole Cherokee Golf Club, one of the oldest municipal golf courses in the United States.

This oldest golf course in Louisville is nested in Cherokee Park, designed in 1891 by Frederick Law Olmsted—the same landscaper behind New York City’s Central Park-- with more than 400 acres of paved paths, wooded trails and wide open spaces “great for walking, biking, and enjoying some fresh air” according to Tara Guenthner, accomplished junior and college golfer and now Owner of Hipp Inspired Experiences.

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Guenthner also recommends enjoying the many shops that are local to Louisville such as Pappy & Company, a home goods store with a selection of bourbon-inspired products, and Clayton and Crume, an upscale leather goods company in the historic building where Muhammad Ali began his boxing career. This unique location also features handcrafted cocktails at the surreptitious Stitch, the speakeasy hidden in the store.

The numerous Louisville speakeasies –the clandestine establishments that sold alcohol during prohibition—hold the recipes of the best mixologists and the secrets of Kentucky whiskey founding fathers, like Elijah Craig, a name associated with the invention of bourbon and the brand partnering with the PGA of America as the official whiskey supplier of the PGA Championship, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup.

“For Elijah Craig it is a natural fit. We think about people who are really striving in life and looking for ways to win. We share a lot of the same values: the greatness within the bottle and the greatness within you,” said Susan Wahl, Vice President of American Whiskey for Heaven Hill Brands.

Wahl, born and bred in Kentucky, remembers one of her first experiences tasting 130 bourbons right from the barrel. “The more you taste the more you love it,” added Wahl. Her recommendations for visitors consist of a pairing of bourbon and fine local food at the Evans Williams Bourbon Experience, North of Bourbon, Neat Bourbon Bar, Seven, Jack Fry’s, and Repeal, the oak-fired steakhouse inside Hotel Distil.

“Hotel Distil has my heart, we are sitting in a historic site paying homage to the bourbon culture. We are within walking distance to most of the museums and shopping. You could make a weekend out of its surrounding six blocks,” said Lauren Jenney, Senior Marketing Manager for White Lodging Services, who covered the PGA Tour for a while before moving to Louisville.


In addition to her favorite Valhalla Golf Club, Jenney, who grew up in Florida and played golf in high school and college, recommends the golf at Covered Bridge and Champions Pointe, two of Kentuckiana’s (Kentucky-Indiana) finest public golf experiences, designed by Fuzzy Zoeller.

Her Louisville itinerary begins with a long walk along Whiskey Row –“also known as Museum Row”—with stops at the Muhammad Ali Center, the Kentucky Science Center, and the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory; followed by lemon drops infused with bourbon at The Bar at Port Nelson and the “incredible bar” at Angel’s Envy; and topped with a unique spa experience at Bourbon and Blush.

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Amandalin Ryan, Director of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Experiences, and many adventurous Louisvillians, have a special place in their hearts and tastebuds for the multicultural Nulu neighborhood. Jenney praised the Cuban restaurant La Bodeguita de Mima, and Treinen celebrates the Mediterranean food at Meesh Meesh.

Shopping in Nulu is highly recommended by Katrina Helmer and Katie Fussenegger, Director of Communications and Executive Vice President of the Kentucky Derby Museum, where Derby legends, horses and bourbon come together.

Helmer and Fussenegger also suggest short excursions outside Louisville with “a unique adventure in every stop”: A small Americana journey to Bardstown with breakfast and bites at Hadorn’s Bakery, and bourbon milkshake at Bardstown Bourbon Company; or an immersion to horse country in Lexington, with lunch at Dudley’s On Short, a cocktail at Castle & Key, and dinner at The Manchester Hotel.


The Manchester and The St. Clair, a new boutique short term rental concept in the state capital city of Frankfort, offer distinctive accommodations for the fans coming to the PGA Championship who prefer to establish their base in the heart of horse, bourbon, and bluegrass country.

For more information on golf, accommodations, restaurants, bars, and other attractions in Louisville and Kentucky, you can visit: and

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