The state of Indiana is home to some of the finest golf courses in the midwest, if not the country. The Hoosier state has hundreds of courses to choose from, and those at the top of that list are nationally ranked, have gorgeous layouts, and offer plenty of challenging golf.
Situated perfectly between east and west, Indiana is a great place for your next golf get away. While you’re there, here are five Indiana golf courses you need to play.
Best Private Course: Victoria National Golf Club (Newburgh)
Victoria National Golf Club is perhaps Tom Fazio’s most difficult course. The 418 acre track is built on an old strip mine, and as the story goes, Fazio fitted the fairways into the natural corridors left behind when the mining stopped.
In addition to being a feast for the eyes, the course has tons of water and requires laser like precision on each and every shot. It has been said of Victoria National that if it was windy, the course would be too much to handle.
While the front nine is enough in and of itself, the back nine, especially 14-18, offer one of the toughest finishes in the state.
The meticulously kept fairways are lined with trees, or bunkers, or fescue, or in some cases all three. There are twists and turns on many holes and water everywhere.
Victoria National plays at 7242 yards from the tips and is a par 72. It has a ridiculous 77.7 rating and is one of the most challenging courses in the state.
Golf Digest rated Victoria National the 43rd best course in the nation and it is not hard to see why.
It is a private club, so in order to play this unparalleled venue, you will either need a membership or a friend who has one. If you get the chance you will be glad to have played Victoria National.
Best Public Course: The Pete Dye Course at French Lick (French Lick)
Nestled atop a mountain range not far from the Kentucky border, the Pete Dye Course at French Lick offers some of the most breathtaking views from any golf course in the state. Pete Dye’s mountain top design is an absolute winner at this course and provides an unforgettable round of 18.
The Pete Dye course is super long, measuring over 8100 yards from the championship tees (one of the few courses in the country to be over 8000 yards). The course also features tight, winding fairways and absolutely massive bunkers. With crisp, undulating greens, and plenty of elevation changes, this is a par 72 course you definitely want to play if you can.
The course is open to the public and connected to the French Lick resort. Stay and play packages are often available from the mid $500’s per person. A round of golf at the Pete Dye Course (without staying at the resort) goes for $350 for 18 cart included. At over 8100 yards, you’ll be glad for the cart.
Most Scenic Course: Brickyard Crossing (Indianapolis)
If I was allowed to pick the same course for two categories I would choose the Pete Dye Course for best public track and most scenic, but in the name of variety I wanted to include another course to the list, and Brickyard Crossing is a perfect fit for most scenic course in Indiana. Perhaps it would be better to say it is the most charming course.
Brickyard Crossing is another Pete Dye masterpiece and is unique in that it is located right next to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. What makes the course so charming is the architecture surrounding it, the creeks found on many holes, and the many trees, which, in the fall turn golden red and yellow and offer one of the best golf settings in the state.
As for the course, it has wide, long fairways with plenty of hazards and trees strewn throughout. It has a beach-sized bunker on 10 and greens that require plenty of skill to master. It isn’t all that long (especially compared to the Pete Dye Course), measuring a mere 7100 yards from the gold tees and is a regulation par 72.
The standard rate at Brickyard Crossing is $115 in the summer months and includes a cart equipped with a GPS. But the twilight rate, starting after 4 pm, is more affordable at $70. A great deal for a fantastic course.
Most Challenging Course: Prairie View Golf Club (Carmel)
Surrounded by forest, Prairie View Golf Club is my vote for most challenging course in Indiana. While the Pete Dye Course is longer and could most likely take the honor of most challenging course in the state too, I wanted to share the love and mention this often overlooked venue.
What makes Prairie View challenging is the tall grass that butts up right to the fairway in many places on the course. Add to that several narrow corridors and blind tee shots and you can begin to see why this course can be difficult. A good number of the greens, too, are guarded, either by sand or water, and make your approaches so important.
The course isn’t gaudy nor does it require Herculean strength. Its challenges are subtle and understated. The course measures 7073 yards long from the tips and is a par 72.
While playing the course is a challenge, paying for it isn’t. For a course of this caliber the price is an astoundingly low $49 during the week and a still reasonable $69 on the weekends.
Best Value Golf Course on a Budget: Rock Hollow Golf Course (Peru)
Another premier course in Indiana, and one that can be played on a dime, is Rock Hollow Golf Course. This beautiful track features well-manicured greens and fairways lined with mature trees.
The course also has numerous greens protected by massive bunkers or adjacent to water that definitely comes into play.
It is rare to be able to play a course of this quality for a rate as good as the one at Rock Hollow. Monday-Thursday you can walk the course for only $32.
All of these courses, and many others, showcase just how great golf can be in the Hoosier state. Few places offer the variety of tracks found in Indiana and if you have the time and the budget, your best bet will be to check out a few of them on one trip. Happy golfing.
Have you played any of these courses? Are there others left off the list? Give a shout out to your must play Indiana course in the comment section below.