Golf and race enthusiasts are well aware that one of our nation’s favorite Pete Dye-designed golf courses races through the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Each year, the Indy 500 welcomes over 300,000 spectators during Memorial Day weekend.

The thrills at the Indy 500 are not the only goosebumps for drivers spending the holiday in Indianapolis. The driver in your golf bag may not reach the mph of a screaming 700 horse-powered racing machine, but your graphite-shafted whooping stick can go thrill seeking on the golf courses of Hamilton County.

Moving from 200+ mph action at the speedway to pin seeking approach shots, Hamilton County is home to a threesome of golf tracks that convey the charms of the central Indiana’s terrain. Although all three golf tracks are less than a 30-minute drive from downtown Indy, this short jaunt will feel like another time zone when you peg it up during race weekend.

Purgatory Golf Club

In Noblesville, Purgatory Golf Club is a soulful journey on fast and firm turf with equal opportunities for elation and penance. This course is for purists of the game who seek a trial where the rub of the green is not an inferno of suffrage, but a heavenly sabbatical.

Bear Slide Golf Club

Cicero’s Bear Slide Golf Club presents guests with a course weaved through intriguing valleys and hillocks. Much like the excitement after the final pit stops at the Indy 500, Bear Slide’s final four holes will have you on the edge of your (golf cart) seat.  Appropriately, the crescendo at Bear Slide is the 18th green, which rests in a punch bowl, auditorium that usually draws an audience.


Prairie View Golf Club

The White River flanks my favorite golf holes at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel.  This Robert Trent Jones Jr. design is in tune with every native element that surrounds the course, even the antique covered wagons and other 17th century artifacts that dot the landscape. Playable to all, this course matches the natural artistry of the surrounding prairies.

With wheel-to-wheel racing, not to mention a weekend packed with tailgating, a round of golf will reboot your eyes and ears for Sunday’s main event at the speedway. Now is the time to use your hotel reward points. The golf courses of Hamilton County may require an extended stay.