Archive for the ‘Course description’ Category

The Purgatory Icon

By: tenna on September 27th, 2016

We are pleased to announce that an 11′ tall sculpture of our award winning logo will be installed behind the 1st tee on October 3rd!

There are two artists that made this possible.

First is Martin Schliessmann who is an Indianapolis-based Marketing Strategist and Graphic Designer. Martin designed our brand identity and marketing materials, including our Addy Award winning logo. Martin is also lead partner with Escape Route Flix, LLC, where he directed the video documentary “Why Sturgis?” and is currently producing a documentary about the Indiana wine industry (details at www.EscapeRouteFlix.com ).

The second artist involved is Scott Westphal (www.westphalsculpture.com). Scott is the celebrated local artist who designed the 11′ tall metal sculpture and had it fabricated from one-inch thick, rust-resistant aluminum.

You’re invited to pose for pictures at the statue’s base and share your images on social media using #IconPGC, #PurgatoryIcon, or #DivineCamaraderie. You can also make a “Daily Offering” by placing a donation in the donation box that will be set up shortly after the sculpture is installed; monies raised will benefit local charities.

The PGC Icon

The Purgatory Golf Club Icon

Above you can see 3 stages of the sculpture’s development. The first two pictures show the fabricated sculpture pre-paint. The 3rd image is the sculpture after it was painted with the PGC logo colors. It is difficult to get the scale of this artwork as nothing is in the image except the sculpture. We look forward to posting images soon after it is installed so you can get a better sense of scale, at least until you can come see it for yourself!

Hole 17: “Hell’s Half Acre” Par 3; plays 173 to 54 yards

By: Brian Rhodes on July 29th, 2015

#17 golf hole at Purgatory Golf

 

Hell’s Half Acre is probably the most visually interesting or dramatic hole on the course. This hole is an island green, par 3 surrounded by a sea of sand. The 8 bunkers total just over a half acre of sand. This was one of the first hole that was designed, it naturally fit into the topography and very little ground was moved during construction on #17.

 

The hole is designed to where the longer distance tee boxes have a more difficult angle of approach. The forward tee boxes have a more receptive and inviting angle to the green. The green is slightly elevated and appears much smaller than actual. Hell’s Half Acre has a very large green with the total depth being 37 paces. Depending on the hole position, this could mean up to a 3 club difference in selection for most players.

 

There is an on-going debate as to whether this or #13 is our signature hole.

 

Hole #16: “Blinding Cloud of Smoke” Par 4, plays 474 to 293 yards

By: Brian Rhodes on July 24th, 2015

#16 golf hole at Purgatory Golf Club

Blinding Cloud of Smoke is one of the most intimidating tee shots on the golf course. The hole is framed on both sides of the fairway by bunkers. There is a total of 10 fairway bunkers on this hole. If you play the either of the back two tee boxes the aiming line is over the right edge of first bunker on the left, just before the fairway starts. From either of those tees boxes the fairway is mostly hidden which raises the player’s anxiety over the tee shot. The fairway widens out in a couple of areas, making club choice off of the critical and leaving the player several options to attack the hole. The approach shot is uphill to a kidney-shaped angled green, with bunkers surrounding most of the green.

 

 

The interesting thing about this hole is as intimidating as it looks from the tee to the green, upon the completion of the hole, turn around and look back toward the tee, the bunkers magically disappear, just like smoke. Now it looks like the easiest hole on the course. While we wish we could take credit for this unique design feature we actually honored Alister MacKenzie, who was the first architect to implement this into a course design.

Hole 13: “Everlasting Torment” Par 5; plays 741 to 357 yards

By: Brian Rhodes on July 15th, 2015
Hole #13 Everlasting Torment

Hole #13 Everlasting Torment

The Thirteenth hole is named Everlasting Torment since it is the longest hole on the course at 741 yards from the red tees.  The prevailing summer wind is usually at your back so the hole plays downwind.  Most people want to make the hole as short as they can and aim too far right and that brings into play bunkers or the rough.  The aiming point off the tee is the bunker on the left hand side at the very corner of the dogleg.  The aiming point bunker is not reachable on the tee shot.  The second shot should also be aimed at one of the bunkers on the left, either one or two bunkers farther up from the tee shot.  That leaves you the best angle with your approach shot and the green is most receptive from that position.  The green slopes to the left, so the approach shot should be slightly to the right of the pin.

 

The green is one of the most interesting on the course.  The tournament “Sunday” position is back right.  That position brings in a very deep swale on the left of the green, which very often brings 3 putts into play.  If your ball is right of the pin, you are left with a very fast downhill putt.

 

Everlasting Torment was not originally designed to be 741 yards.  During construction, the owner Mike Merchent was standing behind where the original red tees were to get a better sight angle and said “This would be a great place for a tee.”  The next day when he arrived on property a tee was constructed on that spot, be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

Hole 11: “Eden” Par 4; plays 406 to 251 yards

By: Brian Rhodes on July 7th, 2015

#11 golf hole at Purgatory Golf

 

Eden is a subtle hole, similar to number one on the front, not very long, with a generous fairway.  A barn used to reside in the landing area.  The mailbox post is still located in the left rough.  The barn had a watering hole for the cattle that was surrounded by rocks.  We took the rocks and repurposed them into a rock wall protecting the green.  The rock wall was designed to frame the green, not to penalize poor shots.

 

There is a hump on the left side of the fairway that is the aiming point for tee shots.  The three bunkers on the right side of the fairway can come into play if the wrong aiming line is chosen, or the tee shot is poorly executed.

 

We paid tribute to Bill Diddle on the green by installing one of his famous design traits “Diddle Bumps.”    The green complex doesn’t appear to be overly difficult, but if you have some little bumps in the right places it can really add to the difficulty of the hole.  We have a “Diddle Bump” in front of the green that actually blends into the green complex.  This can really have a determining effect on the shot that you hit into the hole. It’s a very subtle bump out there, but it really impacts the play of that green.

 

If you play golf in the Midwest, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, you’ll come across a lot of Bill Diddle designed golf courses where he used these bumps to add a degree of difficulty on what appears to be an easy hole.  Bill is one of the five founding members of the American Society of Golf Course Architects.  He was born and raised right here in Carmel, IN.  Our architect, Ron Kern, is a direct descendent of the Diddle design tree.

Why did you name the golf club Purgatory?

By: Brian Rhodes on June 12th, 2015

More heaven than Hell book

The Golf Club originally had the working name Sassafras, the Architects original drawing is posted in the hallway, and titled with that name.  There were some sassafras trees over in the north end of the property.  That’s a relatively unique tree in Central Indiana, but informal market research indicated that Sassafras was not a name that serious golfers would embrace.

 

In religious mythology, Purgatory is where souls pay for their earthly mistakes to gain entry into heaven. It’s about overcoming obstacles to attain eternal happiness.  In medieval poetry, Purgatory was referred to as “sweet misery.” Golf often feels like that; acts of difficulty while obtaining something wonderful.

 

The golf course is named Purgatory because it’s a beautiful place for you to test your limits.  Purgatory is a name that immediately resonated with golfers and it fits, it fits with why people play golf.  From the time you tee off on the first hole you have challenges and obstacles that you must navigate your way through until the last hole.  You’ve had good holes and bad holes, and the shot that you think you should have made, and a few shots no one ever talks about, the miss-hits that end up perfect.

 

Purgatory conjures images of great obstacle; it’s a name you remember.  Every golf course is difficult if you play from the wrong tees boxes.  Is our golf course a challenge?  Absolutely.  But does that mean you have to make it too difficult for yourself?  The answer is no.  Play a distance that allows you to enjoy the course and the day, you will find the course to be almost heavenly from the correct set of tees.

 

The logo also is a discussion starter that even non-golfers find very interesting.

Hole 6: “Eunoe” Par 4, plays 434 to 241 yards

By: Brian Rhodes on April 18th, 2015

 

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On paper and on first site this hole looks very benign, during normal play conditions quite a few players have a hard time remembering the specifics of this hole after the round.  The tee shot is shaped by three fairway bunkers and the landing area is fairly wide, leaving an approach shot between 165 to 155 yards to the green.  The players who have length as an asset can challenge the bunker on the right and leave themselves with just a wedge shot into the green.

 

This hole completely changes when we install tournament conditions, just a slight increase of green speeds make a world of difference on this hole.   The green has a Seth Raynor style hogback that routes it way through the green, creating three separate tiers.  If you are on the correct tier the player will have an excellent opportunity for a birdie, the wrong tier increases the odds of a three putt and makes par a good score.  If a player challenges the back left pin position then a bunker behind the green comes into play and makes par almost impossible.

 

“Eunoe” has had the distinction of the highest scoring average in relationship to par during our last 3 Indiana Major events.   Unfortunately, a high number of very good players walk off this green shaking their head at what just happened to their round.

 

Hole #6 was recently featured by Athlon Sports in their article “18 Holes to Play in 2015”

Hole 2: “Stains of the Inferno” Par 4; plays 462 to 295 yards

By: Brian Rhodes on March 31st, 2015

lake on golf course indiana

Number 2 is where the course really starts it is a classic “cape hole” design.  The definition of a “cape hole” is a hole on a golf course that plays around a large, lateral hazard, and presents a risk-reward tee shot. That hazard is often water, and such water might extend the entire length of the hole. The fact that the fairway on a cape hole gently curves around the hazard means that golfers on the tee face a risk-reward decision: Carrying more of the hazard means placing your drive farther down the fairway, but also creates greater risk of losing your ball in the hazard.  The key point is that a cape hole forces you to think about how much of the hazard you want to cut off in order to carry your ball closer to the green.

 

The hole has a series of bunkers on the opposite side of the fairways that frame the hole and add even more visual intimidation.  I have heard from many players that their first thought is where I drive it, which is the thought process the architect wanted the player to determine before teeing off.  At this point our touchscreen GPS units come in extremely handy in assisting with you decision.  Just a quick reminder that depending on the line you choose to pursue it could be all carry, so remember to subtract the roll from your normal tee shot.  The hole can be played without ever having a forced carry, playing it this way usually will leave the player with a short iron left on their 3rd shot trying to get-up and down for your par the advantage to this route is that it usually eliminates a score higher than bogey.  Your better player is going to get in more trouble than your average player.

 

The staff encourages members and frequent players to play from one of the closest tee markers and the hole becomes a drivable par 4 that can really be a turning point in the match.  By utilizing different tee markers you can play a different course out here every time you play.

How are Golf Courses Rated?

By: Brian Rhodes on March 24th, 2015

Purgatory Golf Club has won numerous awards throughout the years for having an outstanding golf course.  Quite frequently we are asked how these awards are determined. Many believe their favorite course is ranked behind other courses they may have experienced. They believe the rankings are skewed to a raters personal opinions and not very objective. Below is the criteria that Golf Digest raters use to determine these rankings. As you will notice, there is a formula to how they evaluate the courses. We thought this may be interesting and informative. You may enjoy this formula for evaluation the next time you play.

 

Golf Digest Criteria – each criteria is rated using a 10 point scale

  1. Shot Values How well does the course pose risks and rewards and equally test length, accuracy and finesse?
  2. Resistance to Scoring How difficult, while still being fair, is the course for a scratch player from the back tees?
  3. Design Variety How varied are the golf course’s holes in differing lengths, configurations, hazard placements, green shapes and green contours?
  4. Memorability How well do the design features (tees, fairways, greens, hazards, vegetation and terrain) provide individuality to each hole, yet a collective continuity to the entire 18?
  5. Aesthetics How well do the scenic values of the course (including landscaping, vegetation, water features and backdrops) add to the pleasure of a round?
  6. Conditioning How firm, fast and rolling were the fairways, and how firm yet receptive were the greens on the day you played the course?
  7. Ambience How well does the overall feel and atmosphere of the course reflect or uphold the traditional values of the game?

 

The average of each category is then totaled, double-weighting the Shot Values category with the result being the courses total point value.  A course needs 45 evaluations over the past eight years to be eligible for America’s 100 Greatest. The minimum ballots for 100 Greatest Public is 25, for Best in State 10.

 

While we enjoy the recognition and the awards, what we really find special is the enjoyment and interaction we have with our customers detailing their favorite aspects of our facility.  In the upcoming weeks we will blog about our favorite holes and the most interesting characteristics of Purgatory for you to observe as you experience the course.

Can you guess the hole?

By: purgatorygolf on June 26th, 2013

Guess which holeCan you guess the hole? Clay couldn’t.