Sycamore Golf Clu is an island of shimmering emerald stamped onto an ocean of rolling beige. Once a wide-open farmland, the 100-acre parcel underwent major changes in 1961, when landscapers cleared away the wheat fields and cow communes to make way for the expansive 18-hole course. Today, the charm of the land remains thanks to a trio of ponds and two creeks that make their presence known on 15 holes, all of which are surrounded by newly planted tree groves.
True to the down-home feel of the area, Sycamore Golf Club is managed by the husband-and-wife team of Todd and Kathy Sandow. Kathy minds the pro shop and ushers twosomes and foursomes onto the first tee. And Todd, a PGA Professional, helps with club fittings and lessons for players of all levels.
Course at a Glance:
Playing mini-golf at the Fun Center at Paige's Crossing is like stepping into a storybook. Three different 18-hole courses transport players to fantastic locales such as castles, Old West streets, or the giant loafer that's home to the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. Indeed, most of the attractions at Paige's Crossing lets its visitors escape into their imaginations. They can become racecar drivers at a go-kart track, conductors on a Runaway Train mini-rollercoaster, and PGA stars at the driving range.
Other activities take families indoors. A symphony of electronic beeps fills the arcade, where players shoot basketballs or collect redemption tickets from skee-ball machines. In colder months, these indoor spaces transform into a Winter Jumperland complete with inflated bounce castles and plenty of parking for reindeer.
The Pete Dye Golf Trail links seven courses throughput Indiana and reaches its northern terminus at the 18-hole Mystic Hills Golf Club, a challenging course set amongst wetlands and woodlands, presenting elements of links and parkland layouts. Here, the golf course design skills that made Pete Dye a household name manifest through fairways rolling through native prairie grasses and sand bunkers standing sentry to each green—difficult obstacles for golfers accustomed to only hitting into fairways with bumpers. Furthermore, players should be wary of getting too comfortable with playing the links-style front nine, as the back nine presents a more traditional layout stocked with trees and other organic hazards.
Course at a Glance:
Picturesque landscaping and above-average speed greens mark the challenging 18 holes at Honeywell Golf Course. Established in 1944 as a private course situated on the elegant Honeywell estate, landscape architect Arthur Hills expanded the terrain through the family's formal gardens in 1980, blending the old and new styles as seamlessly as a miniskirt made from buffalo-head nickels. Bunkers shelter the undulating front nines from errant shots and scantily clad sunbathers, and emerald fairways wend through the old garden's flowering shrubs and trees toward short, tighter terrain. Swingers looking for a challenge will enjoy testing their club’s mettle on Hills's addition, confronting some of the only back-to-back par-3 holes in the state.
Noble Hawk Golf Links brings the haggis-flavored flair of Scottish course design to Northeast Indiana. Hole 1 (par four) is a moderate-length opener with gently rolling slopes that make it seem deceptively simple to bypass the fairway bunkers. From there, a round gets rowdier with diverse challenges such as a huge mound bisecting the green at Hole 5; a drive between water at Hole 4; a large, undulated green at Hole 15; and a narrow, three-tiered green at Hole 13. Click here to take an online tour of the course, or let the innovation, diversity, and deer napping on the luscious greenery surprise you while you play.