When designer Robert Trent Jones Jr. made Prairie View Golf Club his first Indiana project in 1997, he peppered 18 holes across 206 acres of natural beauty. His design hugs the White River, which rings the course on three sides, but only interferes with shots at four holes. Native grasses trim the entire perimeter of the former soybean- and cornfields, while oak, sycamore beech, and cottonwood trees surround the back nine holes. But the natural obstacles pale in comparison to the manmade impediments – 90 sand traps, including one that stretches 135 yards, make the par-72 course a challenge for even the most avid golfer. Creative flagstick positioning invites visitors to modify their technique for approach shots, with an emphasis on precision rather than power, much like surgically extracting a swallowed engagement ring.
For some added muscle on the course, patrons can practice swings at golf lessons or map out a plan of attack over breakfast at The Albatross Grille, which overlooks the course.
Course at a Glance:
With an 18-hole course, indoor and outdoor driving ranges, and three simulators, Gray Eagle Golf Course & Academy fashions itself as a golf destination dedicated to enjoyable play and improvement. On the course, golfers can play from one of four sets of tees for their journey over the tees, greens, and fairways of bentgrass—a soft material known for its short root system, not its belief that every golfer is a supernatural being. Measuring 6,739 yards from the back tees, the layout may feel longer because holes 1, 9, 10, and 18 are each par 5s, bookending the front and back nines with 500-yard behemoths. When the weather fails to cooperate, the academy keeps golfers swinging with ample opportunities for indoor play, including a massive indoor practice facility, heated and covered outdoor driving-range stalls, and indoor simulators loaded with such world-renowned courses as Kapalua Plantation, Pinehurst No. 2, and St. Andrews.
Course at a Glance:
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.
The certified fitness trainers at KS Platinum Sports Performance have one goal: to train each person who enters their gym to reach their full fitness potential. They helm programs tailored to whipping athletes into shape that focus on honing their bodies for their specific athletic endeavor, whether it be golfing, playing football, or participating in a hot-dog-eating contest. In group boot-camp-style classes and one-on-one training sessions, they motivate nonathletes to build their overall strength and shed pounds. The trainers strive to cultivate an environment of friendly competition among their charges, touting the proverb, "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."
MAN Golf Management’s facilities give players myriad ways to curb their golf cravings. Coffin Golf Club and Riverside Golf Course invite guests to play through more than 6,200 yards of golf apiece, with three to four tees per hole and prevailing winds that can send shots sailing into sand bunkers or water hazards. Meanwhile, the Riverside Golf Academy lets players practice on 16 covered hitting stalls, 18 outdoor hitting mats, two grass chipping practice greens, and one indoor putting green. There, instructors also host private lessons to help golfers sharpen their swings without replacing their drivers with lumberjack axes.
The Five Seasons Family Sports Club houses tennis courts, a dining area, fitness facilities, swimming pools, and a full-service spa under one roof. Within air-conditioned indoor courts or on outdoor hard or clay courts, racquet slingers compete in friendly bouts to sharpen swings, refine backhands, and showcase grunting abilities. Members can also break a sweat in exercise areas speckled with modern cardio equipment and weights or cool off in an Olympic-sized pool with diving wells and wading areas. Before meeting others for a postgame beverage at the lively café, clients can wander to the spa for a relaxing massage or partake in a sports workshop to gain a firm grasp on game mechanics.