When golfers think of classic course designers of the 20th century the name Robert Trent Jones Jr. appears near the top of virtually every list. From major championship venues like Hazeltine and Bellerive, Jones Jr. put his imprint on some of this country's greatest golf courses. His stamp might not be extensive in the state of Indiana but he did carve out a beauty in Prairie View Golf Club on the east side of Carmel.
Prairie View is located just west of Connor Prairie and the course has some 1800s characteristics mixed in with a modern design. Built in 1997, Prairie View is a target golf course with over 90 sand bunkers, five lakes and White River that serves as a boundary on several holes.
Putting the golf course aside, and this is one of the premier public venues in the entire state of Indiana, Prairie View has gone under some significant changes over the past few months. The Cohoat and O'Neal Management Corporation purchased the club earlier this summer. Doc O'Neal is a household name around the state of Indiana and his track record in the golf business is well documented.
Some immediate changes that new management has implemented includes lowering green fees to $75.00 (a $15.00 decrease) and the twilight rate to $45.00 (after 3:00 p.m. daily). There's no doubt in my mind that these won't be the last changes that Cohoat and O'Neal will make to Prairie View and this is a welcoming move for a course that is sometimes forgotten in Indiana's finest venues.
One element of Prairie View that separates them from some of the better public courses in Indiana is its practice area. A massive range, two putting greens and a chipping area is in itself impressive. However, Prairie View has an established Academy that's primary service is club fitting to a variety of golfers. The Academy utilizes the popular "Trackman" approach to club fitting with pro Darren Thomas and fitting specialist Pat Towle provide services for plays of all skill level.
With a golf course that can't be seen anywhere in the state of Indiana and management that is committed to matching the course itself, the time is now to head to Prairie View for one of the rare total package public venues.