Indiana University Golf Course
Besides being a beautiful and challenging test for players of all levels, the Indiana University Golf Course offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the IU campus. Built in 1957, this multi-faceted facility is open for public play year round (weather permitting).Still, the true charm of the 18-hole Championship golf course and its 9-hole adjoining Par 3 course, rests in the land. The 250 acre property, which includes a 36-stall driving range, could well be a nature preserve.
Unlike many modern courses, there are no housing nor commercial properties disturbing an atmosphere that is purely golf. Most of the 18 holes are framed by mature trees that defend the integrity of the course and make par a usually unattainable challenge. There are no water hazards or fairway bunkers, mostly because the trees offer sufficient problems for the golfer who expects to be challenged.This natural setting provides the charm of a state park that blossoms into nature's handiwork all year long, but especially in the spring and fall. Autumn's abundance of color peaks at the IU course, and few sights are more entrancing than a look down the ninth and thirteenth holes in mid-October. In the spring the wooded areas burst forth with the aroma of redbud and dogwood trees.Unless the IU marching band is practicing the school's fight song nearby, most of the sounds around the course are produced by wildlife. Most popular among these are the white-tailed deer that emerge from the woods and wonder across the fairways, mostly impervious to the golfers and the nearby click of club against ball. The deer often appear in groups of up to a dozen and sometimes are reluctant to return to the nearby wooded areas.However, if a golfer chooses to leave his ball and follows them into the trees he is met by a dense rolling area similar to what the first settlers in the state must have encountered.
When the Indiana University Golf Course opened, a summary of the facility was given to president Herman B Wells by Paul “Pooch” Harrell, the coordinator of the university's athletic facilities. “This is a golf course designed for all kinds of golfers — professionals, top-flight amateurs, average amateurs, duffers and hackers — providing they can hit the ball straight,” Harrell said.
The facilities are open year round, if weather permits, and tee times may be reserved online or by calling the Pro Shop at 812-855-7543. The lighted driving range is one of the most popular practice areas in Indiana and is operational when weather permits. Buckets of balls, and a selection of clubs, are available at the driving range building. During winter months range balls may be obtained from the Pro Shop when the weather allows practice.The range has 36 teeing stations with mats and as many as 20 grass hitting areas that are open when conditions permit. Target areas are marked downrange and the exact yardage from these flags to each teeing area is listed. Also available is a practice green and chipping area near the first tee of the Championship Golf Course and a putting green near the range where only putting is allowed preserving a smooth area for practice. Superintendent Brent Emerick describes the latter as the “best green in town.”