Best golf courses near Indianapolis, Indiana

September 6, 2012

Only 70 players remain as the FedEx Cup ventures to Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind., where John Daly shocked the golf world by winning the 1991 PGA Championship. If you’re in town, here are four other courses you should check out.

BRICKYARD CROSSING: How do you fill 253 acres of space inside the world’s most recognizable racetrack? Build a golf course. Or at least part of it. Originally a 27-hole facility with nine holes inside the oval, Pete Dye completely overhauled it in 1992 into a not-so-standard 18 with four holes on the infield. In fact, Dye told Golf Magazine's Tom Mackin [link:] that he thought the Brickyard could someday host a major. Just don’t get too caught up in the scenery; the racetrack isn’t the only place in Indy known to cause major wreckage. ($90,, 30 minutes from Carmel)

THE FORT: The Fort is located in one of Indiana’s best state parks for hiking and walking, but that doesn’t mean playing it will be a mellow experience. Like the Brickyard, this Pete Dye design features pronounced rolling fairways and undulating greens. The par 5s average 550 yards from the tips and the 247-yard, par-3 17th can deflate a good round instantly. Nevertheless, the scenery is great and the price is just too good to refuse. ($49-$69,, 25 minutes from Carmel)

PURGATORY: This may be the most visually stunning course in the state. Despite the name there’s plenty of fun to be had on the 218-acre layout (perhaps less so if you’re so bold as to play from the 7,754 yard Purgatory tees). Pay heed to the 173-yard, par-3 17th. While the green itself is large, you must navigate over a sea of sand to reach it. ($45-$75,, 35 minutes from Carmel)

PRAIRIE VIEW GOLF CLUB: At the end of the street aptly named “Longest Drive,” Prairie View’s charming clubhouse presides over Robert Trent Jones Jr.’s only design effort in Indiana. Bounded by the White River, PVGC is true to the Hoosier State’s natural landscape with prairies dominating on the way out, and oak-lined fairways guiding you back home. The course also features a state-of-the-art covered practice facility manned by some of Indiana’s most acclaimed professionals. ($90,, 25 minutes from Carmel)