Long ago, Scottish polo players longed for a game in which they could explore scenic terrain, ride an obedient mechanical horse, and wear more courageously plaid knickers. Marvel at their subsequent invention with today's Groupon: for $189, you get four rounds of golf and 10 clinics at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel (a $1,010 value). This Groupon does not include the $25 required cart fee for each round of golf.
Named one of the best public access courses in Indiana by GolfWeek, the Robert Trent Jones, Jr.–designed Prairie View Golf Club offers club jockeys a beautiful course to test their mettle against fellow golfers. The course's 18 holes stretch over 206 acres from the back tees and are woven gracefully into to scenic prairie vistas, providing a majestic backdrop to balls' graceful arcs and bestowing an empowering sense of noble forgiveness in absolving opponents' mulligans. The winding fairways favor skillful shot placement over pure distance, and each hole comes complete with four tee locations for varying skill levels and play options. After rounds (a $65 value each), golfers can retire to the clubhouse to recharge spent bodies with wholesome meals, sip on refreshing cocktails, or trade gruesome bunker stories at the Albatross Grille—open from spring to autumn.
Rusty games can be polished to a menacing gleam with the 10 rotating clinics (a $750 value). Each clinic focuses on a different aspect of the game such as driving, putting, and stealthily replacing partners’ balls with cleverly disguised, meticulously dimpled stones. Golfers are required to rent carts for the course for a $25 fee, with no more than two golfers or one golfer and eight gophers allowed per cart.
Prairie View Golf Club
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 a meal at The Covered Wagon, which overlooks the course.
Course at a Glance:
- 18-hole, Par 72 Course
- Total length of 7,000 yards from the back tees
- Course rating of 74.5 from the back tees
- Course slope of 138 from the back tees
- Four sets of tees per hole