A bitter cold wind whips across fairways, and a thick layer of snow blankets once-fertile greens. These aren't ideal golfing conditions. Rather than letting avid golfers languish indoors or risk neighborhood resentment by hitting drives through open windows, the Golf Dome furnishes an indoor golf setting sealed off from the vagaries of Mother Nature. Golfers empty driving range buckets and take lessons from pro instructors under the shelter of a massive bubble, preventing rust from accumulating over months of inactivity. Though a golf-specific facility in name, the facility also hosts other sports inside its cozy environs, such as soccer, baseball, and softball.
Mark Weghorst knows a thing or two about developing a sound golf game—the Carmel native played golf at Brebeuf Jesuit and went on to win the Mid-American Conference tournament as an individual while playing at Ohio's Miami University. After competing on several professional mini tours, Mark has returned to the Indianapolis area to help other golfers fine-tune their games. During lessons, golfers correct any flaws in their swings from Mark’s feedback, aided with V1 Pro video swing analysis and the trackman launch monitor . His lessons put to use all of the amenities at Zionsville Golf Practice Center, which has a driving range with heated stalls, a wedge range for short-game practice, and a plane board—a training device that helps golfers break the habit of slicing a shot into another dimension.
At Bluff Creek Golf Course, the club's eponymous creek chuckles quietly across 171 acres of relatively open emerald sweeps and 6,525 yards of fairways and greens. Though much of the course roams across flat terrain, certain holes feature sudden elevation changes, including the par 3 10th, where the green rests at the bottom of a 70-foot drop-off that visually obscures the target from golfers. Forgiving fairways, fast bent-grass greens, and thick heather grasses to ensnare poor shots create the feeling of a classic links-style course. Players must take confident swings to evade the water hazards formed by the creek and nine retention ponds, which come into play on the final eight holes and every screaming match with a catfish.
After rounds, a parade of players leads past startlingly colorful redbud trees to the hilltop clubhouse, which sits at one of the highest points in Johnson County. Frosty glasses sing together, the sound drifting off toward the distant Indianapolis skyline. Bluff Creek Golf Course also peddles a variety of clubs and apparel from other top brands in a pro shop, where guests can schedule lessons with a certified instructor to fix a recurring slice or tendency to yell their social-security number mid swing.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,525 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 70.8 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 120 from the farthest tees * Three tee options