By Rick Drennan
It’s hard to be humble if you live in Carmel, even if humility is one of the small-town traits of people living in that State of Indiana.
Carmel, the largest city in Hamilton County, recently took top honors on Niche.com’s 2017 Best Places to Live in America list.
The Indianapolis northern suburbs’ top ranking wasn’t the only prize awarded. Hamilton County was named third best county in the U.S.
While it’s clear a whole lot of factors went into the win: livability, safety, and income. And accessibility to some great golfing is surely an added bonus.
Carmel is not only home to Crooked Stick Golf Club, home to the 1991 PGA Championship won by John Daly, and two BMW Championships (2012-16), but features Plum Creek, a member club in the Pete Dye Golf Trail.
Plum Creek is a semi-private facility, meticulously maintained and although features typical Dye traits of strategically place bunkers, undulating greens and a number of water features it will satisfy all levels of golfers. After your round you will not want to miss the cozy 19th hole pub!
It’s easy to see why Carmel has been designated a great place to live. It’s Arts and Design District in Old Town is an artisan’s delight, and the new city center is a shoppers and foodies place, including Divvy, www.divvycarmel.com a sharing plate restaurant that offers a unique dining atmosphere from its small plates menu. No shortage of pub style eateries and brews in the locale as we discovered with a couple of the ladies from the Hamilton County Tourism office post Plum Creek – The Local Eatery & Pub and oh so close to our home for our visit.
Meanwhile, the City of Indianapolis (a short jaunt even during morning rush hour) might be hallowed ground for motor heads, Lisa Wallace, a senior communications manager with Visit Indy, says it caters to all every kind of visitor, especially golfers.
The Dye Trail also features stops at The Fort Golf Resort, and Brickyard Crossing Golf Course. The latter is located kitty corner to, and is built partially inside the Indianapolis 500 Speedway.
She met her Canadian visitors at a chic Mass Ave. eatery in the downtown core. She says visitors often use the word “surprised” when describing their first visit to the state capital. It’s a big city with a small-town feel, she notes, and features miles of walking trails and bike paths. The downtown housing market is booming, and so are the bars and restaurants and boutique hotels. The White River State Park is a leafy oasis, covering 250 acres on the western edge of the downtown, one of six designated cultural districts. The city’s remake was propelled forward in part by hosting the 2012 Super Bowl, and civic leaders are now driven to promote tourism at every turn, and that includes the Dye Golf Trail.
Two courses on the trail are Brickyard Crossing, an experience like no other (in case you missed it CLICK HERE) and The Fort Golf Resort.
Wallace brings a unique perspective to her position as a promoter of the Dye Trail. She once played in the state golf championships.
The Fort is a Dye redesign of a former military course that’s located in Fort Harrison State Park. It is consistently ranked one of the top places to play in the U.S. Owned and operated by the State of Indiana, the 7,148-yard, par 72 design (from the tips) features tree-lined fairways, rolling hills and the Dye trademark, undulating greens.
“He (Dye) came in and made it easier,” says its golf director Bruce Rearick, another Dye Trail organizer.