Indiana Business Mag Cover PurgatoryGC

Indiana Business Magazine covers golf

New and Tough

The latest additions to Indiana’s list of most-challenging golf courses

“…As if tough golf wasn’t intimidating enough, when Mike Merchent opened his Noblesville-area course in 2000, he took a chance and named it Purgatory. But don’t let the name scare you off, even Golf Digest called it “more heaven than hell.”

“We’re the longest regulation golf course in the world,” says Merchent, founder and director of golf. It’s also one of the shortest from the front, at 4,562 yards. Plenty of spread to pick your poison.

“Carmel-based designer Ron Kern made his mark by scattering 133 bunkers throughout Purgatory. He employed old school architectural principles of using bunkers to show how to play the hole, says Merchent. “If it’s on the right, you play to left edge.” And there’s a set of bunkers from each set of tees to make the game challenging for every level of player.

“The directional bunkering system seems to fall by the wayside on 17-a par-3 named Hell’s Half Acre by Merchent’s wife, Tenna-where the green is surrounded by bunkers. But here, as in all the course’s sand traps, your ball will fall onto crushed limestone shipped in from Bloomington, where it will roll to the bottom instead of plugging in the face of the bunker, giving you a break on your wedge shot.“Without a doubt, it’s the nicest sand to hit out of I’ve ever seen,” says Merchent.

Travel Digest, News you can use for trips near and far, Now playing…Slice of heaven, despite its name;Golf Digest, June 2001