A stone-lined creek and two ponds shape the layout at Cool Lake Golf Club, where golfers meander through a 6,008-yard circuit of 18 tricky greens. The creek cuts across four holes on the front nine before fanning out in a wishbone pattern on the back three, where it imperils the lives of golf balls and paper boats fashioned from scorecards. The longest hole on the course—the 590-yard, par-five fifth—is also the most difficult, featuring a dog-leg left and a second shot that must clear the creek to set up an approach. Before beginning their round, golfers can loosen up by hitting balls at the range or turning the ball-washer crank for several hours.
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.
Twin Bridges Golf Club's 250-acre Robert Lohmann–designed course regales sphere slingers with picturesque views of the neighboring White Lick Creek and the emerald foliage of nearby copses. Holes on the front nine showcase large greens and fescue-lined bent-grass fairways, and the back nine rolls over hills with greens closely patrolled by sand traps, waterways, and burrowing Pacmen. This oasis of recreation remains open to the general public and features year-round play.
Of the 18 holes that constitute the course at Shortee’s Golf, not one measures longer than 100 yards. This is so beginners—youngsters especially—can enjoy the game without getting frustrated because they can’t yet hit the ball as far as Tiger Woods or afford to pay a fan to kick their golf ball into the fairway, like Tiger Woods. Instead, they practice short game fundamentals, both pitching and putting, which happen to be the most crucial aspects of the game, regardless of the size of the course. The facility also holds a net driving range and putting green for further repetitions, and conducts five-day junior golf camps in the summer to help the future phenoms improve.
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 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.
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:
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.