National publications continue to heap praise upon the county’s golf courses

By Jonathan Babalola
Noblesville Daily Times

Golfweek Magazine has named three Hamilton County courses as the best in Indiana as part of its State-by-State Best Public-Access Courses list.

Prairie View in Carmel was named the best course in the state based on 11 separate criterion set by the magazine’s panelists. The criteria included integrity of the course’s original design, the quality of the course’s conditioning and a ‘walk in the park’ test.

Indianapolis’ The Fort (3rd), Purgatory Golf Course in Noblesville (4th), Brickyard Crossing near the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway (6th) and Cicero’s Bear Slide (9th) were the other area links lauded by this publication.

“This is a wonderful not to the courses (that) made this list and a testament to the fact that central Indiana is home to some of the best golf in the Midwest,” said Karen Redcliff, deputy director at the Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Locally, we’ve always appreciated the quality of play here and I think now nationally people are beginning to recognize that as well.”

Prairie View is the only course in the state designed by famed golf architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. Purgatory offers six sets of tees on the longest par-72 east of the Mississippi River. And Bear Slide was recently noted by Great Lakes Golf Magazine as the best course in the Hoosier State for its links-style front nine and woodsy back nine.

Jon Stutz, the head professional at Purgatory, said it is not the first time the course has been recognized – Golfweek named it Indiana’s top course three years ago – but he and his staff never get tired of the accolades.

“It’s always nice to have what you’re doing be appreciated by these publications that are on a national level,” Stutz said of the 7200-yard course. “When it gets don right to it, we’re in the business of selling fun and we take pride in giving an enjoyable experience to anyone who plays here.”