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Hey all - I'm bringing a group of 16 guys down to northern Indy (Westfield/Carmel specifically) in the fall for a Ryder Cup style event and would love some course recs. I've locked in Prairie Dunes so far, but any help ranking the rest of the list would be appreciated. Brickyard has outings/events on the days we would play it, so unfortunately that's not an option. I ruled out Trophy Club because it's about 45 minutes from the house we're staying at and that's farther than we want to drive. Thanks in advance!

 

The Fort

Purgatory

Bear Slide

Plum Creek

Wood Wind

 

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I’m assuming you mean Prairie View in Carmel?  The Fort, Bear Slide, and Purgatory are all excellent (I would rank them in that order). Wood Wind is so-so and I have always thought Plum Creek was way overrated and overpriced but that’s just me. I wouldn’t sweat missing out on the Brickyard either. It’s a cool venue but it’s not that great, especially since they jacked their daily rates up to $130 to keep the number of rounds down. 

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The above post is spot on, though I rank Bear Slide 1st and Fort 3rd only because the conditions there are never as strong as the other big names (best layout though). I would not recommend Wood Wind at all. The ride to Trophy Club is worth it 100000000 times before Wood Wind. Plum Creek is fine, but overpriced. 

 

Where are you staying and how close do you want to be? There are better options close to Westfield/Carmel than Wood Wind, like River Glen or Eagle Creek Sycamore or GCI. Heck i'd tell you to go to Stony Creek or Sahm before Wood Wind.

 

Here is my master Indiana list of places I've played if it helps:

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15syiDDZrjMDwjTz43T2VjYCr0v8lp3STXUBSpPJNTSM/edit#gid=0

 

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If you’re willing to drive an a bit over an hour, look into the Purdue University courses in Lafayette. Two of the best public courses in Indiana with extremely good conditions. Well worth the drive and better than any public course named so far. 
 

That being said, you’ll enjoy Bear Slide, Purgatory and the Fort.  If you need another in close vicinity, consider Golf Club of Indiana or Fox Prairie. Both are a step below the three above, but within 15 mins of the area you mention and are in good shape. 

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Sounds like a fun time! As others have said, skip Wood Wind. 
 

If you’re willing to drive a bit more the Purdue courses, both of them, are great  The trophy club and rock hallow are great a well. 
 

I would rank the courses you mentioned as follows. 

1. Fort ( Downside is expect a longer round) 

2. Bear Slide  (back 9 is great) 

3. Purgatory (not a big fan but know I am in the minority)

As for the other course mentioned:  The Sycamore course at Eagle Creek is a decent layout but conditioning will most likely be iffy. GCI isn’t a bad course. Plum Creek is way overpriced to me. 
 

I personally think Rock Hallow is better than all of them. It’s an hour or so north but an easy drive. Rarely crowded and rates are very fair. Uses the natural terrain very well and no two holes feel the same. Looking at you Purgatory! 

 

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You guys are clutch, thanks. And @DrOldSchool your google sheet is awesome. 

Wood Wind was only on my radar because it's Prairie View's sister course and they offered us a deal to play both places. Happy to skip it though.

 

We're staying in Carmel. Based on your feedback I'm going to add Bear Slide and Purgatory to our lineup (I'll tag The Fort in if either of those places have outings). Our normal format for this trip is 18, 36, 18...this is pretty minor, but curious if you guys have a preference of same-day 36 at Bear Slide vs Purgatory. 

 

Sounds like I'll have to make another trip down here to play the Trophy, Rock, Purdue and Chariot, when drive-time is not an issue!

 

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I think Bear Slide is a more enjoyable round in general. To me, Purgatory all kind of runs together. Bear Slide has 2 fairly distinct sides. Depending on where you’re at in Carmel BS will most likely be a bit closer drive time as well. Getting across town to Purgatory normally takes a bit longer. I don’t know the handicaps or dynamics of your group but if you have guys who are not confident out of bunkers Purgatory can be a long day. Not that bear slide is easy by any means. 
 

If you aren’t set on one of those two for 36 I would suggest Prairie View. They have a nice bar/restaurant area on site called Big Lug. Big Lug is owned by an outside restaurant group and have good food/beverage options. 
 

In my experience, rounds at Prairie View and Purgatory tend to take longer than BS. 

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@StudentGolfer4 is correct regarding Bear Slide being more enjoyable, and the trickiness of getting to Purgatory from Carmel. It's not hard, just a lot of stop lights and construction. The front 9 at Bear Slide is links style while the back 9, and especially the last few holes gets in the trees. 

 

I will disagree regarding slow rounds - if you catch Bear Slide on the wrong day it can bog down at the end as 15 is a drivable par 4 from the whites (which people will wait for even if they can't make it) followed by a short par 3, and 2 challenging finishing holes. 18 is arguably the hardest finishing hole on a public course around here. Meanwhile 18 at Purgatory is a short par 5, and while there is sand trouble, it is a birdie opportunity. So if you're doing 36 at one or the other, I guess it depends on how you'd like the finishing stretch (14-16 is the tough stretch at Purgatory). They're basically the same conditions wise, though Purgatory has a much better food/beverage option in the clubhouse. 

 

One thing that could be interesting for your format unless you're just playing the tips all the time would be to do one round Bear Slide from the Blues (2nd from the back) and the next from the Whites (3rd). It's a significant difference more so than anywhere else around here I can think of. 

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Good stuff. Our group has a big range of indexes (+3 to 25) and we aren't going to care (too much) about slower rounds. 

 

I was surprised how many outings are already on the tee sheets for these places in September! We only have 2 possible combinations based on availability:

 

1) Thursday Bear Slide, Friday Purgatory 36, Saturday Prairie View $254 total

2) Thursday The Fort, Friday Bear Slide 36, Saturday Prairie View $269 total

 

Sounds like Purgatory has a better food/drink situation if we opted for 36 there. Is Bear Slide's food/drink situation good enough if we went with option 2?

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/12/2021 at 11:28 PM, thammons said:

I’m assuming you mean Prairie View in Carmel?  The Fort, Bear Slide, and Purgatory are all excellent (I would rank them in that order). Wood Wind is so-so and I have always thought Plum Creek was way overrated and overpriced but that’s just me. I wouldn’t sweat missing out on the Brickyard either. It’s a cool venue but it’s not that great, especially since they jacked their daily rates up to $130 to keep the number of rounds down. 

I agree. Brickyard is not worth $130.  Once you have played it 1x I don't personally think its worth $60.00 but thats me.  

 

Hit em straight!!


All Clubs subject to change relative to my last bad round of golf......

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Trophy club would be at the top of my list for any course on this list. I'd play 36 there any day of the week. If you get the chance check out royal hylands in Knightstown too!

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