Sycamore Hills - Indiana - USA

Sycamore Hills Golf Club,
11836 Covington Road,
Fort Wayne,
Indiana (IN) 46814,
USA


  • +1 (0) 260 625 4324

  • Don Hunter

  • Jack Nicklaus

  • Tim Frazier


Sycamore Hills Golf Club officially opened for play in 1989, when the designer, Jack Nicklaus marked the occasional with an inaugural round. It’s billed as perhaps the finest golf club in the Midwest and there is no doubt that the former estate of the Fort Wayne provides near perfect golfing terrain.

The Sycamore Hills site undulates gently with the narrow Aboite River having been used to great effect. Mature sycamore, oak and fir trees frame many holes. With generous fairways you’d expect to score well, but with peninsula green sites and plenty of trademark Nicklaus traps set alongside natural waste bunkers, Sycamore Hills is a course on which scoring well largely depends on accurate approach play.

In the opinion of Jack Nicklaus: “Sycamore Hills is one of the finest sites we've ever had the opportunity on which to design a golf course… It has gorgeous trees, great movement of property, and it had some existing lakes that really functioned quite well. The site had a little river moving though the property which really afforded a lot of opportunities to create different shots.”

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Reviews for Sycamore Hills

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: The Sycamore Hills Golf Club site undulates gently with the narrow Aboite River having been used to great effect. Mature sycamore, oak and fir trees frame many holes. Rating: 2.5 out of 6

There are many top tier layouts in the Hoosier State -- safe to say Sycamore Hills is not of them. The facility came into existence during the time when Jack Nicklaus was creating more and more layouts and the resulting lack of architectural heft is in clear evidence when playing Sycamore Hills. The course accentuates a "big" presence with many different features scattered about but there's little to really move the emotional meter.

The conditioning side is what carried the day and the facility does not disappoint on that front.

However, the joy in playing golf comes when inherent shotmaking challenges you relish are paired together with first rate turf. Having the latter without the former is clearly disappointing. I've heard that Nicklaus has an interest in getting back to the site. I can only hope that happens. Until that happens -- relish other courses in Indiana -- one of the most underrated for golf course offerings in America.

by M. James Ward

August 14, 2017


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I doubt Fort Wayne, Indiana will be on anybody’s vacation list, but that could be said for most of the little American towns where the best courses are located. In this case, Sycamore Hills was disappointing and should not appear on US top 100 lists. It was one of Jack’s earliest creations, and from speaking with individuals at the club, Jack is eager to get back and significant revamp the course. It’s in great condition and certainly enjoyable for average club golfers, but it is not a championship layout – and the above review describing it as the finest course in the mid-west is an immediate topic for discussion. The Nicklaus signature features are on display with the need to hit a fade from the tee, and the unique style of the greens that he creates – namely, the deep narrow greens or the wide rectangular shaped surfaces. Many of them feel like you’re playing into a diagonal shape. Jack usually only has just a handful of “circular” shaped greens, but his green-side bunkering is clutch and typically sit right below the surface of the raised putting areas. The trick on this Nicklaus layout is not to short-side yourself, as the majority of the time, you’ll be faced with a “no green to work with landing on a down-slope” situation – which is about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit. Sycamore Hills is a private club with a handful of tremendous holes, like the par 4 8th hole which is 455 yards with a stream running across the fairway, and then another stream running right in front of the slightly elevated green -> not for the faint hearted. But the quality holes are not in abundance and you don’t really feel like you enter a stretch of holes worth remembering. The state of Indiana offers Victoria National and Crooked Stick, which in my book stand head & shoulders above Sycamore Hills. Walking off the 18th hole solidified in my mind why Jack wants to get back here to raise the bar.
July 01, 2012


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