Dearborn Country Club traces its roots to 1926, when a group of area businessmen purchased the sprawling Wymond Estate in Aurora, Indiana, and used its setting, overlooking the Wilson Creek Valley, to design a nine-hole golf course. Today, the original course still offers a timeless test of pin-hunting prowess, though it has expanded into an 18-hole, 6,314-yard layout after a 1993 renovation and a steady diet of protein-rich mini-golf courses. Characterized by undulating terrain that gives way to sprawling views of the valley below, the layout showcases hole designs that demand creative shotmaking, including any shot from the double-dogleg fairway at the par 5 fifth.
Once the centerpiece of the club, the original Wymond Estate mansion burned down in 2003 and was replaced by a 25,000-square-foot, ivory clubhouse. Inside the stately clubhouse, the aromas of sizzling steaks emanate from Woody's on the Hill Bar and Grille, where a menu of grill fare and seafood and a full-service bar help golfers unwind after a long day at the links or mourn the loss of a sand wedge lost at sea.
Course at a Glance:
Clinical counselor Cindy Becknell was worried that kids weren't socializing enough anymore. She wondered how to encourage them to interact, short of simply telling them to or setting up blind playdates. Then she realized that there was already a designated social space for kids: the playground. There weren't as many "old fashioned" playgrounds anymore, much less ones that were concerned with child safety, but Cindy was undeterred. She founded her own playground and called it KidZoo.
KidZoo kids zoom down slides, swing atop tires, and ascend ladders made from rope or wood, just like those in a classic playground. They can also skip across artificial turf to the simulated blacktop, where staff members lead throwback games such as whiffle ball, dodge ball, and keep away. This playground, though, is all indoors, impervious to the whims of the weather and its tendency to tie everyone's shoelaces together.
Co-owner and PGA player Doug Martin and his fellow golf experts dedicate The Golf Range to the cause of perfect putts and smooth swings. An 8,000-square-foot putting green and short-game area doles out new golf balls for patrons to practice, minimizing misplaced shots and paychecks lost to preteen mini-golf sharks. The indoor putting green guards clubs from the elements, and players sharpen their skills beneath the all-seasons shelter of 37 heated and covered bays. Brush up with The Golf Range's online golf tips before taking to the tee.
Meadowood Golf Course has an unusual quirk: its lone par 5, No. 8, is not its longest hole. That distinction belongs to the par 4 No. 5, which, at 455 yards, is some 40 yards longer than No. 8 from the back tees. Unsurprisingly, this hole is also the hardest on the 9-hole track. Not one of the other par 4s even reaches 400 yards, and No. 9 is a featherweight 260 so long drivers can take a crack at reaching the final green in a single stroke. Taken altogether, the par 35 course is a relatively short and forgiving spot for beginners to learn to play the game, with one lengthy par 4 that permits them some bragging rights or even the chance to take home a divot to place on the mantelpiece.
The mansion’s mustard-yellow walls are outlined by crisp white trim, as well as slender columns where the stately edifice sits overlooking the Ohio River. Built in the mid-19th century for Thomas Gaff, the Italian Renaissance-inspired estate is full of antebellum charm. Now a National Historic Landmark, its ornately carved brackets and sweeping balconies constantly remind visitors of the era when it was built, when each of these details was crafted painstakingly by hand. Tour guides lead visitors through the mansion’s fully restored halls, which occasionally house tea parties and luncheons for lucky groups. The estate also hosts intimate wedding parties to engage in festivities or get inspiration in the Century of Brides exhibit that showcases century-old gowns.