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
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
Though the course at Hawk?s Tail of Greenfield has been a golfing oasis since 1927, it looks a little different than it did in the roaring '20s. For one, the name on the marquee is different: it was called Greenfield Country Club for many years. Cart paths?which wouldn't have been around in the very early years?were repaved in 2001, and a fleet of electric golf carts was brought in to replace the aging herd of bag donkeys. And as a finishing touch, owner and head professional Mr. Farrer added a fireplace on the outdoor patio, providing a welcoming space for golfers to gather round after a fun-filled round.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,760 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73 from the back tees * Course slope of 122 from the back tees * sets of tees per hole * View the 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:
Otte Golf and Family Fun Center is a perennial fixture in Golf Range Magazine’s list of the country’s Top 100 Golf Ranges. Its 300-yard driving range houses more than 50 stalls—guests can choose between grass and mat hitting surfaces—set under high-powered lights that keep the target greens illuminated at night. The range provides a venue for independent practice or preparation for rounds on the center's 18-hole executive course, a circuit of par-threes and fours that takes a convenient 2.5 hours to complete, which gives golfers more time to trick out the vintage golf carts in their garages.
A lighthouse stands sentry over the 18-hole miniature golf course, where guests advance through flowerbeds, willow trees, and tidy rows of shrubs and hedges. Those interested in striking balls that aren't placed on tees or the noses of their best friends can visit one of nine batting cages, where pitching machines dispense a steady stream of baseballs and softballs at various speeds.
Orchard Golf Center allows patrons to channel their inner Trevino on an illuminated outdoor miniature-golf course. Players can wind their way through 18 holes defended by mounds, curves, water hazards, and a confused hockey goalie. The miniature-golf course is well lit to accommodate evening bogey evaders and games played during total lunar eclipses. In addition to small-scale fairway festivities, Orchard Golf Center hosts a snack bar and a pro shop stocked with golf apparel and accouterments.