Shadowood Golf Course, a par 72 championship golf course that hosts the Indiana Open tournament, challenges serious and casual golfers alike with 6,709 yards of ponds, creeks, and other natural obstacles. During each 18-hole round, command a cart across the meticulously manicured green, through stately trees, and past vibrant landscaping between sinking difficult shots and challenging surrounding carts to games of chicken. A driving range, sand pit, and practice putting green prep players for full games and roles as extras in golfing films.
Opened in 1968 as a nine-hole course, Cardinal Hills added a back nine in 1996 to form a 5,614-yard excursion that challenges oncomers with undulating greens and tree-lined fairways. Though relatively short in overall length, the Harold England design presents its fair share of difficulties, forcing players to choose their clubs wisely and to carefully discern which flagsticks are actually remnants of failed moon landings.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 70 course * Total length of 5,614 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 70 from the back tees * Course slope of 113 from the back tees
Opening its first fairways in 1926, Hillview Country Club prides itself on a charming course that envelops golfers in an emerald ecosystem replete with L93 bentgrass fairways and smooth, fast-moving greens. Players must contend with tree lines along the fairways and several water hazards as they corral golf balls over the 6,495-yard Robert Simmons design. Before a round, players can warm up at the practice facilities, which include a driving range with natural-grass hitting stations and a short-game area. The chipping green allows for approaches from up to 75 yards away, precisely the distance of Jack Nicklaus’s bathroom putting green.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Total length of 6,585 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 71.4 from the back tees * Course slope of 120 from the back tees
Players have to find peace and serenity while they're on a golf course. The gentle babbling of the Blue River as it cuts through the Bear Chase Golf Club's par 72 Championship course helps golfers uncloud their minds when setting up for booming drives and precise approaches. But Bear Chase Golf Club is more than a place to play a round of golf. A 1,600-square-foot banquet room with attached outdoor patio overlooks the club's 127 acres of swaying trees from alongside the course's 18th hole, where hosts can invite guests to enjoy the fresh air and try to catch passing tee shots during wedding receptions or other celebrations. An onsite pro shop also helps players prepare for future games by pairing them with gear and apparel from trusted brands.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,506 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 70.7 from the back tees * Course slope of 123 from the back tees * Three sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
Composed of seven par 3s and two par 4s each no longer than 265 yards, the nine holes of Cherry Valley Golf Course present both the beginning and seasoned golfer with low-stress opportunities for improvement. Players zip around the 1,584-yard stretch aboard 2006-model Club Car Precedent golf carts—a far cry from the options available when the course was built in 1932 and players had to rely on zeppelins for transport. Gerald Mason has served as the head professional since he bought the course in 2001, helping players overcome game hurdles through one-on-one lessons.
Course at a Glance: * 9-hole, par 29 course * Total length of 1,584 yards from the back tees * Three sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
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