As I mentioned before, our new Sales Manager, Kori Stark, has been out and about exploring all of Hamilton County. Early last week Kori got to be there as the balloon at Conner Prairie was prepped for inflation. Well, at the end of the week she was able to travel around with several local hotel staff members, stopping to see the finest that golf in Hamilton County, Indiana has to offer. I asked her to take on the dubious task of jotting down notes and writing up a blog (thanks to the hotel staffers for keeping her on point!) Below is what she noticed about each of the seven public courses they visited. I hope this helps you pick your Indiana Stay & Play course OR next venue for your reunion, wedding or gathering.

"We started our golf tour at Plum Creek in Carmel. It was a brisk start to the day because there was a thick layer of fog and mist, but it was a beautiful course otherwise. The course offers more than just golf, there is a grounds pool that can be used by members and their families,, so while dad plays 18 holes, mom and kids can splash the time away in the pool. Some interesting features about the course include:

  • Plum Creek just revamped the website allowing you to make tee time reservations online.
  • It is a Pete Dye course, which gives the course great credibility.
  • The course offers a warm up range, short hand greens, snack bar, levels of play for all golfers, well-maintained greens and a pool pass for only $5.00.
  • Wedding receptions are frequently held at the clubhouse. There is space for up to 200 people with a smaller room connected above the main banquet area that can hold an additional 28 guests. There are windows all around the banquet room overlooking the course and an adjoining patio where guests can stand to enjoy a little fresh air.

"We departed from Plum Creek and made the quick 2-minute trip down the road to Prairie View, also in Carmel. If you are in town for a Stay & Play Package, Prairie View is a great course to pair with Plum Creek. My initial thoughts are that Prairie View has great scenery, no housing developments surrounding the course, which is great for privacy, and it was very serene and quiet. Some features about the course:

  • Golf Weekly rated Prairie View number ONE for daily fee for a golf course.
  • They have a very prestigious golf academy with high tech equipment to help your fitness, technique and quality of swing. They can fit you with the right equipment, then instruct you on how to play better golf and help you get into the best shape to be able to play your best game.
  • There is indoor putting during the winter.
  • They are open 362 days a year.
  • You can order lunch through your golf cart and it gets sent to the kitchen so when you pass by the club house your order will be ready (there are small signs on the course reminding you to order in time)!
  • Wedding receptions are welcome at Prairie View, with space for up to 200 inside and a terrace outside that can be tented off.

Once we finished the tour at Prairie View, the group gathered together and headed to Westfield to see the greens at Woodwind Golf Course (Formally Hanging Tree, then Bent Tree, now Woodwind). Under new management, changes were made to the course in 2008. Some features about the course:

  • Some of the course changes include a new parking lot, work on the course and a pavilion that has been enclosed with all windows. 
  • Very secluded and great landscaping.
  • The golf academy has new technology that has a camera to monitor your swing to show you & your instructor how to improve each shot.
  • They have restructured the clubhouse to better fit the needs of the members.
  • Wonderful staff, very friendly and courteous.
  • They pair with Kelties Catering which is called Kelties on the Green.
  • They hold wedding receptions for up to 195 people with great rental prices. They are also equipped to host conferences and other events.

"Next was Bear Slide in Cicero. From the eyes of an amateur golfer, this course appeared to be VERY challenging and unique. The front 9 of the course is a Scottish style course with lots of heather and hills, and the back 9 of the course is more traditional to the American style with trees and straighter fairways. Some features about the course:

  • They have added a junior tee off to cater to the whole family.
  • Bear Slide is named after the creek running through it.
  • The course was created from scratch, had more dirt than you can imagine brought in to build up the hills and then a unique bear paw was created in the landscape.
  • Very accommodating staff, good food and very peaceful.
  • There were no housing additions around the course, allowing for more privacy to the game.
  • Very scenic.

The group then ate lunch at Bear Slide and the food was great! Overall this course stuck out in my mind because it is so unique. "After lunch we traveled to Purgatory Golf Course in Noblesville. This course was unique in its bunker style, so there is a lot of sand and fewer trees than the other courses, which creates lots of wind to give some challenge to the average golfer. Some features of the course:

  • Very wide open.
  • The course is considered a Scottish links style which makes wind a factor in your game.
  • There are 6 set up tees on every hole to accommodate every player who wants to play the game.
  • They do have beverage carts and there is a snack shop on the 9-hole where you can order your lunch and it will be ready for you when you come back in after finishing your round of golf.
  • The beautiful clubhouse can host an unforgettable wedding for up to 250 people. They are also able to accommodate small conferences with audio visual set up.
  • This course is considered one of the longest courses built. Hence the name!

"After visiting one of the more difficult courses, our group traveled to River Glen in Fishers, which has a challenge for every skilled golfer. Surrounded by the White River, this course is very scenic and features a rock wall on the 4th hole with a covered bridge. Some features of this course:

  • The front 9 is surrounded by beautiful homes, and the back 9 is more wooded and very scenic.
  • They have dollar Fridays to purchase things from their newly renovated snack shop.
  • Wedding space can hold up to 150 people with a wrap around deck overlooking the gorgeous green course.
  • Very friendly and knowledgeable staff.

"Last but not least we were off to The Fort on the East Side, which is a great course to offer in our Stay and Play packages. This course is a part of Ft. Benjamin Harrison State Park. This golf club is attached to the Garrison, which can host weddings and small conferences. Some features about the course:

  • Ranked number one in the state for being a premier public golf course.
  • Very scenic and secluded.
  • Great undulation built into the course, which gives it the challenge every golfer is looking for.
  • Very knowledgeable staff.
  • The Fort is a Pete Dye designed course."

Thank you to Kori for writing up so much great information. This summer we plan to have our staff tell you about their experiences actually playing out on these courses, but in the meantime, be sure to visit our website for details on the Stay & Play packages in Hamilton County's 8 Great Towns!