Posts Tagged ‘Purgatory Golf Club’

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.

Celebration of the 4th of July

By: Brian Rhodes on June 30th, 2015

flyover tees at Purgatory Golf club

Aerial view of #12

With this upcoming weekend celebrating the day USA declaring their independence from Great Britain’s rule. With all of the celebrations and displays of patriotism, my thoughts quickly go to the idiom of “Freedom is Not Free.” There are many citizens and their families that have paid the ultimate price for us to have our freedom.

 

For the 2nd year Purgatory Golf Club is very proud to be one of the host sites for World’s Largest Golf Outing benefitting Wounded Warrior Project. Last year we had over 90 participants play in the event at Purgatory.  This year our goal is to have 120 players. We have an enormous amount of pride to be part of the group that has contributed over $885,000 in donations for our Wounded Warriors last year, and have raised over 2 million since 2011.

 

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.

 

Last year we had a presentation of arms, a live version of the national anthem, Fuzzy’s Vodka brought out their showcase semi truck, and we had a special guest play in the event, one of our wounded warriors. This year we are working hard to surpass last year in every aspect of the event.

 

Monday, August 3rd we are having a 10:00 am shotgun: we are accepting players, donations and sponsorships. If you would like more information please go to www.worldslargestgolfouting.com or call us at the golf shop 317.776.4653. Please come out and join us for a day of fun and fundraising to support those who have fought for our freedom.

 

Golf is a fantastic vehicle to use to raise money, awareness and build camaraderie. The PGA Tour gives more to charity in a year than the other 4 major sports combined.  Once you start adding up all the charity golf outings, it is amazing how golf supports people in need and worthy causes.  If this is the year you want to raise money for something that is near and dear to your heart, contact us.   We will help you exceed your dreams of a great event.

 

Have a great 4th,

 

Brian

Purgatory Par 3’s

By: Brian Rhodes on June 23rd, 2015

TennaMerchent_Sunrise over 7th

Photo of #7 River of Flames

 

Par 3’s have a huge impact on my overall feeling and personal rating of golf courses.  It is a pet peeve of mine when I use the same club for 3 of the 4 par 3 shots on a course.  With Purgatory being spread out over 218 acres very few people notice that the par 3’s all play in different directions. If we have a consistent wind you will play shots in every wind direction.  Thus even if you are playing similar distances they will require different clubs.

 

Purgatory par 3’s all look vastly different from each other, unless you have made a hole-in-one on one of them it is extremely hard to pick your favorite as they all have fantastic features.  If you are playing the farthest tee forward the only par 3 that has a forced carry is #12, in fact from those tees it is the only forced carry on the golf course.

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 1: “Pride”

By: Brian Rhodes on June 5th, 2015

TennaMerchent Hole 1

Hole 1: “Pride” Par 4; plays 373 to 206 yards

 

There are a few architects that think the first hole should set a tone for the course and be a very challenging hole.  Donald Ross immediately comes to mind as most of his course that I have played start off extremely hard and par is an excellent score.  The first hole at Purgatory eases you into the rest of the day, it is relatively short in distance and wide in the landing area.

 

It is a dogleg left, where the object is not about hitting it long, it’s trying to fit your tee shot into an area that’s 200 to 230 yards off the tee and 50 yards wide.  So hopefully you start your round off out of the fairway, leaving yourself with a short iron, into a little bit of an elevated green that’s pretty receptive, not a lot of undulation, not a lot of movement to it … so you’re not going to hit a shot and be rejected left or right.

 

Two decent shots ought to give yourself a chance for a par on the first hole; depending on the tee markers many longer players approach this hold as a classic risk reward as they may be able to drive the ball onto the green.  I personally do not recommend this as the approach shot from very close and left of the green is very challenging and depending on the hole placement could eliminate a good birdie opportunity.  When you are on the green take time to overlook the whole course as the green is the highest elevation point on the property.

Why I love Golf

By: Brian Rhodes on February 10th, 2015

Being that this is Valentine’s week I thought I would share some of the reasons why I love golf.  Why I enjoy being around the game so much that I made it my career.

The People

Someone once said about baseball that the real action happens between pitches, my interpretation is that they were speaking about the interaction of the spectators.  Golf is virtually the same you can spend hours with someone in a relaxed environment, you can learn more about a person in a round of golf than years spent in casual dinners and days in the office.  There is a high amount of time between shots where you can learn about your playing companions.  The game will bring out your true character, and you will see how you and other people act and react to challenging situations.

Sport for life

Though out the years it amazes me how wide of age variances have been of the golfing groups that I have enjoyed playing in.  When I was in my twenties I routinely played with people in their seventies.  I was given advice and taught lessons that I apply in my life today.  I’m hard pressed to think of an activity where everyone can play together regardless of age, strength, natural ability.  When I retire I want to play daily!

The competition

You can play with people that have different abilities and still come-up with a fair game.  Even if they do not want to participate competitively, you are always competing against the course and yourself.

Being outside

There is nothing better than getting outside and getting some physical and mental stimulation.

The frustration

The game cannot be mastered, even when you are playing well, in your mind you could always shave strokes off of your score.  Hitting a great drive only to hit the worst approach shot of the day.  It is amazing how I routinely walk off a green shaking my head at what just happened, you have to be kidding!  All I want to do is play the hole again, I know I can improve.

Giving back

The PGA Tour gives more to charity in a year, than the other 4 major sports combined.  Once you start adding up all the charity golf outings it is amazing how golf supports people in need and worthy causes.  If this is the year you want to raise money for a charity near and dear to your heart, contact us we will help you exceed your dreams of a great event.

Hitting it pure

Oh what a feeling, I’ve found the secret, God please let me be able to repeat it!  It may be the only good shot I hit all day but I know I have it in me.  Can I clear the water hazard 250 yards away? Heck yes, my reasoning I have done it before, I have it in me.

Daily variation

Even if you play the same course everyday it is never the same: course conditions change, the wind is different, the hole location is moved, and the hole length can be altered depending on weather factors.  It is never the same, and unfortunately neither is my swing.

Watching golf on T.V.

There is something exciting about watching golf on T.V. especially if you have played the venue in the past.  I would sign-up for softball if we could play at Wrigley Field, what a great place to hang-out after the game.

It’s Fun

Try not to smile when you make a long putt, hit it close or bomb it down the fairway, It is nearly impossible!

Contact Us

I encourage each and every one of you to find your own reason to love the game.  If you are like me and are already in love with the game, Purgatory Golf Club offers annual memberships to the course and range, call the golf shop at 317.776.4653 ext. 1 for information or email me at brhodes@purgatorygc.com.

P.S.

Don’t forward this to my wife – this is a longer love letter than I have sent her in 19 years of marriage.

First Purgatory Men’s Night of 2014 season teed off with The Masters

By: Tony Adragna on April 11th, 2014

04_TennaMerchent_20110602_0197r-LThe first Men’s Night of the 2014 season, April 10, had a definite Masters theme as a ball skipping across the pond contest preceded a Par 3 course set up on the back nine. Also, the after play buffet included a Clifford Roberts favorite from the Augusta National clubhouse menu.

A total of 50 golfers came out on the balmy 70 degree evening.  Mike Alyea won the event’s low score with a one over, 29.  Closest to the Pin contests were taken by Steve Hurst and Mark Pratt. Skillful skippers of a golf ball across the putting green pond were: Andrew Fleenor, Dick Peck, Kevin Sears, and Marty Schmidt.

Chef Shane surprised the golfers adding peach cobbler and ice cream, an Augusta National favorite, to the buffet table.

The next Men’s Night is Thursday, May 8th, first night of the Tour Players Championship. Play gets under way at 6 pm, preceded by a 3-Putt contest on the putting green. Call the pro shop, 317-776-4653, to book your spot in our next men’s night!