The Country Club of Indianapolis was the city’s first country club, established in 1891 in the northeast of Indianapolis, where the Woodstock Club is currently located. It was one of several country clubs to emerge around the city at the turn of the 19th century, giving residents a number of options when considering club membership.
In 1914, the club moved to its current property and appointed Tom Bendelow to design the new course. This layout was rebuilt by William Diddel in 1930 then Pete Dye carried out further modifications in the early 1990s – though he had tinkered in one or two aspects of the course’s design when he was greens committee chairman years earlier.
In The American Private Golf Club Guide, author Daniel Wexler describes the course as “an occasionally hilly, classically inclined layout bisected by a creek which, though ever-present, only comes substantially into play on five holes. Standouts include the 541-yard creek-fronted 8th and the 336-yard closer, which bears a vague resemblance to the 18th at Olympic.”
The club hosted the 33rd edition of the US Women’s Open in 1988, when Hollis Stacy retained her title with an aggregate 4-round score of 289, beating nearest challengers JoAnne Carner and Sally Little by one stroke.
Of the courses in the Indianapolis area, this is one of the best layouts (particularly the front 9). Most private clubs in the area are fairly flat but Country Club of Indianapolis has some elevation change which was welcomed. Unlike some courses, the elevation is not just perched tee boxes. I found myself with some challenging uphill and downhill approach shots to greens with sharp drop offs or protected by a pesky creek. Also, NO HOUSES!!! Another huge plus in my book.
Conditioning was fine, but not the best conditioned course in the area. Greens were a bit softer and slower that other privates in the state. I did play after a rainstorm which may be the cause.
This is definitely a “classic” course so don’t expect huge fairways and greens. But without a house in sight on any hole, this was a truly relaxing round of golf with some picturesque holes.
There is no reason this course should not be considered in the mix with the best courses in the state.