Updated February 2024 to update booking information.
For as far north as the great city of Indianapolis sits, and as short as the golf season is, it’s remarkable how vibrant the golf culture is. Not only does that mean people take their golf seriously, it also means that there’s a lot of great public golf to be played.
That became more than apparent when I reached out to our readers and asked for their insight about the best public courses in this fine city.
While golf seems all too far away, it won’t be long before spring brings new life and these courses open up. For a preview of what’s on its way, let’s dive right in.
The Fort Golf Resort
Looking for a challenging and enjoyable golfing experience in Indianapolis? The Fort Golf Resort, with its strategic design elements and lovely views, is a must-visit destination for golf enthusiasts of all skill levels.
The Fort Golf Resort, located in Indiana, underwent a major redesign by Tom Liddy and Pete Dye in 1998, transforming it into a premier daily fee facility with Dye’s signature design characteristics and outstanding amenities. The Pete Dye course offers a golfing experience that demands precision and skill from players of all levels, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a unique and memorable round of golf.
The course is known for its well-kept-up fairways and greens, providing a visually stunning backdrop for your game. With challenging water hazards and strategically placed tee shots, The Fort Golf Resort offers a fantastic golfing experience. Its popularity stems from its exceptional course layout and top-notch facilities, making it a favorite among golf enthusiasts looking for an enjoyable round of golf in a beautiful and scenic environment.
Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or new to the sport, The Fort Golf Resort is the perfect destination to test your skills and immerse yourself in the game.
Winding Ridge Golf Club
The Fort Golf Resort’s reputation for offering a challenging and enjoyable golfing experience pales in comparison to the engaging and first-class experience that Winding Ridge Golf Club provides for golfers of all levels.
Situated in Carmel, Indiana, this golf club opened its doors in 2000 and has since become a favorite among golf enthusiasts.
The course, designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones, offers a variety of holes, ensuring that players of all abilities are kept engaged and challenged throughout their rounds.
Winding Ridge Golf Club’s top-notch facilities and well-maintained course make it a must-visit for those seeking a memorable golfing experience.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned golfer, this club caters to all skill levels, promising an enjoyable and invigorating game of golf.
If you’ve played at Grove Golf Course, Purgatory Golf Club, Creek Golf Club, or other renowned courses, Winding Ridge Golf Club promises to provide a unique and captivating golfing experience that sets it apart from the rest.
Prairie View Golf Club
Just along the banks of the White River, Prairie View Golf Club offers a pristine and inspiring golfing experience designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. This course, the only of its kind in Indiana, showcases the natural beauty of the region with its native grasses, tree-lined fairways, and bent grass greens.
The layout, featuring generous fairways and strategically placed hazards, creates a fair yet challenging test for golfers of all levels. Prairie View Golf Club has garnered numerous accolades, including being ranked as the number 1 public course in the state, affirming its status as one of the best golf courses in Indiana.
The club also offers great value, with rates below $80, making it an accessible choice for golf enthusiasts. The facility boasts top golf instructors and public facilities, ensuring that players have access to all the resources they need for an enjoyable and improving golfing experience.
With its beautiful setting and outstanding course design, Prairie View Golf Club provides a truly memorable golfing experience along the serene banks of the White River.
Saddlebrook Golf Club
Saddlebrook Golf Club, located just a short drive from Prairie View Golf Club, provides a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for golfers of all skill levels.
The front nine of the course is designed to accommodate aggressive play, featuring tree-lined fairways and opportunities to utilize every club in your bag.
On the back nine, precision is key, offering a different set of challenges that demand accuracy and strategic shot-making.
The course’s layout allows for a diverse and engaging round of golf, catering to both aggressive and precise playing styles.
Saddlebrook Golf Club’s convenient location near other top courses like Bear Slide Golf Club, Plum Creek, and South Grove makes it an essential stop for golf enthusiasts exploring the best courses in Indiana.
Smock Golf Course
At Smock Golf Course, golfers can expect to encounter a challenging yet rewarding experience, with afternoon winds, plentiful hazards, and well-placed bunkers testing their skills and providing an opportunity for improvement. This revered public facility in Indiana offers a top-quality and memorable golfing experience for players of all levels. The inclusive junior program reflects their dedication to growing the game and nurturing young talent.
Smock Golf Course stands out as one of the best golf courses in Indiana, providing a great opportunity for golfers to test their skills and improve their game.
For enthusiasts seeking mastery and the best golf equipment, Smock Golf Course is a must-visit. The course’s layout and design have garnered acclaim from golf experts, including the team behind the Golf Brand podcast and Sports Illustrated Golf. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting, Smock Golf Course, with its well-maintained grounds and challenging layout, is sure to offer a great experience.
It’s a gem that truly embodies the spirit of creating golf content and is highly recommended by Golfers Authority and Behind the Golf Brand.
Morningstar Golf Club
Morningstar Golf Club offers golfers a challenging and rewarding experience, with its renowned greens and expert instruction designed to enhance your skills and elevate your game.
When you tee off at Morningstar Golf Club, you’ll find a course that demands precision and strategic club selection. The front nine presents a fair test of your abilities, with well-manicured fairways and water features that require thoughtful navigation.
The instructors, led by PGA Professional Steven Seibel, are dedicated to helping you improve your game, offering valuable insights and personalized guidance. The club’s reputation for providing a unique and challenging golfing experience makes it a standout destination for those seeking to master the game.
Morningstar Golf Club is a gem among Indiana’s municipal courses, known for its challenging layout and top-notch instruction. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, this course will push you to new levels of skill and strategy.
Hickory Stick Golf Club
In the suburb of Greenwood, you’ll find Hickory Stick Golf Club.
Designed by Tom Liddy, this course’s rolling bent grass fairways and mounded rough are unlike anything else in the area. While the fairways are a dream to play from, you’re likely to encounter some awkward lies if you miss the short stuff.
An Irish links-style layout, you’re not going to find narrow fairways lined by trees out here. Instead, native grasses allow you views of the whole course, but can be devastating to your scorecard.
If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary with the quality you expect, make Hickory Stick Golf Club your first choice.
Dakota Landing Golf Course
Indianapolis’ best nine-hole golf course is Dakota Landing.
This course is short but asks a lot from your game. Narrow fairways mean you have to hit it straight. Small greens dictate that your approaches have to be tidy too.
The signature hole even features an island green. You can’t say that about many courses in the upper Midwest.
A great value and the perfect spot for a casual round, locals love Dakota Landing.
South Grove Golf Course
South Grove Golf Course dates all the way back to 1902. It’s one of the oldest golf courses in Indiana.
Set in the heart of downtown, this track affords splendid views of the Indianapolis skyline.
The rolling topography on which South Grove sits means that both greens and tees are elevated. That means downhill tee shots and uphill approaches.
South Grove has played host to Spring Four-Ball since 1948. This unassuming tournament marks the beginning of the Indiana amateur tournament season. The state’s best players mark this date on their calendars every year.
A timeless gem, don’t forget about a round at South Grove.
Plum Creek Golf Club
Plum Creek Golf Club was the vision of the venerable Pete Dye.
Characteristics of this course include penal bunkers, plenty of water, and difficult greens. From the tees, the fairways look narrower than they are.
While most people think of brutal tests when the name Dye is mentioned in the same sentence as a particular course, Plum Creek is playable for everyone. Just make sure you choose the appropriate set of tees.
If working on your game is your main priority, take full advantage of the state-of-the-art practice facility. The grounds are well kept and there’s more than enough space to work on all the shots.
It’s more than apparent that Indianapolis has a lot going for it. There’s a ton to do and experience and the people are some of the nicest in the country.
Believe it or not, golf is a big deal here too. Not only are the golfers serious about this crazy game, there are plenty of quality courses to be experienced.
I would never have thought of Indianapolis as a golf destination if it weren’t for our readers. You guys continue to blow my mind with your insight and willingness to help.
If I’ve missed anything (which I’m sure I have), drop us a line in the comments below.