Great Lakes Golf Magazine
Great Lakes Golf magazine covered Indianapolis area courses in their June 2003 edition. We were happy with their glowing remarks about our course, and of course, our homemade lemonade!
The Mystery of Indy
Uncovering Indianapolis, the Midwest’s Most Hidden Golf Treasure
By Don Shell
“Purgatory Golf Club Of all the newer Indianapolis courses, Purgatory has received much of the attention, for myriad reasons. Golf Digest called the course “more heaven than hell,” and many other media types have heralded the Ron Kern-designed stunner, which at over 7,700 yards from the tips, gives people plenty to talk about. But caught between hype and hope, we wanted to see if Purgatory could make believers out of us, as well.
“As we found out, it was truly a “round of revival.”
“As is the case with any links-style course, the trick is making each hole distinct and memorable in its own right, something Kern does here through stunning and elaborate bunkering, clever pacing of holes, and just enough topographical change. Surprisingly, Purgatory throws in a dash of water, a sprinkle of woods, and even some elevation, mixing it all up to make each hole stand on its own merit.
“Two bits of advice before you begin, however: First, choose the right tees. With six sets, you’ve got options. Only the masochists should play from the tips, all 7,754 yards of it. There’s also 7,200, 6,700 and sub-5,000-yard varieties, among others. Secondly, do yourself another favor: order up one of the club’s freshly made lemonades before you begin. Delicious.
“Right from the 373-yard (all yardages from the tips) opening hole, you’ll see Purgatory’s most striking feature — the multitude of intricate bunkers dotting the landscape. These grassy-edged, ominous hazards are devilishly and intentionally haggard looking, Kern’s way of warning us to steer clear. Of course, with over 120 of these traps throughout the place, that’s near impossible.
“After a very entertaining front nine, including the risk-reward beauty of the 462-yard second hole, which wraps around a lake, and the slithering fairway of the 487-yard, par-4 eighth, you’ll enter the stunning back nine. Just like the front, Purgatory offers the pretty (the stunning 235-yard par-3 12th) and the penal (the mammoth, 735-yard 13th, dubbed “Everlasting Torment,”) sometimes in the same hole (the 173-yard 17th, with the most elaborate of bunkering). It’s a fascinating track, to be sure, and will leave you with an impression. But if you had to play just one course for the rest of eternity, you could do far worse than this version of Purgatory.
“For more information on Purgatory, call 317-776-4653 or visit www.purgatorygolf.com.”