In the Heartland of America – Indiana
I am as big a Pete Dye fan as you will find. Love railroad ties on golf courses! It is no secret that Dye is considered in many circles to be the most influential golf course architect of the last five decades.
What has been kept under wraps for the longest time is the one of a kind collection of courses that make up the Pete Dye Golf Trail in Indiana! Yes folks, Indiana!
I have known about this fine collection, and even had a chance to play a few, for a number of years now. I have asked many in the golf tourism business on many occasions if they were aware of this group of golf courses and seldom would there be a positive response! So don’t feel left out if you did not know.
While Dye is best known for epic designs like the TPC at Sawgrass and the Ocean Course at Kiawah, Dye honed his craft right in Indiana. He is considered a true golf icon and Indiana’s adopted son.
Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) recently announced the relaunch of the Pete Dye Golf Trail, which will be managed and marketed by IOTD.
“Beautiful golf courses span across our entire nation,” said Crouch, “Rather uniquely, Indiana is known for having some of the most exclusive golfing experiences, and now that the Indiana Office of Tourism Development has taken charge of the trail, we can continue to attract visitors to these courses.”
The Pete Dye Golf Trail offers golfers an experience that is uniquely Indiana. The newest addition on the trail is the Ackerman-Allen Course at the Brick Boilermaker Golf Complex within Purdue University in West Lafayette. Ackerman-Allen is a parkland style course with a rolling terrain. The course has large player friendly greens with undulation. No two holes look alike.
The Brick Boilermaker Golf Complex also features another outstanding and completely different in style course – Kampen Golf Course
A links style layout that presents a challenge for golfers of all abilities with vast sand bunkers, native grasslands, ponds and a natural celery bog. Kampen is rated one of the top collegiate courses in the nation and has been awarded 4.5 stars on Golf Digest’s “Places to Play.” Kampen receives high marks as it is ranked as one of the most difficult golf courses in Indiana.
The other courses on the Pete Dye Golf Trail include:
- Brickyard Crossing, Indianapolis
Brickyard Crossing is a bucket list experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Four holes are located inside the world famous oval and 14 just outside the backstretch. The course hosts the LPGA Indy Women in Tech Championship in August with the world’s best female golfers playing the track.
- The Fort Golf Resort, Indianapolis
One of the most unique features of The Fort are the multiple elevation changes throughout the golf course. Central Indiana is not known for hilly golf courses, but a large ravine that runs throughout the course creates several changes and continuous rolling terrain. Dye was able to incorporate and take advantage of these dynamic changes on just about every hole to create a challenging golf experience.
A second great quality of the course is that there are no buildings anywhere to be seen. Because the course is surrounded by Ft. Harrison State Park, the golf course is uniquely secluded, even though you are less than 30 minutes from downtown Indianapolis.
- Maple Creek Golf and Country Club, Indianapolis
Maple Creek is the first 18-hole course designed and built by Pete and Alice, created in October of 1961. Due to the long history, Maple Creek has a large collection of Pete Dye memorabilia in the newly renovated clubhouse. Included in the memorabilia is the world’s only complete logo golf ball collection of each Pete Dye golf course, which includes over 150 golf balls displayed in a beautiful custom lit shadow box in the clubhouse’s Dye History Hallway.
- Mystic Hills Golf Club & Lodge, Culver
This course offers a small town atmosphere with a small town price. The stunning 18-hole layout incorporates a links-style design on the front nine and a more traditional feel on the back nine. Prairie grasses guard the fairways as numerous sand bunkers protect each undulating green. The course offers golfers views of wetland areas, lush woods and rolling fairways. There’s also two cabins located just behind the driving range that sleep 6, which makes this a great play and stay trip near beautiful Lake Maxinkuckee and historic Culver Military Academies.
The Pete Dye Course Golf Course at French Lick was named 2009’s Best New Course in America by Golf Digest. Originally conceived as a sketch by Dye on a napkin at a nearby restaurant, this hilltop course (it’s built on the highest point in Indiana) offers 40-mile panoramic views of the breathtaking Hoosier National Forest.
Join a week-long celebration of women’s golf October 11-17 with the second annual Senior LPGA Championship presented by Old National Bank, featuring a pair of pro-am events preceding the 54-hole tournament on The Pete Dye Course at French Lick.
“The Pete Dye Golf Trail will be a key component in our efforts to promote group travel, stay and play packages, as well as Indiana’s growing reputation as a golf destination,” said Mark Newman, IOTD’s Executive Director. “Golf tourism is a $70 billion industry in the U.S., and we believe that with a focused marketing effort we can carve out a piece of that for Indiana.”
IOTD is relaunching VisitIndianaGolf.com. The website features almost 200 courses across the Hoosier state, showcases upcoming tournaments and events and lists special offers and discount packages.